In terms of higher education and research, Île-de-France is the region of all records. It is – by far – the richest in number of students and the most comprehensive in terms of training courses. Whatever your choice of orientation, you’ll find the right shoe there.
In 2020, the Île-de-France region received 734,000 students, i.e. more than a quarter of the French student population , including 125,000 international ones. It is home to the top four French universities in the Shanghai ranking (Paris-Saclay, Sorbonne University, PSL and University of Paris). And it concentrates 41% of the national workforce of researchers.
🇧🇷All areas of training and research take place there, at levels of excellence. In terms of volume and influence, it is without a doubt the flagship region,” says Bénédicte Durand, Vice-Chancellor for Higher Education, Research and Innovation at Île-de-France.
Paris, leader in the region
The offer is spread over three academies: Paris, Créteil and Versailles. The Parisian academy alone gathers no less than half of the students from the Ile-de-France region, against 29% from Versailles and 22% from Créteil.
They also present a very contrasting training offer🇧🇷 If the capital has 48% of university students and 55% of prep students, Versailles (Southern Arc) graduates one in four engineering students. As for Créteil (northern arch), it has 44% of vocational training students.
Fifteen universities link Île-de-France
the region matters 15 universities, most of which are multidisciplinary🇧🇷 “They are all scattered across the territory: there is no academic desert”, says Bénédicte Durand.
Thus, the Parisian universities – Sorbonne University, Paris Cité, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne – have several dozen establishments each in Paris, but also for some in other cities of the Île-de-France, which is the case of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne which has three seats outside the capital.
The other universities in Ile-de-France are not left out. CY Cergy Paris University is present on ten campuses, mainly in Val-d’Oise, while Gustave Eiffel University is located in Marne-la-Vallée (77), but also in Paris. “These two universities are also the forefront of environmental and land use planning“, specifies Bénédicte Durand.
Paris-Saclay University, meanwhile, has five campuses south of Paris. She is considered aan area of scientific excellencewith the first mathematics school in Europe (experimental area, life sciences, medicine, etc.), according to the dean responsible for higher education. Associated with this establishment, the Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) is dispatched to five municipalities in Yvelines.
Other universities mesh in the Ile-de-France region such as Paris-Est Créteil-Val-de-Marne with its seven locations in Créteil (94) and its three campuses in the southeast of Paris, Paris-Nanterre also located in La Défense (92) or Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis and Sorbonne Paris Nord – Paris 13, which have respectively three and five campuses in Seine-Saint-Denis.
Other universities are more specialized, such as Paris-Dauphine – PSL specializing in administration, law, economics and social sciences, Paris-Panthéon-Assas whose expertise revolves around law, economics and management, human and social sciences or the Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 focused on human and social sciences.
About forty general or specialized engineering schools
Many engineering schools are also located on the Île-de-France, either through a historic campus or through a branch. Among public engineering schools, some are generalist, such as ENSAM, Mines Paris, CentraleSupélec, Ponts ParisTech or the Institut Polytechnique de Paris – a grouping of Ecole polytechnique, ENSTA ParisTech, ENSAE ParisTech and the Institut Mines-Télécom – on the Saclay plateau (91).
Others are specialized, such as Chimie ParisTech, the Graduate School of Physics and Industrial Chemistry of the City of Paris, AgroParisTech or the National Graduate School of Computing for Industry and Business. 🇧🇷Specialization is more common among consular or private schoolsmore focused on the logic of the market”, deciphers Bénédicte Durand.
Among them we find the Graduate School of the Institute of Optics, the Graduate School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering or the Graduate School of Aeronautical Techniques and Automotive Construction.
Île-de-France, an important location for business schools
In addition to dozens of private, qualification or diploma courses, the region brings together five of the best business schools: HEC, ESSEC, ESCP Europe, Insead. Other more accessible management schools are also present, such as ISC Paris, PSB and Ipag.
Most of its regional counterparts also have a branch there, such as Ieseg, Edhec, EM Normandie, Skema, Neoma… “Economic and transport platform with international visibility, Île-de-France really is the premier place for business schools”supports Bénédicte Durand.
With regard to journalism schools, theregion is full of high-level courses : Journalism Training Centre, Practical Journalism Institute, CELSA, etc.
Training in art and architecture schools
The region also offers around twenty schools of art and architecture. Learner actors can, for example, go to National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts 🇧🇷 future jugglers, for Academia Fratellini (circus arts); musicians and dancers, to the center of higher artistic education in Paris-Boulogne-Billancourt.
Aspiring filmmakers have National School for the Professions of Image and Sound – La Fémisor the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière. Designers and creatives will be able to open the door to the National School of Decorative Arts or to one of the four schools of applied arts in the city of Paris: Olivier-de-Serres, Boulle, Duperré or Estienne.
AND heritage enthusiaststhe Ecole du Louvre, the National Institute of Art History or the National Heritage Institute.
In terms of architecture schools, the list is long with several public schools such as EAVT, ENSAPLV, ENSAPB, ENSAPM, ESA and ENSAPVS, ENSAV and ENSPV (training as a landscape architect).
Prestigious schools in Paris
The region has a multitude prestigious public establishments such as the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, the Practical School of Advanced Studies, the National School of Charters, the ENS Paris and Paris-Saclay, the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, etc.
Paris is also home to the most highly regarded Sciences Po, as well as that of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (78). A third should see the light of day in September 2023 in Fontainebleau.
island of france also offers different specialized trainingsuch as the National Veterinary School, social work schools (EPSS, ETSUP, INSHEA, IRTS), sports training (Ileps, Insep) and even philosophy and religion schools (IPC, ICP, Protestant Institute of Theology).
Despite its biggest hurdle – the cost of living and housing – the attractiveness of island of france don’t be denied🇧🇷 “You can find everything there”, sums up Bénédicte Durand. “Including spaces of calm and preserved environment, less than an hour from the capital. In short, this ‘Grand Paris’ of higher education and research is a land of all possibilities.”
 Source: MESRI, Strater-Stratom 2022