University of Paris-Saclay

The University of Paris-Saclay (French: Université Paris-Saclay) is a research university in France. It is part of the Paris-Saclay project, which is a research-intensive academic campus and business cluster being developed on the Plateau de Saclay near Paris, and is expected to become the main center for training and research within the technology cluster of Paris-Saclay.[4][5] The University integrates several leading grandes écoles, leading public universities, and research centers that are part of the world's top research organizations in various fields.[6][7]

University of Paris-Saclay
Université Paris-Saclay
Logo Université Paris-Saclay.svg
Polytech ParisSud.JPG
Danone Saclay.JPG
CEA Saclay.JPG
Institut d'optique Graduate School.JPG
LAL Paris-Saclay.JPG
Siege GSK Paris-Saclay.JPG
EstablishedDecember 29, 2014[1]
PresidentSylvie Retailleau [2]
Academic staff
48°42′42″N 2°10′17″E / 48.7117343°N 2.1712888°E / 48.7117343; 2.1712888Coordinates: 48°42′42″N 2°10′17″E / 48.7117343°N 2.1712888°E / 48.7117343; 2.1712888
CampusParis-Saclay, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Université Paris-Sud

The University System's first academic year started in September 2015.[8] From January 2020, it will replace University of Paris-Sud (Paris XI) and in 2025, Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) and Université d’Évry-Val-d’Essonne (UEVE) will merge with it as well.[9]


The University of Paris-Saclay was established in 2015, with the aim to become a top-ranking, research-focused French university. In order to be recognized as an entity of sufficient size and quality, the university regroups some of the top grandes écoles in France with public universities under a single campus on the Saclay Plateau. Each member institution will remain independent but share a significant portion of existing and newly invested resources. This follows a model similar to the one adopted by University of Oxford and Cambridge, where each constituent college keeps its independence, while being grouped under a 'university'.[5]

According to Dominique Vernay, chairman of the foundation developing Paris-Saclay, the university aims at a top-ten position in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), but "the first goal is to be the top university in continental Europe".[6]

Furthermore, the university aims to contribute to maximizing the economic and business potential of the Paris-Saclay project through research, via university and research spin-offs, as well as industrial research collaboration with established companies.[10]


The University of Paris-Saclay comprises 14 institutions (3 universities, 7 research centers, 4 grandes écoles). It combines resources from the following French universities and grandes écoles, as well as partial resources from various research organizations and the Systematic Paris-Region cluster:[10]

Initially, the community of universities also included five other grandes écoles: École Polytechnique, Télécom Paris, Telecom SudParis, ENSTA Paris and ENSAE Paris. However, due to differences in University set-up, these five schools created their own separate cluster Institut Polytechnique de Paris. This was announced by French President Emanuel Macron during a speech in Paris-Saclay.[11] Both of these clusters plan to co-operate and they engage in organization of several master's degrees with the University of Paris-Saclay.[12]


Name Foundation[13] Field Students
University of Paris-Sud 1971 Science, medicine, economy and law 27,307
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University 1991 Science, social science and life science 19,000
University of Évry Val d'Essonne 1991 Science, social science and life science 10,500

Grandes ÉcolesEdit

Name Foundation[13] Field Students
AgroParisTech 1826 Life sciences 2,420
(École Centrale Paris and Supélec)
1829 and 1894 Science and engineering 4,480
(2,505 and 1,975)
ENS Paris-Saclay 1892 Science 1,360
Institut d'optique Graduate School 1917 Optics 440

Research organizationsEdit

The following research organizations have established research centers within the University of Paris-Saclay. The resources contributed by these organizations will remain largely independent from other member institutions. Once the University of Paris-Saclay is fully integrated, its research centers are expected to achieve a profile similar to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Caltech:

  • CEA (Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission)
  • CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research)
  • Inria (French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation)
  • INSERM (French Institute of Health and Medical Research)
  • Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies)
  • INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Sciences)
  • ONERA (National Board of Study and Aerospace Research)
  • SOLEIL (national synchrotron facility)

Academic programsEdit

Each member school of the University of Paris-Saclay organizes training in a given scientific field. Depending on the needs of their registered program, a student enrolled in a particular school will have access to academic resources from other schools.

The various fields of study available at University of Paris-Saclay are broadly categorized into the following:

  • Biodiversity, Agriculture and Food, Society, Environment (Biodiversité, Agriculture et Alimentation, Société, Environnement) ;
  • Biology, Medicine, Pharmaceutical studies (Biologie, Médecine, Pharmacie) ;
  • Law, Political Science (Droit et Science Politique) ;
  • Humanities (Humanités) ;
  • Engineering, Sciences and Information Technologies (Ingénierie, Sciences et Technologies de l’information) ;
  • Sport and Human Motion Sciences (Sciences du Sport et du Mouvement Humain) ;
  • Basic Sciences (Sciences Fondamentales) ;
  • Social Sciences (Sciences Sociales).

The academic programs in each of the 8 schools is expected to follow the Anglo-American model:[14]

  • Bachelor - The Bachelor's program is provided by the 3 public universities within Paris-Saclay, which are Université Paris-Sud, Université Versailles-Saint-Quentin and Université d'Évry Val-d'Essonne.
  • Master - Master's degrees are taught in both French and English. Altogether, 49 Master's degree are offered.[15]
  • Doctorate - PhD programs are offered through 20 doctoral schools.[8] Doctoral degrees received after September 30, 2015 are awarded under the name "University of Paris-Saclay", with a mention of the student's associated university or grande école.

Research programmesEdit

The University of Paris-Saclay will gather more than 300 research units, organized into 10 departments:[16]

  • Chemistry (Chimie)
  • Electrical engineering, optics and electronics (EOE: Ingénierie électrique, optique et électronique)
  • Mathematics (Mathématiques)
  • Mechanics, energy and physical processes (MEP: Mécanique, énergétique et procédés)
  • Subatomic physics and astrophysics (P2I: Physique des deux infinis)
  • Wave and matter physics (PHOM: Physique des ondes et de la matière)
  • Planetary science and cosmology (SPU: Sciences de la planète et de l'Univers)
  • Life sciences (SDV: Sciences de la Vie)
  • Human and social sciences (SHS: Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société)
  • Information and communication sciences and technologies (STIC: Sciences et technologies de l'information et de la communication).

University rankingsEdit

In an independent simulation performed by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2014, the University of Paris-Saclay scored 39.8 (or 43.2 if all Research Organizations are counted), ranking the university in the 27th position (resp. 21st).[17] On October 19, 2016, the executive director responsible for the annual update and new development of the ARWU visited the Paris-Saclay cluster.[18]

The University of Paris-Saclay will appear in the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) rankings. It replaces University of Paris-Sud (Paris XI) in January 2020 which currently ranks 37 globally.[19]

University rankings
USNWR World[20] 30

University Paris-Saclay was included in the 2019 edition of U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking. University Paris-Saclay was ranked 30 globally, 7th in Europe and 1st in France. It was ranked 1st in Europe for physics (5th internationally) and 1st internationally for mathematics.[21] In the 2020 Edition of the ranking, University Paris-Saclay was downgraded to the 274th position worldwide.[22]

In the future, the Paris-Saclay cluster is expected to help France to secure a space among the world's top ten universities and to bring the French education and research into limelight.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Establishment of Université Paris-Saclay «Décret n° 2014-1674 du 29 décembre 2014»". Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Sylvie Retailleau elected President of Université Paris-Saclay". Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "A World Class University". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
  4. ^ Université Paris-Sud / Zee Agency. "Paris-Sud University is part of Paris-Saclay's project - Université Paris-Sud".
  5. ^ a b c "France plans elite top-10 mega-university". Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  6. ^ a b Staley, Oliver (13 March 2014). "Nations Chasing Harvard Merge Colleges to Ascend Rankings". Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  7. ^ Nic Mitchell "Big is beautiful for merging universities",BBC News,25 November 2015
  8. ^ a b "Creation of University of Paris-Saclay". Universite Paris Sud/.
  9. ^ "Université Paris-Saclay to become one of the LERU members in 2020 | Université Paris Saclay". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  10. ^ a b "Towards Université Paris-Saclay". Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Discours du président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, sur le campus de Saclay". (in French). Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  12. ^ "Institut Polytechnique de Paris officially established". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  13. ^ a b Foundation of the oldest constituent part of the school
  14. ^ "Foundation of University of Paris-Saclay" (PDF). Universite Paris Sud/.
  15. ^ "Masters Programs at Paris-Saclay".
  16. ^ "Various Labs at Paris-Saclay".
  17. ^ "Les COMUE et le classement de Shanghai ARWU 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 21 Sep 2016.
  18. ^ "Visit of the Executive Director of the "Shanghai Ranking" at the Université Paris-Saclay | Université Paris Saclay". Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  19. ^ "University of Paris-Sud (Paris 11) | Academic Ranking of World Universities - 2019 | Shanghai Ranking - 2019". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  20. ^ U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2018
  21. ^ "Best Global Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  22. ^ [1]

External linksEdit