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Top Universities in France

France is one of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations and over the years has come to occupy a distinct place in the global imagination. This should come as no surprise given its rich culture, urbane sophistication, the rich history, and culture of its cities, and the spectacular scenery of mighty rivers, azure seas touching upon golden sandy beaches, and rugged mountains encircling vast rolling pastures, and verdant forests. Amidst all this serenity is the long and fiery legacy of French thought and academia that hungers for innovation with a revolutionary zeal. Consequently, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations by far.

Why study in France?

The intelligentsia and academia occupies a central place in the history of modernism and its evolution. It has a proud intellectual and artistic heritage and rightly so given that it is the nation that produced towering figures in the history of ideas. Names such as Rene’ Descartes, Michel Foucault, and Jacque Derrida; authors such Albert Camus, Marcel Proust; artists such as Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet; and filmmakers like Jean Renoir and Jean-Luc Godard. Add to the whole lists of 49 Nobel laureates and a host of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and researchers who have made spectacular achievements make France a haven for intellectual ventures in any field of study.

Universities in France

Though academic and intellectual tradition in France has permeated the lifestyle of its people, it’s academic and artistic tradition has been encased within the confines of various top-ranking universities, making the already rich intellectual lifestyle even more thrilling for students. Add to this the good news that most of the universities are heavily backed by government and private scholarships. This is apart from the fact that France’s leading universities offer some of the cheapest tuition fees in the world. With annual fees averaging under USD $1,000 for both international and domestic students alike, it leaves students hoping for a thrilling learning experience without a second option.

The table below shows a list of the top universities in France, their costs, global ranking, and student population.

University Name City Cost of Programs Total Student Population Global Ranking
École Normale Supérieure Paris €750 a year for both local and international students >3,000 students and researchers combined 65
École Polytechnique Paris €245 tuition fees
€11,000 for a 2 -years master’s program. Fee can be waived via Research and educational work.
>2,700 undergrads and post-grads combined 70
Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris Tuition fees for undergraduate programs €181 Masters €250, and PhD €380 ~30,000 96
Université Paris-Sud Orsay Admission Fees fixed to €183  for license degrees, €254  for masters and €388  for PhD. ~27,000 114
Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble An annual fee of €133 for Bachelors, €204 for Masters, and €556 for PhD >15,000 155
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon Lyon $1000 average (~€770) >2,400 156
Université Paris Diderot Paris A lot of offered courses have zero tuition fees. Average costs are on an average ~€750 ~26,000 178
Mines ParisTech Paris The cost of the whole program can range between €15,000 to €22,000, with 50% of the students covered by partners ~15,000 193