Top Public Universities in France 2024

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Top Public Universities in France

With international admissions creeping closer, this is the best time to start looking for exciting and affordable universities across the world. France is one of the sought-after study destinations for students planning to study technical specialisations or Fine Arts abroad. With over 3500 academic institutions, France has some of the best public universities that offer high-quality education at affordable tuition costs along with vibrant student life. Read this blog to learn about the best and cheapest public universities in France.

Top Public Universities in France

Public Universities are an excellent source of higher education because of their affordable fee structures, high-quality academic standards and research acumen. Here is a list of public universities in France and their rankings by QS World University Rankings 2024 and THE World University Rankings 2024:

UniversitiesQS World University Rankings 2024THE World University Rankings 2024
Ecole Polytechnique=3833
Sorbonne University5975
Sciences Po319501-600
Université de Paris236
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne328
Université Paris-Sarclay7158
Université Grenoble Alpes294301-350
Université de Starsbourg=421601–800
Université de Bordeaux465351–400
Aix-Marseille Université387351–400

Let’s elaborate more about these public universities in France:

Université de Paris

Founded in 2019 after merging top-notch universities like Paris Diderot, Paris Descartes and Institut de Physique du globe de Paris has emerged as an excellent choice for national and international students. The university hosts over 60,000 students annually and offers an exciting and advanced curriculum for all its courses. It has two types of international programs: Joint Programmes at the undergraduate and graduate levels and Programmes in English or a mix of English and French language. The university covers a host of disciplines such as humanities, languages, human, economic and social sciences, science and technology, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing.

Ecole Polytechnique 

Ecole Polytechnique is a highly coveted public institution for higher studies and research. It was established back in 1794 during the French Revolution and is located in Palaiseau, Paris. The institute is consistently ranked amongst the top world universities by QS for its advanced innovation and research excellence in the field of science and engineering. The institute only enrols 400 applicants which makes it one of the toughest universities to get into. The admissions requirements to their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes vary based on the course. Here are some of their most popular courses Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in various specialisations.

Also Read: Top Scholarships in France

Sorbonne University

One of the most prestigious universities in Europe and Paris; Sorbonne University is a public research institute with several programmes in a diverse number of subject areas to students across the world. The university has three main faculties: Science, Humanities and Medicine. Students are required to sharpen their French language skills as most of their courses are taught in the native mother language. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes in different disciplines such as art, languages, humanities, medicine, science and engineering.

Check Out: France Student Visa

Sciences Po

Another excellent public educational institute is Sciences Po. The university was founded back in 1872 to transform the political landscape of France and educate a new league of politicians. It has an impressive alumni network with political figures like Emmanual Macron and Francois Hollande. The university has 7 campuses spread across France with its main campus situated in Paris. It is a multidisciplinary research institute offering graduate and undergraduate courses in several disciplines such as law, economics, political science, history and sociology.

Must Read: PhD in France

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Université Paris-Sarclay

Centrally located with a robust student life; Paris Sarclay University consistently ranks at the top. Research and innovation-driven university has five major departments Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy, Law-Economics-Management and Sports Sciences offering bachelor, master and doctoral studies to international candidates. Most of the courses offered by Université Paris-Sarclay require a high level of proficiency in the French language yet some courses at the masters level are taught in English.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for admissions to different universities may vary depending upon your degree and course yet there are certain general requirements that all international students must fulfil to seek admissions in France. Let us look at some of the requirements to apply to both private and public universities in France:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid Student Visa
  • Copies of past academic transcripts and other documents like LORs and SOP
  • Proof of funds to support your stay
  • Proof of language proficiency in French or English (TOEFL or IELTS)
  • Scores of standardised tests like the GRE or GMAT

Benefits of Studying in Public Universities in France

From affordable education to varied courses on offer, here are the benefits of studying at public universities in France.

  • Public universities in France are internationally renowned and well-equipped in terms of infrastructure, high – education and post-study opportunities.
  • Public universities generally have subsidised educational programmes which means that students can get reasonable and affordable tuition rates across various subjects. 
  • Scholarship opportunities in France are tremendous and widespread for international students.
  • Public universities offer native language courses for students which means you can gain higher proficiency in the French language while completing your degree.
  • The country allows students to work part-time while studying and also offers a post-study work permit to students who wish to enter the French economic sphere.
  • Easy visa application process and opportunities to explore 26 countries in the Schengen area!

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Are public universities in France free?

Public universities in France are not free but they are very affordable. On average, the annual tuition fees for overseas students range from €200 to €20,000.

Is France a good place for Indians?

Yes, France offers a high standard of life, a welcoming environment, and extensive job opportunities to Indians and other internationals.

Can I survive in France with English?

Yes, you can survive in France even if you don’t know French but knowing the language will make it easier for you to connect with the residents.

This was all about the best public universities in France! Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.

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