Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
École Normale Supérieure
The École Normale Supérieure (also known as Normale Sup', Normale, ENS, ENS-Paris, ENS-Ulm or Ulm) is an elite French grande école, whose main campus is located around the rue d'Ulm (Ulm Street) in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.
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.
Apart from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, three other écoles normales supérieures have been established, with similar goals:
- École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (sciences),
- École Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines (humanities),
- École Normale Supérieure de Cachan (applied sciences, foreign languages, technical studies).
The normaliens, as the students of the several 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.
Each year, there are about 100 normaliens students enrolled in the sciences, and 100 in the humanities.
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.
- Louis Pasteur
- Nobel Prize holders
- Fields Medal holders (all French holders of the Fields medal were educated at the École Normale Supérieure)
- André Weil
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