French Public Universities, by the Numbers

French Public Universities, by the Numbers

France Universities, the leading force in higher education and research

Our research and higher education institutions


  • 74 universities including 3 universities of technology
  • 4 instituts nationaux polytechniques (specialized engineering schools)
  • 4 instituts nationaux des sciences appliquées (specialized engineering schools)
  • 2 écoles centrales (specialized engineering schools)
  • 16 grands établissements (ministerial charter schools)
  • 8 communautés d’établissements (institutional clusters)
  • 5 French schools abroad

The higher education and research system employs 200,000 people, including 85,111 administrative, technical and supervisory staff and 55,000 research faculty.

France’s leading educational force, serving nearly two million students

  • 1,713,000 students are enrolled in national degree programs in view of obtaining a Licence, Master or Doctorat.
  • 115,900 students are enrolled in a technological degree programs via an Institut universitaire de technologie (IUT)
  • 83,400 students are dually enrolled in preparatory classes for Grandes Ecoles and public universities.
  • 62,000 students are enrolled in Instituts nationaux supérieurs du professorat et de l’éducation, which are national institutes for teacher education
  • 44,900 students enrolled in Grands établissements (ministerial charter schools)
  • Nearly 150,000 students are enrolled in university-based paramedical training

55.8% of students in higher education are in a degree program (Licence, Master or Doctorat) in universities or in an IUT, including:

  • 62% of students enrolled in Licence programs, 35% in Master programs and 3% in doctoral programs
  • 323,300 apprenticeship students (+51.4% of apprentices in 2020/2021)
  • 95,000 diplomas awarded in continuing education

21,000 courses offered on Parcoursup, including 7,500 apprenticeships

France’s leading research and innovation force

  • More than 3000 research laboratories
  • 92,000 instructors, including 55,000 research faculty
  • 71,000 doctoral students, 74.2% of whom receive funding for their thesis
  • 275 doctoral schools
  • 82 Nobel Prizes from French universities and 13 Fields Medals from French universities
  • 1 euro invested in research universities has an economic impact of four euros
  • 16,357 innovative projects detected and analyzed by the 13 Technology Transfer Acceleration Companies

Support for success

  • 720,000 students with scholarships in 2021-2022, i.e., 38% of the student body
  • 5,303 students have student-entrepreneur status in 2021
  • 170,864 university housing units
  • 90% of post-secondary students with disabilities chose to enroll in universities (Licence, Master, Doctorat)
  • 450,000 students take part in university sports, including 50,000 who participate competitively

→ Record broken for professional integration
90% of Master program graduates are employed 30 months after graduation (figure published in 2021)

An institution that attracts people from all over the world

  • 1st French-speaking destination for foreign students
  • 240,000 visiting international students participate in French university degree programs (Licence-Master-Doctorat) each year, 24% of whom come from the European Union
  • Nearly 7 out of 10 internationally mobile students choose to enroll in university programs.
  • 40% of doctoral students are foreign nationals

There are more than 30,000 agreements signed between France Universités’
member institutions and foreign universities.

A rich and attractive heritage

  • 18 million square meters of real estate, i.e. 20% of the State’s real estate assets.
  • More than 700 university libraries
  • 38 university museums and museum collections
  • 870 works of art present on the campuses, as part of the 1% art program
  • University campuses feature works of renowned artists such as Victor Vasarely, Alexander Calder, François Morrelet, and Alain Kirili.



  • “Etat de l’enseignement supérieur, de la recherche et de l’innovation”, DGSIP / mai 2022
  • « Les chiffres clés », Campus France – juin 2022
  • Dossier de presse de rentrée 2022 du ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche
    Chiffres des SATT au 1er janvier 2022
2 million
research laboratories
Nobel prize winners