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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



Top 5 Student Cities in the World

There are several different factors that combine together to make a city a truly great option for students. From people and academic resources to affordability and nightlife, students have to consider a number of things before they pick a city to attend university in. The QS Best Student Cities report was released recently. The index assesses cities around the world based on a number of factors such as affordability, employer activity, quality of living, student mix and university ranking. Given below are the 5 cities that scored the highest on the index:

  1. Paris: This wasn’t the first time that Paris managed to get the top spot on the list. With 17 excellent university, excellent quality of live, a large student community and low tuition cost, Paris is definitely a dream destination for any student. Although the city is quite expensive to live in, it more than makes up for it when it comes to tuition costs. The universities in Paris are extremely popular with international as well as local recruiters.

  2. London: The second spot on the list was secured by London. London is home to 18 highly ranked universities, two of which are considered to be among the top 10 universities in the world. London also has a very large and diverse student population and it attracts students from around the world. Although it is slightly less affordable compared to other cities, it does have a good reputation with employers. London also has excellent nightlife, great diversity and culture along with impressive educational facilities.

  3. Singapore: Singapore is quickly earning the reputation as one of the best student cities in the world even though it is a very small country with only two very well known universities. Singapore has a very diverse student population and graduates from Singapore universities are highly regarded with employers from around the world. It also offers excellent quality of life. The National University of Singapore is regarded to be among the 25 best universities in the world.

  4. Sydney: Sydney is the top student city of Australia and known for being home to excellent institutions such as the University of Sydney. While it does offer excellent quality of living, it does have high tuition cost and is slightly less affordable for students compared to the other cities in the top 5 list. However, the tuition costs are still lower when compared to most US cities, making it very appealing to students from the US.

  5. Zurich: Zurich not only offers the best quality of living compared to all other cities in this list but it also scores very high in terms of affordability. While the living expenses are quite high, the tuition fees are relatively low. The city is known for its beautiful scenery, its low crime rate, excellent educational infrastructure and its excellent reputation with employers. ETH Zurich in the city has the highest rank of any university outside the UK or US. There may be only two universities in Zurich but both are listed in the global top 100 list.

Acclaimed Engineering Schools

Some of the highest-paying occupations are in engineering. First-year salaries for graduates with bachelor’s degrees in 2013 averaged $63,000, according to the nonprofit National Association of Colleges and Employers. Seven of the 10 college degree programs that result in the most lucrative salaries involve engineering.

Petroleum engineering featured the highest starting pay ($96,200) among all majors in 2013. Beginning computer engineers placed second at $70,300, with engineering majors ranking third at $66,900. Students of aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering and those with degrees in mechanical engineering tied for fourth at $63,900. Graduates in electrical, electronics, and communications engineering netted an average of $62,500. Engineering technology, at $60,900, placed eighth among all occupations.

Engineering jobs pay so well in part because of the significant financial investment in education, and years of hard work, required to become an engineer. Another reason for the high salaries is the shortage of many types of engineers.

Students who are interested in engineering may want to consider the rewards of majoring in one of the discipline’s numerous specialties. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in various engineering fields.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, as well as U.S. News & World Report, have compiled lists of the top schools for engineering majors. Here is a look at the universities receiving the highest marks.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The famed MIT in Cambridge, Mass., ranked at the top of the lists published by the ABET and U.S. News in 2013. That year, 3,163 students were majoring in engineering at the school. The annual tuition for a full-time student was $41,770.

MIT, according to the ABET, has the best aerospace, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering program. The organization also placed MIT at the top for chemical; computer; electrical, electronic, and communications; and mechanical engineering.

Stanford University

Both lists featured California’s Stanford University ranking alongside MIT as the best engineering schools that offer doctorate degrees. Stanford’s engineering enrollment in 2013 was 3,548 students, with a tuition rate of $43,950.

No engineering school has better degree programs for environmental and environmental-health engineering students, according to the ABET. However, Stanford is a tough school to get into, as it accepts fewer than 10 percent of student applicants.

University of California-Berkeley

Tied for first in the ABET rankings and third on the U.S. News list was the University of California-Berkeley. It had an engineering enrollment of 1,837 students and a tuition rate of $11,220 ($26,322 for out-of-staters) in 2013.

UC-Berkeley, which has been called the nation’s best public university, is top-ranked by ABET in civil engineering. It is second in chemical engineering, as well as environmental and environmental-health engineering.

California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, is among the most famous engineering schools. It placed fourth on the U.S. News list. CIT had 587 engineering students and a tuition rate of $38,084 in 2013.

Carnegie Mellon University

Coming in fifth on the U.S. News list was Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Penn. It is renowned for programs in an array of science and engineering fields. The engineering enrollment was 2,857 students, with a tuition rate of $38,900, in 2013.

These are just some of the options for students looking for a good engineering school. The Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University, the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor also have won praise.

According to the ABET, the best undergraduate engineering programs (where doctorates are not available) are at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.; Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif.; and the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

The Online College Database reported that Northwestern University has the most degree programs in engineering. Next on that list are the Missouri University of Science and Technology, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, the Colorado School of Mines, and the University of Southern California.

Money is not the only factor in choosing a major and deciding upon a career. Students are advised to focus on occupations that they enjoy doing. Those who like engineering can pursue their passion and make a lot of money. They may want to consider applying to some of the schools on these lists.