10 Best Colleges in France | 2022

10 Best Colleges in France | 2023

10 Best Colleges in France: From Grand Ecoles to Research Colleges and Universities, France offers a variety of educational options. There are many top law schools, business schools, colleges, engineering schools, medical and nursing schools in the world. 

You may be considering where to further or start your education, in which case you should consider studying in France for a Master’s, Bachelor’s, Ph.D., or Associate’s degree. Additionally, they can help you attain the job of your dreams. 

Postgraduate studies in France are considered to be among the best in Europe. Students from abroad and domestically can benefit from higher-quality education, accountability, and a proper education system. 


How do French colleges rank internationally? What are the best universities in France? 

In this post, you’ll find out about the best colleges in France, their history, international rankings, and more.

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Why Should I Study in France?

Studying in France is a good idea because it comes with good university quality education and research facilities. They are also accommodating to international students and offer after studies opportunities worth going for. 

Even as most of these universities are appropriate, it’s still advisable to know where they rank in the worldwide academic ranking of universities, just to be certain.

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Which college in France is considered the best?

France has so many best universities that provide quality education for its students up to their undergraduate level. They also go further to give other degrees and certificates in Masters, Doctorate, and Associate programs. 

Currently, Paris Sciences et Lettre- PSL Research University Paris is considered the best university in France. It is a collegiate university consisting of 25 research and higher education institutions in the Paris area as well as three national research colleges.

What are the hardest French universities to get into?

It is not easy to get into certain French universities; they require hard work and dedication.


The high acceptance rates of these institutions and other requirements make them difficult to get into. 

Some of these universities include Sorbonne University, American University of Paris, University of Paris XIII, University of Rouen Normandie, University of Nantes, University of Angers, University of Paris-South XI, and many others. 

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Best Colleges in France

1. Sorbonne University 

The Sorbonne University is a public, non-profit coeducational research university in France with the motto, “creators of the future”. In 2018, Paris-Sorbonne University merged with Pierre et Marie Curie University and several smaller institutions to form this university. 

Its legal status was introduced in 2018 and it is based in Paris. In addition to being one of the top universities in France, Sorbonne University is also a prestigious university that is well recognized in England. The Sorbonne College’s main existence dates back to 1257 when Robert de Sorbon established the institution. 

The university was established as part of the Medieval University of Paris. As of 2021, the alumni and professors of this university have represented the university outstandingly and won 33 Nobel prizes, one Turing award, and 6 field metals. The university is said to have over fifty-five thousand six hundred students (55,600). 


Sorbonne University is ranked as one of the best universities in Europe. The university received recognition after it appeared first in France and 29th in the world in the CWUR world university rankings for the year 2018-2019.

2022 International ranking: 88

 University Website: www.sorbonne-universite.fr/en


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2. Paris-Saclay University

This is also a public research college located in Paris. It is the main center for research and various training in Paris-Saclay. This university is part of the project: Paris-Saclay which is being developed near Paris, on the plateau de Saclay. 

The project is a research-intensive academic campus and business cluster project, providing the opportunity to promote and carry out more research. Paris-Saclay University is made up of several French leading colleges, faculties, and research centers which are all part of the world’s best research organizations in different fields. 


The university offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate programs. University Paris-Saclay is known to produce distinguished mathematics scholars who have won a total of 12 medals. 

Based on the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranking, Paris-Saclay University was ranked 13th. The university ranked first in math, 9th in physics, 25th in medicine and agriculture.

2022 International ranking: 117


University Website: www.universite-Paris-saclay.fr 

2. University of Paris

The University of Paris is one of the public researches the University of Paris in France. In 1970, the University of Paris divided and as a result, two universities namely Paris Descartes (Paris V) and Paris Diderot merged to form the then known university of Paris. 

This merging took place due to a decree on 20 March 2019. Other institutions such as the institute de physique and globe de Paris became part of the component of the institution. At Boulevard Saint-Germain, in the 6th arrondissement lies the university headquarter at the heart of Paris. 


According to Times Higher Education, in 2021, the University of Paris ranked 14th young university among the best colleges in France and worldwide, and according to the Shanghai ranking, it ranked 65th. The University of Paris has over 3,000 administrative staff, 4,500 academic staff, and over 64,100 students.

2022 International ranking: 155

University Website: www.u-paris.fr


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4. University of Aix-Marseille (AMU)

AMU is a public research college in France located in the Provence region of Southern France. The university was called the University of Provence when it was first established through the petition of Louis II of Anjou, Count of Provence to the Pisan Antipope Alexander V. 

The University of Aix-Marseille came to existence as a result of the merger between three different universities; the University of Provence, Paul Cezanne University, and the University of the Mediterranean. After the merger, the merger was not effective until 2012, thus creating the largest university in the French-speaking world, with about 80,000 students. 


The University of Aix-Marseille has the largest budget of any academic institution in the French-speaking world at about £750 million. The university has about 4,273 academic staff, over 4,107 administrative staff, and 2,448 doctoral students. 

The university comprises five main campuses located in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille and headquarters located at the Pharo, Marseille. Also, AMU owns and operates other facilities in areas such as Arles, Aubagne, Avignon, Digne-les-Bains, Gap, La Ciotat, Lambesc and Salon-de-Provence.

The university has lots of teaching, research partnerships, and close collaborations with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). 


2022 International ranking: 301

University Website: www.univ-amu.fr

5. University of Montpellier

Regarded as one of the best colleges in France, this public research university is located in Montpellier, southeast of France. It is one of the oldest universities in the world established in 1220 (802 years ago). The university has over 41,000 students, 1,900 academic staff, and 1,700 doctoral students. 


In 1970, the University of Montpellier was split into three universities; the University of Montpellier 1, the University of Montpellier 2, and Paul Valery University of Montpellier 3. In 2015, the University of Montpellier 1 and the University of Montpellier 2 merged back together to form the University of Montpellier while the third university (Paul Valery University, Montpellier 3) remained a separate university.

2022 International ranking: 301

University Website: www.umontpellier.fr


6. University of Strasbourg

The University of Strasbourg is located in Strasbourg, Alsace; France. With over 52,000 students, 2,265 doctoral students, and 3,300 researchers, it is one of France’s most prestigious public research colleges. 

The University of Strasbourg was established on 1st January 2009 after the merger of three other universities; Louis Pasteur University, Marc Bloch University, and Robert Schuman University. Strasbourg University is ranked the best in the League of European Research Universities with as many as two field medal winners and 19 Nobel laureates. 

2022 International ranking: 501


University Website: www.unistra.fr

7. University of Bordeaux

The University of Bordeaux is a public university founded in June 1441 in France. It was newly established in January 2014 following the merger of three universities. 

In recognition of the university’s innovative academic transformations, it was one of the first universities in France to receive the “initiative of excellence” label in 2016. The university goes by the motto: sit Lumine illustrates millennia and constitutes the community of universities and higher education institutions of Aquitaine. 


It is one of the two universities with Bordeaux Montaigne University. The university has over 54,000 students and 4,000 academic staff. As a result of its high quality academic courses and research, the university has been ranked among the top colleges in France.

2022 International ranking: 301

University Website: www.u-bordeaux,com/index.html


8. Paris Sciences et Lettres University

PSL Research University is a public research university in central Paris established in 2010 but formally made a university in 2019. This university is a collegiate university having 11 constituent schools with its main sites at the Jourdan campus, Porte Dauphine, Carre Richelieu, and the Latin Quarter. 

PSL offers awards on Bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. diplomas for its constituent’s institutes. The university has over 17,000 students and 2,900 academic staff. 

In 2021, PSL university ranked 38th globally by the rankings of the academic ranking of the world university, 44th by QS world university rankings, and 46th by the times higher education world university rankings. The university majors in Science, Engineering, Fine art, Performing arts, Humanities, and Social sciences.


2022 International ranking: 201

University Website: www.PSL.eu/en

9. University of Lille (U Lille)

U Lille is a pluri-disciplinary public university situated in Lille, Hauts-de-France. The University of Lille originated from the University of Douai in 1559. 


Three universities merged in 2018, namely Lille 1 University of Science and Technology, Lille 2 University of Health and Law, and Charles de Gaulle University-Lille 3. Together, they formed the University of Lille. 

The University of Lille is one of the largest French-speaking colleges in France and worldwide with over 74,000 students. The university has 3,300 academic staff, 6,700 administrative staff, and over 1,800 doctoral students. 

The university is one of the major constituents of the Community of Universities and Institutions (COMUE) Lille Nord de France. The university has 66 research labs that are well equipped to perform any research analysis.


 Also, the university supports about 350 PhDs per year and 3,000 scientific publications. The French government labeled as an initiative for science innovation territories economy the college in 2017.

2022 International ranking: 501

University Website: https://www.univ-lille.fr



10. Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon (ENS de Lyon/ENSL)

This university is a Grand Ecole located in the City of Lyon. It is one of the four prestigious Ecoles Normales Superieures colleges in France established in 1880 but became recognized properly in 2010. 

The school is made up of arts and science academic units with its campus located in Lyon. The college goes by the motto: education through research, for research. Students from this university are privileged to enjoy a special civil servant status in the wake of any highly competitive examinations, only if they pursue careers in public service. 

In 2016, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ENSL as the 5th best small university in the world.


2022 International ranking: 301

University Website: www.ens-Lyon.EU


Advantages of Studying in France

France is known for its stunning architecture, tourist destination, beautiful cities, and most of the world-class universities. There is an education structure that seems attractive to students from around the world, in particular Indian students, as well as an affordable education system. 


Below are a few advantages of studying in France for both international and national students:

1. Society

In France, there’s a multicultural society with a mix of all major nationalities. When you are around a group of individuals with different ideas and thoughts, you can be exposed to certain aspects, ideas, and thoughts about people.

All in all, you learn quite a bit from this group of people as a result of your interaction and involvement with them.


2. Affordable and Quality Education

Of course, it’s nothing new that France provides quality and affordable world-class education for aviation, management, engineering, business, tourism, and many more.

They have the main focus of enhancing their education system and this has made them outstanding and attractive to be considered an option by most students.

3. Emphasis on research and development.

France stands out as having one of the best research and development institutions.


They invest quite a lot in developing their institutions to that aspect and gained a top rank in the recent world’s best research universities. 

4. Courses

Studying in France doesn’t entail that you must know how to speak French before you do can enroll.

Some universities use English as their main language when educating their students in France and also most of these institutions offer English-related courses you can choose from to study.



Are there dorms at some French colleges?

Yes, there is public student housing called Cities U. These are dorms made available to international students and French students alike.

What is the best degree to study in France?

Most of the degrees are considered best to study but a top degree to study is management. This degree has various fields such as Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, Project Management, and General Management.

How much do dorms cost in France?

Student dorm accommodation prices in France range from 200-400 EUR per month depending on your location of study.


Is college expensive in France?

Depending on the level of education, tuition fees in France can be relatively low when compared to that of most countries.

What are the most prestigious colleges in France?

France has some of the world’s prestigious colleges; above are a few of the listed ones to look into.


The city of France is a popular destination for business, tourism, education, and more. Students from around the world tend to seek out quality education in this prosperous city. 



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