École normal supérieure (Paris)

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Logo of the École Normale Supérieure

The École normal supérieure de Paris (also ENS Paris , ENS Rue d'Ulm or ENS Ulm for short ) is a university on Rue d'Ulm in the Latin Quarter of Paris . It is one of the most prestigious grandes écoles in France and one of the best universities in Europe; If the focus in international rankings is placed on universities with fewer than five thousand students, the ENS ranks as the second best university in the world behind the California Institute of Technology .

The ENS was founded in 1794 with the primary aim of training for research and teaching at high schools and universities . Two other Écoles normales supérieures emerged in the 19th century, the ENS Lyon and the ENS Cachan . The university has a total of 13 Nobel Prize winners (including eight in physics), eleven Fields Medal winners and half of all recipients of the Medal of Merit of the Center national de la recherche scientifique , several hundred members of the Institut de France and numerous politicians and presidents as alumni .

As part of the Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres (including the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) or the Collège de France ), it is also counted as the best university in France.


Cour aux Ernests (university courtyard)

As at other Grande écoles, admission to the ENS does not take place immediately after graduating from high school ( Baccalauréat ). Rather, those interested have to complete two subsequent years of school in so-called preparatory classes ( Classe préparatoire ), which prepare for the extremely selective selection process ( Concours ) of the ENS. Every year, 100 scientists and 100 humanities scholars are selected and accepted from around 6,000 applicants. Upon admission to the ENS Paris, the élèves normaliens receive a civil servant-like status including a salary, and, provided they do not fail the final exams, they have the right to lifelong employment in civil service as senior civil servants, in scientific institutes or as university lecturers. Many alumni also move to well-paid posts in the private sector. The majority of the pupils still come from an educated middle class; Sometimes studying at the ENS is a family tradition spanning several generations. The reason for this is that these parents make sure to first place their children in one of the schools from which one is taken on to one of the few preparatory classes from which the ENS actually recruits.

In contrast to many other grandes écoles, the ENS was and is essentially a boarding school or student residence. After acceptance, the students begin a course of their choice at one of the Paris universities. However, they are additionally supported through scientific and cultural events at the ENS, internships at research institutions, stays abroad and much more. Only since the 1970s have there been courses in the natural sciences that mainly take place at the ENS itself (magistère interuniversitaire). After a shortened undergraduate degree and a stay abroad, students can take modules from the lectures of various DEA programs at other Paris universities in order to achieve the maîtrise. In the course of the Bologna Process , the graduates also receive a master’s degree together with the ENS diploma, which is awarded jointly with a Paris university and is internationally recognized.

Famous alumni

The former students of the ENS Rue d'Ulm and the former École normal supérieure de jeunes filles in Sèvres, which were merged in 1985, include thirteen Nobel Prize winners and eleven winners of the Fields Medal (the year of admission in brackets):

The Scuola Normale di Pisa

Partner universities

The university operates numerous international partner agreements with well-known universities, primarily with the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa , which was founded in 1810 as a subsidiary of Napoléon Bonaparte , but later became independent. A close partnership agreement has existed between the two universities since 1988, in which half of each year class spends the year either in Pisa or in Paris.

In addition, there are partnership agreements with the universities of Beijing , Berlin (FU), Cambridge , Oxford , Edinburgh , Dublin (Trinity College), ETH Zurich , Geneva , McGill-Montréal , Berkeley , Columbia , Cornell , Harvard , Princeton , Stanford , Tulane and Yale .


In the most famous international rankings, the university is usually included in the top hundred universities in the world, and is also considered the best university in France:

See also

Web links

Commons : École normal supérieure  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ARWU World University Rankings 2017 | Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 | Top 500 universities | Shanghai Ranking - 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017 .
  2. Ecole normal supérieure, Paris . In: Top Universities . July 16, 2015 ( topuniversities.com [accessed December 17, 2017]).
  3. The world's best small universities 2016 . In: Times Higher Education (THE) . January 25, 2016 ( timeshighereducation.com [accessed December 17, 2017]).
  4. ^ Prix ​​Nobel | ENS. Retrieved December 18, 2017 (French).
  5. ^ Médailles Fields et prix Abel | ENS. Retrieved December 18, 2017 (French).
  6. ^ Médailles d'or du CNRS | ENS. Retrieved December 18, 2017 (French).
  7. ^ Paris Sciences et Lettres - PSL Research University Paris. February 4, 2020, accessed June 18, 2020 .
  8. Storia | SNS. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011 ; Retrieved December 17, 2017 (Italian).
  9. ^ ENS Paris: ENS - partner universities. Retrieved December 17, 2017 (French).
  10. ^ World University Rankings . In: Times Higher Education (THE) . August 18, 2017 ( timeshighereducation.com [accessed December 18, 2017]).
  11. ARWU World University Rankings 2017 | Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 | Top 500 universities | Shanghai Ranking - 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017 .
  12. QS World University Rankings 2018 . In: Top Universities . June 5, 2017 ( topuniversities.com [accessed December 18, 2017]).