There are 83 public sector universities in France: they are funded by the State, which applies a very strict procedure for approval of the national diplomas they award. This makes it possible to offer an excellent standard of education at a remarkably modest annual cost. The universities teach all disciplines.

The French universities receive 80% of students, out of which 10% are foreigners. Located throughout the French territory, these universities encompass many different cultures and lifestyles.


Universities are the place where the fundamental part of public research is developed in France. There, the level of education is very high. Therefore, the most recent Nobel Prizes of science have been allocated to students from these universities.

France has adopted a “National Strategy of Research and Innovation” that defines the research priorities over a six-year period, in order to best meet the challenges of knowledge, technology and society.

The ten strategic directions for the period 2014/2020 are as follows :

  • Sober resource management and climate change adaptation
  • Clean energy, safe and effective
  • Industrial Renewal
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Food security and demographic challenge
  • Transport and sustainable urban systems
  • Information and communication Society
  • Innovative, integrative and adaptive companies
  • A spatial ambition for Europe
  • Liberty and security of Europe, of its citizens and its residents

More than 300 research-oriented graduate schools hosted by 62 000 teachers/researchers, provide the necessary education for research by working closely with more than 1200 research laboratories.


The curriculums offered by the universities are every year more exposed to the professional field. More and more students today complete trainings and internships during their university studies (about 30% of students, and 60% of Master 2 students).

All universities have adopted internship programs and are equipped with a Professional Placement Office responsible for offering students an internship placement service as well as assistance with their career choices.