Paris-Sud University

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Paris-Sud University
Université Paris-Sud
Active1971 (1971)–2020
Budget450 million
Academic staff
Administrative staff
AffiliationsUniversity of Paris-Saclay, LERU
Headquarter of the presidency of the university, Orsay, France

Paris-Sud University (French: Université Paris-Sud), also known as University of Paris — XI (or as Université d'Orsay before 1971), was a French research university distributed among several campuses in the southern suburbs of Paris, including Orsay, Cachan, Châtenay-Malabry, Sceaux, and Kremlin-Bicêtre campuses. The main campus was located in Orsay.

Starting from 2020, University Paris Sud has been replaced by the University of Paris-Saclay in The League of European Research Universities (LERU).[1]

Paris-Sud was one of the largest and most prestigious universities in France, particularly in science and mathematics. The university was ranked 1st in France, 9th in Europe and 37th worldwide by 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in particular it was ranked as 1st in Europe for physics and 2nd in Europe for mathematics.

Five Fields Medalists and two Nobel Prize Winners have been affiliated to the university.[2]

On 16 January 2019, Alain Sarfati was elected President of Université Paris-Sud. He succeeds Sylvie Retailleau who was elected as President of ComUE Université Paris-Saclay.[3]


Paris-Sud was originally part of the University of Paris, which was subsequently split into several universities. After World War II, the rapid growth of nuclear physics and chemistry meant that research needed more and more powerful accelerators, which required large areas. The University of Paris, the École Normale Supérieure and the Collège de France looked for space in the south of Paris near Orsay. Later some of the teaching activity of the Faculty of Sciences in Paris was transferred to Orsay in 1956 at the request of Irène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot-Curie. The rapid increase of students led to the independence of the Orsay Center on 1 March 1965 (sometimes called "Université d'Orsay" thereafter). The institution became the "University of Paris-Sud (Paris XI)" in 1971.

Paris-Sud hosted a great number of laboratories on its large (236 ha) campus. Many of the top French laboratories were among them especially in particle physics,[4] nuclear physics,[5][6] astrophysics,[7] atomic physics and molecular physics,[8] condensed matter physics,[9] theoretical physics,[10] electronics, nanoscience and nanotechnology.[11] University of Paris-Sud comprised some 104 research units.

Pierre-Gilles de Gennes and Albert Fert, two Nobel Prize winners of physics, were affiliated to the University of Paris-Sud. A number of the most renowned French mathematicians were affiliated with the University of Paris-Sud as well. Among them are the Fields medalists Pierre Deligne, Laurent Lafforgue, Jean-Christophe Yoccoz, Wendelin Werner and Ngô Bảo Châu.

Paris-Sud also comprised biology and chemistry laboratories, engineering and technology schools and had established partnerships with many of the surrounding technology centres and Grandes Ecoles. It also included Schools of Law, Economics and Management.

Starting from 2020, University Paris Sud has been replaced by the University of Paris-Saclay.

Notable people[edit]

Fields Medal[edit]

Nobel Prize[edit]



University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[13]37 (2019)
QS World[14]262 (2020)
THE World[15]201-250 (2019)
USNWR Global[16]30 (2018)
  • Paris-Sud was ranked 1st in France, 9th in Europe and 37th worldwide by the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).[17] (5th in Mathematics, 9th in Physics worldwide).
  • In October 2015, The University of Paris Sud has been ranked 10th best university worldwide in the Times Higher Education Under 50[18] which is a ranking of the world top 100 universities under 50 years old.
  • QS Ranking has ranked the University 262nd in the world, 97th in Natural Science, 101-150th in Medicine and 285th in Engineering and Technology.[19]

Points of interest[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Université Paris-Saclay to become one of the LERU members in 2020". 27 May 2019. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Prizes and notable researchers - Université Paris-Sud". Archived from the original on 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  3. ^ "Alain Sarfati, elected President of Université Paris-Sud". Université Paris-Sud. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  4. ^ Laboratoire de l’Accélérateur Linéaire. Retrieved on 2014-06-16.
  5. ^ Institut de Physique Nucléaire d'Orsay. Retrieved on 2019-11-03.
  6. ^ "French national synchrotron facility".
  7. ^ Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale. Retrieved 2019-11-03
  8. ^ Laboratoire Aimé Cotton - UPR 3321. Retrieved on 2014-06-16.
  9. ^ Laboratory of Solid State Physics,
  10. ^ [Laboratoire de Physique Théorique d’Orsay]. Retrieved on 2014-06-16.
  11. ^ Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanotechnologies. Retrieved 2019-11-03
  12. ^ Charlene Morrow and Teri Peri, ed. (1998). Notable Women in Mathematics. Greenwood Press. pp. 161–164.
  13. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". Archived from the original on 2019-08-15. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  14. ^ QS World University Rankings 2020
  15. ^ World University Rankings 2019
  16. ^ U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2018
  17. ^ University of Paris Sud (Paris 11) in World Top 500 Universities. Retrieved on 2019-08-19.
  18. ^ "Young University Rankings". 4 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Université Paris-Sud Rankings". Top Universities. Retrieved 2019-08-19.

External links[edit]