École Polytechnique and HEC Paris are two of the most prestigious French higher education institutions and stand amongst the most sought-after “grandes écoles” (the French higher education elite institutions).
Founded in 1784, École Polytechnique (familiarly called “l’X”) is possibly the oldest Engineering/STEM higher education in the world. Its model, which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology, subsequently inspired the foundation of many other institutions worldwide. Despite its small size—being a very selective institution, École Polytechnique has fewer than 3,000 students—École Polytechnique counts 3 Nobel Prize winners, 1 Fields Medal winners and 3 French Presidents amongst its alumni. Besides being the top-ranked engineering institution in France, École Polytechnique is currently ranked 4th in the world amongst universities of its class in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 4th in the world in the Fortune 500 Alma Mater ranking, 6th in the world for Graduate employability, and 6th in the world in Nature’s Nobel Prize per alumni ranking.
HEC Paris, founded in 1881 and, as such, one of the oldest Business Schools in the world, has been consistently ranked as one of the best business schools in the world. Ranked 2nd best European business school in the FT rankings, its Master in Management programme has been ranked 2nd best worldwide for many consecutive years. Its pre-experience master in Finance as well as its MBA are ranked 1st by the Financial times for several years on the row and by the Economist. Its full-time MBA is ranked 4th by the Economist. It is ranked first by the Financial Times in Executive Education Business worldwide and for its Global Executive MBA. HEC has a wide array of partners worldwide amongst the top schools of each country. 4,400 students are enrolled each year in degree programs (Master, MBA, Executive MBA, etc.). The alumni network is present worldwide and counts 52,000 alumni. The school counts 105 research faculty (100% PhD from world class institutions), 65% international and 29 nationalities.
i3, the Innovation Interdisciplinary Institute is a CNRS (French National Research Council) funded research institute that unites research teams from three French Grandes Écoles: École Polytechnique, Mines ParisTech and Télécom ParisTech, making it the largest (with over 200 researchers, academics and PhD students) French research institution devoted to research in Innovation. Multidisciplinarity is at the core of i3, which blends researchers in design, economics, engineering, management, psychology, and sociology. i3 focuses on action research and has a long track of collaboration with the industry, leading to around 6 million euros in industry contracts yearly.