The École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay (also ENS Paris-Saclay or Normale Sup’ Paris-Saclay), formerly ENS Cachan, is a grande école and a constituent member of Paris-Saclay University. It was established in 1892. It is located in Gif-sur-Yvette within the Essonne department near Paris, Île-de-France, France.
ENS Paris-Saclay is one of the most prestigious and selective French grandes écoles. Like all other grandes écoles, this elite higher education institution is not included in the mainstream framework of the French public universities. Along with the École normale supérieure (Paris), ENS Lyon and ENS Rennes, the school belongs to the informal network of French écoles normales supérieures, forming the top level of research and education in the French higher educational system.
In 2014, ENS Paris-Saclay became a founding member of the Paris-Saclay University, an initiative to integrate and combine resources from a number of different grandes écoles, public universities, and research institutions.
The school moved in 2019 to a new campus located in the commune of Gif-sur-Yvette on the Saclay plateau, France’s “Silicon Valley,” where it will be near other members of the Paris-Saclay research-intensive and business cluster.
The main mission of ENS Paris-Saclay is to train world-class academics, but it is also a starting point for public administrative or private executive careers. It recruits mostly from the very competitive “classes préparatoires” (see also Grande École). Students of the ENS Paris-Saclay who passed the entrance exam are civil servants and are known as “normaliens”. Normaliens are paid a monthly salary (around 1300 €) by the French government, and are required to have an academic career or work for a French public administration for six years after their four-year curriculum at the ENS is completed. ENS Paris-Saclay also recruits other university students; the latter are not required to work for a French public administration but are not paid either.
Students follow the standard university curriculum (Licence, Master, and most of the time PhD). They are encouraged -though it is not mandatory- to take then the Agrégation competitive examination.
There are 17 departments : the scientific departments of Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Fundamental Physics, Chemistry; the engineering departments of Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering; Economics and Management, Social Sciences, Languages, Design.
ENS Paris-Saclay cooperates with many foreign universities, for example in student exchange programs. One of them is MONABIPHOT developed in cooperation with Wrocław University of Technology in Poland, Complutense or Carlos III University of Madrid in Spain, MIT, Oxford, Humboldt.