QS Rating 2023: French universities are making progress, led by PSL

The new edition of the QS ranking of the best universities in the world has been published. In all, 32 French universities appear in the global ranking led by Université PSL and Institut Polytechnique de Paris, which remain in the top 50.

French universities continue to climb the international rankings. PSL University (Paris Sciences & Lettres) is ranked 26th in the new QS 2023 university rankings. With an increase of 18 places, the PSL maintains its place as the leading French university in the rankings. This is followed by the Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris) which ranks 48th in the world, then the University of Sorbonne (60th) and the University of Paris-Saclay (69th).

In all, 32 French universities appear in the global ranking of the best universities in the world.

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An excellent student-employee relationship for Université PSL

The QS rating is based on six criteria (see box). Université PSL stands out for offering students access to professors and tutors with a very good student-staff ratio. It has the highest teacher/student ratio in France.

In turn, the Institut Polytechnique de Paris appears as a the most renowned institution in the country among employers, according to the QS Employer Reputation Survey. The progression of the University of Sorbonne is justified by its very good academic reputation. Gets the highest score by the French bank in the academic reputation category of the QS.

Experimental universities pull France up

Of the 32 universities ranked this year, 13 establishments progress while 9 lose positions such as the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne (300th) or the University of Strasbourg (433rd). These are mainly French university mergers that maintain their upward trajectory. “The new scenario of French higher education and research is beginning to establish itself better at an international level”, observes Daniel Egret, responsible for referencing and evaluating the PSL.

As confirmed by Ben Sowter, senior vice president of QS: “the progress of some of the newest institutions in the country indicate that France’s commitment is starting to bear fruit.” The budget of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for 2022 has seen a remarkable increase of more than 700 million euros.

Furthermore, the QS ranking shows that France is particularly efficient in terms of international cooperation. “In fact, two of the top five universities in the world in the international research category are French”, analyzes Ben Sowter. The Sorbonne and PSL rank 4th and 5th worldwide in this category. The Sorbonne has produced 59% of its scientific production in the last five years with cross-border collaborators, while for PSL it is 62%.

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French top 10 of the QS 2023 ranking

world ranking University
26 PSL University
48 Polytechnic Institute of Paris
60 Sorbonne University
69 Paris-Saclay University
111 Lyon Normal School
174 Ecole des Ponts ParisTech
247 University of Paris
258 political science
300 University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
317 University of Grenoble-Alpes

MIT remains at the top of QS 2023 rankings

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) remains for the 11th consecutive time at the top of the rankings, followed by the University of Cambridge which climbs the rankings. Stanford University completes the podium.

The best university in Europe is in Switzerland: is ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in ninth place (-1 place).

Ranking of the top 10 global QS

Classification University Country
1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States
two Cambridge University UK
3 Stanford University United States
4 Oxford University UK
5 Harvard University United States
6 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) United States
7 Imperial College London UK
8 UCL (University College London) UK
9 ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Swiss
10 University of Chicago United States

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