Ever since it was founded, ESPCI ParisTech has been gaining in prestige and status. Evolving from a municipal school established to train industrial production managers, it has achieved the status of a major institute of higher education in science and engineering, which recruits students via the most selective competitive examination in France - an exam in common with École Polytechnique and, since 2011, the Écoles Normales Supérieures (ENS schools).
This steady progress has been maintained by constant focus on scientific excellence in teaching and research alike.
The five Nobel Prize winners associated with the School - Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, and Georges Charpak - are emblematic of the exceptional ethos embodied in the permanent culture of excellence.
ESPCI ParisTech is also the only institute of higher education whose directors have all been inducted into the French Academy of Sciences (apart from Charles Lauth, the visionary chemist, industrialist and founder). From Paul Schützenberger to Jacques Prost, including Paul Langevin and Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, all the directors of ESPCI ParisTech have embodied the ideal of scientific excellence, which is the guiding principle in ensuring the institution’s world-class status.
The unfailing commitment to scientific excellence at ESPCI ParisTech explains the School’s international prestige and position in the global community. In 2010, for the third year running, the Shanghai Ranking" (Academic Ranking of World Universities, ARWU) placed ESPCI ParisTech in the lead among France’s institutions of science and engineering, demonstrating again that the ambition of scientific excellence is a viable, complementary alternative to size and scale in rivaling the world’s top universities.