Sorbonne University Association

  (Redirected from Sorbonne University (alliance))

Sorbonne University Association (French: Association Sorbonne Université) is a group of 10 academic institutions associated with the Sorbonne University. After the fusion between Paris-Sorbonne University and Pierre and Marie Curie University under the name "Sorbonne University" (in French "Sorbonne Université") in 2018[1], the group Sorbonne Universités changed its name to Association Sorbonne Université.

Association Sorbonne Université
Association Sorbonne Université logo.png
PresidentThierry Tuot
Academic staff
(2,900 tenured professors)

The original group was founded in June 2010 by: Panthéon-Assas University, Paris-Sorbonne University, and Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University.[2][3] The latter two merged in 2018 into Sorbonne University and Panthéon-Assas is now an associate member. Other members include INSEAD, the University of Technology of Compiègne, the National Museum of Natural History, and research centers such as the French National Centre for Scientific Research, the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation, and the French Research Institute for Development.

The group comprises nearly 60,000 students annually, of which 5,000 are Ph.D. students.

Members of the group have set up many projects to strengthen relations between them and to create new academic courses and research programs in the fields of science, medicine, law, human and social science, engineering, business management, and arts.

Alumni and faculty include 19 Nobel laureates[4] and 7 Field Medalists.[5]

The group has been granted €130 million by the French government.[6] Its budget was €680 million as of 2012.


The group was founded in June 2010 by, at that time, some of the successors of the University of Paris: Panthéon-Assas University (now an associate member), Paris-Sorbonne University, and Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University.[7][8] The University of Paris, also known simply as the Sorbonne, is the medieval university of Paris that was divided into 13 autonomous universities after the French riots in 1968.

In the early 2000s, to perform on the international scale, these thirteen universities joined forces with public research and higher-education institutions and grandes écoles. In 2006, a French law compelled every university institution to join a university group. This was aimed at forming big university and research clusters able to compete with the best international universities.

In 2010, Sorbonne University formed its first group. Since then, other university institutions have joined, such as the National Museum of Natural History. Panthéon-Assas University left the group in 2013 because it was not happy with the governance of the group and became an associate member in 2014. As of 2015, Sorbonne University was composed of 11 founding members and 11 other associate members.

Like other French university groups, this group is a first step toward a merger of the relevant universities. Paris-Sorbonne University (one of the inheritors of the faculty of humanities of the University of Paris) and Pierre and Marie Curie University (an inheritor of the faculties of science and medicine) merged in 2018 as Sorbonne University. Panthéon-Assas University (one of the heirs of the faculty of law and economics) and University of Technology of Compiègne may merge with it in the years to come.[9]


Founding membersEdit

As of January 1, 2018

Associate membersEdit

As of January 1, 2018


Parisian CampusesEdit

The main campus of Sorbonne University is the historic central Sorbonne building in the Latin quarter, which Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris 4) shares with other universities not included in Sorbonne University. Sorbonne University is also located in the Jussieu Campus, near the Latin quarter. The campus is occupied by Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6). After a long period of restoration, the first half of the new campus was inaugurated in September 2014 with new academic buildings, new dormitories, and a gymnasium.

In Paris, Sorbonne University has the campuses of Sorbonne, Jussieu, Pitié-Salpêtrière, Cordeliers, Saint-Antoine, Trousseau, Tenon, the Paris Institute of Astrophysics, the Vision Institute belonging to the Pierre and Marie Curie University; the Jardin des plantes, the Human paleontology Institute, the Musée de l'Homme, the Paris Zoological Park, properties of the National museum of natural history; the Latin quarter campus, the fr:Centre Clignancourt, the fr:Maison de la recherche, the National institute for art history, the Art and Archeology Institute, the Malesherbes University center, and the Institut d'urbanisme et d'aménagement, all belonging to the Paris-Sorbonne University; the fr:École supérieure d'art dramatique de Paris, the fr:Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Paris, all belonging to the Pôle Supérieur Paris Boulogne-Billancourt

Paris region campusesEdit

Sorbonne University is also located in other numerous places in the Paris region:[10]

National campusesEdit

Location of Sorbonne University establishments - Paris area excluded

Sorbonne University is also located in numerous other places in France:[12]

International establishmentEdit

Thanks to its members, Sorbonne University can benefit from a wide range of international partnerships, both in Europe and worldwide. These partnerships allow academic mobility for students and a broader scientific cooperation for researchers. For example, Sorbonne University is also established in Asia, with one campus in Singapore, residence of INSEAD, and two campuses in Abu Dhabi, both for INSEAD and the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.[13]

Sorbonne University has also formed its own academic partnerships: in Canada;[14] Brazil;[15] Mexico, with UNAM;[16] in China with the Harbin Institute of Technology;[17] and in Singapore, with Nanyang Technological University and the Yale-NUS College.[18]


Members of the group have worked on several projects in order to strengthen relations and potentially create a new international institution. The most famous projects are the "Sorbonne College" (Collège de la Sorbonne) for bachelor's degree teaching and the "Sorbonne Doctoral College" (Collège doctoral de la Sorbonne) for PhD candidates.

The Sorbonne CollegeEdit

Since 2014, the Sorbonne College for bachelor's degree (« Collège des Licences de la Sorbonne ») has been coordinating academic projects of the members of the group. It also offers cross-institutional academic courses in many fields, allowing students to graduate from both institutions. For example, some cross-institutional bachelor's degrees (« double licences ») are proposed to students between Paris-Sorbonne University, Pierre-et-Marie-Curie University, and Panthéon-Assas University, in:

  • Science and History (UPMC / Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Science and Musicology (UPMC / Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Science and Philosophy (UPMC / Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Science and Chinese (UPMC / Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Science and German (UPMC / Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Law and History (Panthéon-Assas / Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Law and Art History (Panthéon-Assas / Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Law and Science (Panthéon-Assas / UPMC)
  • History and Media (Paris-Sorbonne / Panthéon-Assas)[19]

As is the case in the Anglo-American university systems, Sorbonne University proposes a major-minor program that is currently being deployed at Pierre and Marie Curie University.[20]

Sorbonne University, in partnership with INSEAD, also offers all of its alumni and PhD students a professionalizing course in business management, to complete their curriculum.

The Doctoral CollegeEdit

Sorbonne University's graduation ceremony, May 2011

Since 2010, every PhD student is granted an honorary diploma labeled "Sorbonne University". This diploma highlights and gathers the skills of doctors and researchers from the institutions that form Sorbonne University.

The Sorbonne Doctoral College, created in 2013, coordinates the activities of the 26 doctoral schools. Since 2014, it has developed cross-disciplinary PhDs between the different members of the group:

Sorbonne University's doctoral schools
Fields Doctoral school Institution
Énergie, matière, univers Chimie physique & chimie analytique de Paris centre Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Physique et chimie des matériaux Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Chimie moléculaire de Paris centre Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Astronomie et astrophysique Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Sciences de la Terre et physique de l'univers Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Physique en Ile-de-France Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Modélisation et ingénierie Informatique, télécommunications & électronique Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Sciences mathématiques de Paris centre Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Sciences mécaniques, acoustique, électronique et robotique Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Sciences pour l'ingénieur University of Technology of Compiègne
Terre vivante et environnement Sciences de l’environnement Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Géosciences, ressources naturelles et environnement Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Sciences de la Nature et de l'Homme : évolution et écologie National Museum of Natural History
Vie et santé Cerveau, cognition, comportement Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Santé publique & sciences de l’information biomédicale Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Physiologie, physiopathologie et thérapeutique Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Complexité du vivant Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6)
Histoire-Géographie École doctorale de géographie de Paris Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris 4)
Histoire de l’art et archéologie Paris-Sorbonne Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris 4)
Histoire moderne et contemporaine Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris 4)
Mondes anciens et médiévaux Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris 4)
Langues, lettres et civilisations Littératures françaises et comparée Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris 4)
Civilisations, cultures et sociétés Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris 4)
Concepts et Language Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris 4)
Management INSEAD PhD program in management INSEAD

Since 2011, Sorbonne University has celebrated its graduates in a formal ceremony where every PhD graduate wears a scholar's uniform.[21]


To strengthen the influence of its research infrastructures on the international scale, Sorbonne University has developed several research programs aimed at reinforcing or exploring new fields of study. This innovative cross-disciplinary approach was embodied with the creation of four new academic positions, gathering several establishments of the group:[22]

  • A Department of Digital Humanities, exploring the use of digital technologies in the social sciences
  • A Department of Polychromatic Studies of Societies, associating architecture, anthropology, chemical physics, literature, and art history
  • A Department of Digital Health, exploring biomedical tools
  • A Department of 3D Craniofacial Reconstruction

Sorbonne University has also formed, with academic institutions such as the China Scholarship Council or the Brazilian foundation FAPERJ, several partnerships enabling bilateral research programs.

Academic resultsEdit

University rankings
ARWU[23] 35 (PMCU)
THE[24] 103 (PMCU)

Some of Sorbonne University’ members have recently won fame in global and national university rankings.

Global university rankingsEdit

The Academic Ranking of World Universities for 2014-2015 ranks PMCU 35th in the world; 1st French university and 6th university in Europe. In the same edition of the ranking, PMCU is the 4th university for mathematics.[25]

In 2014, Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University was ranked 103rd in the world, 3rd in France, and 29th in the world for physics in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings,[26] while Paris-Sorbonne University is ranked 56th in the world for reputation, 2nd in France.[27]

QS World University Rankings 2015 (world's top 800 universities) ranks Paris-Sorbonne University 1st in France, 36th in the world for arts and humanities (9th for modern languages, 30th for philosophy).

As of 2016, The Financial Times has ranked INSEAD 1st in the world in its Global MBA Rankings.[28]

National university rankingEdit

The main universities and institutions of this group are considered as the first or one of the first universities in their field.

Student lifeEdit

A COSU performance in Paris, March 2014

Since 2010, Sorbonne University has set a goal of optimizing students' living conditions and pooling associative activities of all the students.


Sorbonne University offers financial support to associations or student initiatives that help gather the students of each institution that comprises the group. Among the associations that are currently supported, are:

  • The association Doc’Up, founded in 2006, a students’ union that unites PhD students of every member of the group. The association aims at defending PhD students’ rights within the academic representative assemblies and helping them add value to their curriculum.[29] Since 2007, the association has been organizing a scientific popularization short-film festival called « Les chercheurs font leur cinéma » (« Researchers create cinema »).[30]
  • In 2014, the music festival Imaginarium was founded by students of the UTC[31]

Sorbonne University also supports students' welcoming initiatives at the beginning of the fall term, such as :

  • Les Sorbonnales, a cross-institutional student ball that gathers every student of Sorbonne University. The sixth edition of the ball took place in 2014[32]
  • Since 2012, a welcome week has been organized at Pierre and Marie Curie University[33]


The Jean-Talbot gymnasium

Since 2012, Sorbonne University has organized an eloquence contest called « Fleurs d’Éloquence », during which every Sorbonne University student can compete. 150 students participated in 2015.[34]

Sorbonne University has its own musical ensemble, called Chœur-Orchestre Sorbonne-Universités (Sorbonne University Choir & Orchestra). COSU gathers 250 students, instrumentalists, and vocalists, who perform throughout the school year in concert halls, such as Sorbonne’s Grand Amphitheater, or in other parts of Europe.[35]


Each member of Sorbonne University provides its own range of sporting activities. Nevertheless, the members have recently begun to consolidate their sports facilities following the renovation of the Jussieu Campus: the new Jean-Talbot gymnasium was opened in the fall of 2014, and has since then become the venue for indoor sports.[36]

Sorbonne University team at the 2014 Challenge du Monde des Grandes écoles et universités

Sorbonne University also takes part in student sport competitions, where it competes with other establishments. In 2014, Sorbonne University won 3rd place in the World Championships of Grandes Écoles and Universities, a competition jointly organized by the French Athletics Federation and the Journal of Grandes Écoles and Universities, a French magazine for students.[37]

Notable teachers and alumniEdit

Faculty Nobel Prizes

Gérard Mourou[38] Physics 2018
Serge Haroche[39] Physics 2012
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi[40] Physiology or Medicine 2008
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji[41] Physics 1997
Pierre-Gilles de Gennes[42] Physics 1991
Maurice Allais[43] Economic Sciences 1988
Alfred Kastler[44] Physics 1966
François Jacob[45] Physiology or Medicine 1965
André Lwoff[46] Physiology or Medicine 1965
Jacques Monod[47] Physiology or Medicine 1965
Frédéric Joliot[48] Chemistry 1935
Irène Joliot-Curie[49] Chemistry 1935
Louis de Broglie[50] Physics 1929
Jean-Baptiste Perrin[51] Physics 1926
Charles Richet[52] Physiology or Medicine 1913
Marie Curie[53] Chemistry 1911
Gabriel Lippmann[54] Physics 1908
Henri Moissan[55] Chemistry 1906
Henri Becquerel[56] Physics 1903
Marie Curie[57] Physics 1903

13 Nobel laureates[58] have been faculty members, researchers, or alumni, along with 7 Field Medalists:[59]

Sorbonne University has many notable teachers, some of whom have themselves graduated from the members of the group:

Some Sorbonne University alumni have achieved prominence in many fields, such as politics, sports, or economics :

  • Claude Bartolone, president of the French Assemblée Nationale (PMCU)
  • Ulrich Robeiri, French épée fencer, World Champion in 2014, team Olympic Champion in 2008[63] (PMCU)
  • Marie Gayot, French sprint athlete, 2014 European Athletics Championship 4 × 400 m relay gold medalist[64] (UTC)
  • Robert S. Keane, CEO, Vistaprint (INSEAD)
  • Johann Schneider-Ammann, Swiss minister of Economy (INSEAD)
  • Andrew Noble, 2010 Winter Olympics Alpine Skiing competitor (INSEAD)
  • Bernard de la Villardière, French journalist, radio and TV presenter[65] (CELSA – PSU)
  • Frédéric Beigbeder, French writer and literary critic[66] (CELSA – PSU)


  1. ^ Le Figaro, Le retour de la grande université de Paris
  2. ^ "Universités : Paris 2, 4 et 6 s'unissent". Le Figaro (in French). 2 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Paris 2, 4 et 6 changent de nom". Le Figaro (in French). 25 February 2010.
  4. ^ List of PMCU's Nobel Prize laureates
  5. ^ List of PMCU's Field Medalists
  6. ^ Jay, Clarisse (6 April 2011). "Opération campus : Pécresse distribue les enveloppes à Paris". La Tribune (in French).
  7. ^ "Universités : Paris 2, 4 et 6 s'unissent". Le Figaro (in French). 2 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Paris 2, 4 et 6 changent de nom". Le Figaro (in French). 25 February 2010.
  9. ^ Study International, Consolidation of two elite Paris universities confirmed for 2018
  10. ^ (in French) List of Sorbonne University's establishments
  11. ^ (in French) Inauguration du campus de Bondy, site de l'académie de Créteil Archived 2014-07-03 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ (in French) List of Sorbonne University's establishments
  13. ^ (in French)« La direction de l’Insead quitte la France pour Singapour »
  14. ^ (in French)Bourse de recherche Mitacs Globalink - Sorbonne Universités (2e et 3e cycles) Archived 2015-06-23 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ (in French)Présentation du partenariat avec le Brésil sur le site de Sorbonne Universités
  16. ^ (in French)« Partenariat entre Sorbonne Universités et la plus grande université du Mexique »
  17. ^ (in French)« 11 accords signés à Pékin pour l'enseignement supérieur et la recherche »
  18. ^ (in French)Presentation of the partnership with Singapore, Sorbonne University's website
  19. ^ [Éléad, Les cursus sélectifs des grandes universités parisiennes , les doubles licences
  20. ^ (in French) « La Sorbonne université d’élite et de masse: entretien avec Barthélémy Jobert, président de l’université Paris Sorbonne », Le
  21. ^ (in French) « Sorbonne Universités célèbre ses docteurs... à l'américaine »,, 17 mai 2011
  22. ^ (in French) Presentation of Sorbonne University's new academic positions]
  23. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  24. ^ "World University Rankings 2020". THE Education Ltd. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  25. ^ (in French)« Classement de Shanghaï : les universités françaises maintiennent leur rang »,
  26. ^ World University Rankings 2014-2015
  27. ^ World University Rankings 2014-2015
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ (in French) Les actions de Doc'Up Archived 2015-06-18 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ (in French) « Les chercheurs font leur cinéma, ou les doctorants derrière la caméra »
  31. ^ (in French)« L’Imaginarium Festival remballe satisfait »
  32. ^ (in French) The Sorbonnales' website
  33. ^ (in French) « Rentrée étudiante : les pratiques innovantes des universités et grandes écoles »
  34. ^ (in French) « Les concours d’éloquence, un phénomène persuasif »,
  35. ^ (in French) COSU's website
  36. ^ (in French)[2]
  37. ^ (in French) 2014 Challenge du Monde des Grandes écoles et universités prize list
  38. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018". Nobel Foundation.
  39. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012". Nobel Foundation.
  40. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008". Nobel Foundation.
  41. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1997". Nobel Foundation.
  42. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1991". Nobel Foundation.
  43. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 1988". Nobel Foundation.
  44. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1966". Nobel Foundation.
  45. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1965". Nobel Foundation.
  46. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1965". Nobel Foundation.
  47. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1965". Nobel Foundation.
  48. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1935". Nobel Foundation.
  49. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1935". Nobel Foundation.
  50. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1929". Nobel Foundation.
  51. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1926". Nobel Foundation.
  52. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1913". Nobel Foundation.
  53. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1911". Nobel Foundation.
  54. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1908". Nobel Foundation.
  55. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1906". Nobel Foundation.
  56. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1903". Nobel Foundation.
  57. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1903". Nobel Foundation.
  58. ^ List of PMCU's Nobel laureates
  59. ^ List of PMCU's Nobel Laureates
  60. ^ (in French)« Alain Fuchs, un pédagogue à la tête du CNRS »,
  61. ^ (in French)« Le philosophe Jean-Luc Marion élu à l'Académie française »,
  62. ^ (in French)« L'Abeille et l'économiste, de Yann Moulier Boutang »,
  63. ^ "Ulrich Robeiri, French épée fencer and graduate of UPMC"
  64. ^ (in French)"Marie Gayot, à Compiègne et Miami en attendant Rio",
  65. ^ (in French)"Bernard de la Villardière: anatomie d'un ovni",
  66. ^ (in French)"Le prix Renaudot attribué à Frédéric Beigbeder",

External linksEdit