This year, 42 French institutions are counted among the top universities in the world. The 2023 ranking includes 11 institutions in Paris – the most represented city in France.
Universities in Paris take the top five spots, but institutions in Lyon, Marseille, and Montpellier also feature in the top 10.
The best university in France is Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris, a collegiate university formed of 25 research and higher education institutions in the Paris area and three national research institutions.
France is a popular destination for international students because of its range of high-ranking universities and reasonable tuition fees.
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The Université Paris Cité is a very young university, having only been established in 2019.
It has 14 campuses and research facilities across Parisian locations that include the historic Latin Quarter.
The university provides teaching across the academic spectrum, including arts, humanities, languages, social science, economics, science and technology, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing.
About 35 per cent of the student body at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris are international students, with 88 different nationalities represented on campus.
There are 10 academic departments, including biology; chemistry and processes; economics; mathematics; and humanities, art, literature and languages.
The Institut Polytechnique de Paris is a public higher education and research institution formed through the merger of five French engineering schools: École Polytechnique, ENSTA Paris, ENSAE Paris, Télécom Paris and Télécom SudParis. The admissions process is very selective.
The university is part of the Paris-Saclay project, which brings together nine higher education institutions and a business cluster on a research-intensive academic campus. The campus is being developed on the Plateau de Saclay on the outskirts of the city. Its model is similar to the one adopted by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, where each college keeps its independence while remaining part of the university.
Paris-Saclay offers a range of undergraduate, master’s and PhD programmes in the fields of science and engineering, life and health sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Sorbonne University is a public research university in Paris. It was established in 2018 through the merger of Paris-Sorbonne University, Pierre and Marie Curie University and a number of smaller institutions.
The university is home to eight notable scientific collections open to researchers, some of which are also open to the public, such as the minerals, palaeontology and zoology collections.
A total of 28 Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, literature, physiology and medicine, and economics have been awarded to researchers from the university.
Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris was formed in April 2010 from five prominent French institutions: the École Normale Supérieure, the Collège de France, the Paris Observatory, Chimie ParisTech and ESPCI ParisTech.
The institutions under the umbrella of the university are a mixture of older institutions established during the Enlightenment period and new institutions.
The university’s main aim is to establish itself as one of the world’s top research institutions. It has also developed links with other top-ranking institutions around the world, including the University of Cambridge, UCL, Peking University and National Taiwan University.