From Academic Kids

Missing image
The quadrangle at the main ENS building on rue d'Ulm is known as the Cour aux Ernests – the Ernests being the goldfish in the pond.

The École Normale Supérieure (also known as Normale Sup', Normale, ENS, ENS-Paris, ENS-Ulm or Ulm), written École normale supérieure in French is an elite French grande école, whose main campus is located around the rue d'Ulm (Ulm Street) in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.

ENS has annex campuses on Boulevard Jourdan (in Paris) and in Montrouge (a suburb).



Originally meant to train high school teachers through the agrégation, it is now an elite institution training researchers, university professors, and civil servants (as well as highschool teachers, in particular in the humanities). It focuses on the association of training and research, with an emphasis on freedom of curriculum.

Its alumni include eight laureates of the Fields Medal, which is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for the mathematical sciences, as well as Nobel Prize winners in both science and literature.

Apart from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, three other écoles normales supérieures have been established, with similar goals:

As many other grandes écoles, the ENS mostly enrolls its students two or three years after highschool. The majority of them come from prépas (see grandes écoles) and have to pass one of France's the most selective competitive exam. Studies at ENS last 4 year. Many devote the third year to the agrégation which allows them to teach in high schools or universities. ENS-Ulm annually enrolls about 100 students in science and 100 in the humanities. The normaliens, as the students of the ENS are known, keep a level of excellence in the various disciplines in which they are trained. Normaliens from France and other European Union countries are considered civil servants in training, and as such paid a monthly salary, in exchange for an agreement to serve France for 10 years, including those of studies. This exclusivity clause, seldom applied in practice, is redeemable (often by the hiring firm), though.

Apart from the normaliens, ENS also welcomes selected foreign students ("international selection"), who receive a stipend, as well as, selected students from neighbouring universities, to follow the same curriculum. It also participates in various graduate programs and has extensive research laboratories.

The fictitious mathematician Nicolas Bourbaki's "association of collaborators" is based at ENS.

Famous alumni

(Non-exhaustive list.)

  • Humanities

Famous professors

See also

External link

ENS can also refer to studies of society and the environment.

de:École Normale Supérieure fr:École normale supérieure it:École Normale Supérieure ja:高等師範学校 (フランス)


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