Ecole Normale Superieure PSL: A Nexus Of Academic Excellence & International Recognition

By Cedric Guillerme, Director of International Relations
Ecole Normale Superieure PSL: A Nexus Of Academic Excellence & International Recognition
Cedric Guillerme,Director of International Relations

Cedric Guillerme

Director of International Relations

The higher education scenario in France has undergone significant changes over the past decade, placing universities at the forefront of the country's educational and research framework. The French government has recently pledged to further enhance this transformation by granting greater independence, increased funding, and a pivotal role in the national research strategy to French universities. Students opt for France due to the exceptional quality of education, the nation's vibrant cultural milieu, and abundant opportunities for scholarships and fellowships.

Furthermore, in an effort to enhance international accessibility, recent initiatives have focused on offering more programs delivered in the English language. Universities continue to expand and assume greater responsibility within the higher education landscape. A prime illustration of this progression is exemplified by PSL University, established a decade ago, and now an influential institution in both the French and global academic spheres, with Ecole Normale Superieure as one of its founding members.

Established in 1794, ENS-PSL boasts a rich legacy of delivering exceptional interdisciplinary education intertwined with research, a hallmark of institution, geared towards preparing students for significant leadership roles. “Our establishment maintains a stringent selection process, ensuring that each student receives individualized mentorship from our esteemed faculty.

Emphasizing interdisciplinary education as a cornerstone, we extend an open invitation to international students to explore courses across diverse fields—ranging from physics to philosophy, mathematics to history, economics to cognitive sciences, and beyond”, speaks Cedric Guillerme, Director of International Relations at ENS-PSL.

The degrees conferred by ENS-PSL hold international acclaim, significantly contributing to the successful career trajectories of its graduates. To further support its students, the institute offers a dedicated service aimed at defining their professional aspirations and aiding in their job search. Notably, ENS-PSL institution boasts one of the highest employability rates among French higher education establishments, a metric which the institute is resolutely committed to sustaining.
Fostering Excellence in Research, Academia, & Student Experience
ENS-PSL, situated across two central Paris campuses, provides access to nine specialized libraries and various campus amenities, including accommodation units, restaurants and online resources.

The institution prioritizes international students, implementing multiple initiatives such as departmental mentors, the PSL Welcome Desk, ENS Welcome events, and the Buddy system to integrate them into campus life.

With a strong emphasis on research, ENS-PSL houses advanced research centers and laboratories, exemplified by the QBio project, a global collaboration at the Paris Health Campus. Utilizing the QLab, students engaged in this initiative drive pioneering research in quantitative biology.

Renowned for its faculty and their mentees, ENS-PSL and its research centers hold international acclaim across diverse fields. Notably, the institution has educated 11 Fields medalists and 14 Nobel laureates in various disciplines, leading Nature magazine to recognize ENS as the foremost producer of Nobel laureates globally.

Adhering to PSL University's human resources strategy, ENS recruits high-caliber researchers as professors or lecturers. Consistently lauded by prestigious rankings like THE (Times Higher Education) and QS, PSL University maintains its stature as a topranking institution, securing the leading position among French universities as per THE's evaluations and attaining the 24th spot in global rankings by QS.

Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Industry Collaboration
ENS-PSL endeavors to equip all students with adaptable skills and foster professional growth through a multidisciplinary education combined with a robust emphasis on research and innovation. Encouraging students to leverage research outcomes, the institution supports diverse student research projects and student-founded startups.

Furthermore, ENS-PSL takes pride in being France's foremost institution in producing graduates who have founded prominent tech ‘unicorns’, showcasing the institution's effectiveness in preparing students for success in their respective industries.

Maintaining strong ties with the private sector, ambitious fundraising efforts by the ENS Foundation have co-financed ten research chairs, in collaboration with major industry players.
Additionally, as part of its educational vision, ENS-PSL actively promotes knowledge dissemination, exemplified by the creation of a database containing lectures, conferences, and articles tailored for public access.

“All students and members of our institution have access to seminars and conferences organized by the different departments. In addition to this active intellectual life, the student life at the ENS-PSL has always been exceptionally rich. We have more than 40 student associations and clubs that plan various events in a diverse set of disciplines including arts, sports, debate, and more. With our main campuses situated in the heart of Paris, students also have easy access to cultural events such as concerts and exhibitions”, says Cedric Guillerme.

Charting the Future Roadmap
The institution prioritizes student support and career development, offering various avenues for financial aid and educational opportunities. Most students, selected through competitive exams, receive a monthly grant for several years along with campus housing. An exclusive examination for international students reserves 20 spots, providing successful candidates with a monthly stipend and on-campus accommodation. PSL University features exclusive English-taught, highly selective PhD programs spanning five years, fully funded for promising students aspiring to become top-tier researchers. International Master's or PhD students spending up to a year at ENS can apply for scholarships through French embassies or other grant programs. Furthermore, the ENS Foundation supplements scholarships through donations from generous contributors and alumni networks, enhancing the available financial support for students.

The expansion of education, exemplified by interdisciplinary studies and international exposure, signifies a crucial and fundamental progression for ENS-PSL. The institution is deeply dedicated to fostering intellectual freedom while providing personalized guidance.

“Our institution actively pursues the development of international collaborations, notably exemplified by our participation in the Franco-Indian campus project in Life Sciences for Health (Biosantexc). This project unites the four Ecoles Normales Superieures in France with the seven Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER), positioning us at the forefront of research in life sciences and various scientific domains. Emphasizing the nexus between education and research, this initiative aims to cultivate future experts equipped with cross-cultural competencies, ready to engage in bilateral or multilateral frameworks throughout their professional endeavors”, signs off Cedric Guillerme.
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