France conjures up a distinct set of associations in our collective imagination. From the urbane sophistication and history of its cities, to its legendary food and wine, to the spectacular scenery – think rugged mountains and verdant forests, golden beaches and azure seas, rolling pastures and mighty rivers – everyone has their own idealized conception of France. This is reflected in its status as the world’s most popular tourist destination, according to the United Nations World Tourist Organization.
Perhaps your personal image of France involves its proud intellectual and artistic heritage. This is the nation, after all, which produced thinkers such as René Descartes and Jean-Paul Sartre, authors like Marcel Proust and Albert Camus, filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard and Jean Renoir, and artists like Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne. On top of these names we can add a whole host of scientists, mathematicians and other researchers, whose names may be slightly less familiar, but whose achievements are no less spectacular.
Universities in France
France’s strong academic and artistic tradition continues in the modern day; there are few countries which invest as much in research and education. Global university rankings reflect this; a total of 39 French universities are included in the QS World University Rankings 10 are within the global top 250. The nation’s two leading universities, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris and Ecole Polytechnique Paris Tech, both make the world’s top 55 at 33rd and joint 53rd respectively, cementing their reputations as two of Europe’s and the world’s leading institutions.
In addition to the 39 French universities featured in the QS World University Rankings, France is also known for its strong contingent of specialized business schools. These are not placed in the overall rankings due to their subject-specific focus, but nonetheless enjoy wide-reaching international reputations. Notable examples include ESCP Europe, ESSEC Business School, HEC Paris and INSEAD.
What’s more, tuition fees at the leading universities in France are among the lowest in the world
So is studying in France for you? Well, if you want to attend a high-quality institution at an affordable cost, become fluent in the beautiful and internationally used French language, and generally get to grips with the nation’s famed art de vivre, then the answer could well be “oui”.
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