A National university or ENS is an establishment of higher education French, Belgian or Italian (the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa). When the term is used without precision, it is generally about ENS of the street of Ulm (Paris). Also called Normale Sup' , it is historically the first, but there are currently three different in France: ENS Cachan, ENS Lyon and ENS LSH. Regarded as belonging to most prestigious the Universities, they are placed under the supervision of the ministry for Higher education.
The single ENS
See also: National university (Ulm)
The first ENS, the Teacher training school of year III , is created - on the impulse of Dominique-Joseph Garat, which was the initiator, of Joseph Lakanal and the Comité of state education - the October 30th 1794 (9 brumaire year III) with Paris by the Convention which issues that
- (article 1st) It will be established in Paris a Teacher training school, where will be called, of all the parts of the Republic, of the citizens already educated in useful sciences, to learn, under the most skilful professors in all the kinds, art to teach.
One chose a recruitment censitaire and popular: a pupil for twenty thousand inhabitants, chosen by a “popular jury” on the only criterion of the revolutionary convictions, because it was a question of implementing the ideas of Rousseau and of abolishing “this disastrous inequality introduced between the men by the distinction of the talents. ” These glorious ideals will be obviously beaten in breach: for recruitment, it was often necessary to be satisfied members with the old congregations, those at least which gave sufficient pledges of conversion to republican spirit the “. ” And as for teaching, he will be clearly scientist, and even more high level, answering the secret wishes of the founders: “It is necessary that the Teacher training school is the first school of the world” (letter of Garat with Lakanal, of the 15 nivôse).
The creation of this school (which opens in January 1795) falls under the particular context of the renewal of the educational system of the revolutionary France . It was a question of forming in an accelerated way a big number of “pupils”, designated by the districts of the Republic and intended to then open in their departments of the teacher training schools teachers. To exempt this knowledge, the promoters of the Teacher training school of year III proposed a general strategy of training, the “method of the analysis”, which would also apply for the future mission of the teachers thus trained. The teaching stakes result in important innovations like the insertion of debates with the professors, or consigns it not to read the courses.
The school settles in an amphitheater of the Muséum, too small to accommodate all promotion (more than one thousand of students). Y will teach some of the largest scientists of the time, in particular Berthollet, Daubenton, Laplace, Lagrange and Monge. Because of the financial position and catastrophic policy, the school, equipped with means for four months only, disappears as of the May 19th 1795 (30 floréal); according to the terms of Arago: “This school perishes, Sirs, of cold, misery and hunger. ” The physicist, astronomer and mathematician Jean-Baptiste Biot (1774 - 1862), which made him its studies with the Polytechnic school, will however say this school of the year III which it was “a vast column of light which, left suddenly in the middle of this afflicted country, rose so high, that its immense glare could cover whole France and clarify the future. ”.
It is refondée by a decree of Napoleon the March 17th 1808, in the buildings of old the Collège of Plessis and on more strict bases (reduced promotions, payment of military, uniform inspiration obligatory…), and in 1810 opens. In 1814, it is in the buildings of the Congrégation of the Holy Spirit. Until 1818, it does not have there an entrance examination: pupils chosen by the inspectors of academy according to the school results with the college. Under the Restoration, the school changes several times of site and once of name: removed the June 6th 1822, it reappears by an ordinance of the March 9th 1826 under the name of preparatory École , in the buildings of Louis-the-Large, then college of Plessis starting from 1828). With the favor of the revolution of July 1830, very exactly the August 6th, it becomes again Teacher training school . It is the November 4th 1847 which the ENS settles in new buildings, street of Ulm, in the Ve district of Paris, such as that had been decided by the law of the April 24th 1841. It still currently occupies these buildings which will be increased in particular by construction in 1937 of buildings street Lhomond for the applied sciences.
New National universities are created in the line of the reforms of Jules Ferry and of the law Camille Sée (opening to the girls public secondary education). The July 26th 1881, at the same time as the female aggregation, the National university of young girls ( ENSJF ) of Sevres is created (which will move in Paris, in buildings located Jourdan boulevard, in 1940). The July 13rd 1880 and the December 22nd 1882 are founded the National universities respectively of Fontenay (young girls) and of Saint-Cloud (young people), intended to train the professors to teach in the teacher training schools teachers. In 1904, the National university is joined together with the Université of Paris. Lastly, in 1912 is founded the Teacher training school of the technical education (in buildings of the Arts and Métiers) which becomes, in 1932, the National university of technical education , ENSET and settles with Cachan in 1956.
In 1985 (following the laws on the Decentralization), the National universities are reorganized and organized according to a common statute. Under the impulse of the director of the ENSJF, Josiane Tightens, the ENS of Ulm and of Sevres amalgamate: it results from it current the National university (whose principal buildings are always in Paris, street of Ulm, but which also has the old buildings of the ENSJF, on the Jourdan boulevard and in Montrouge). The ENS of Fontenay and Saint-Cloud also amalgamate, but shortly after the ÉNS of Fontenay-Saint-Cloud thus formed is divided into two: sciences are moved with Lyon in 1987 and form ENS Lyon while the letters remain in Paris region before moving in their turn in Lyon (in 2000, while remaining separated from the ENS Lyon) to form ENS Lettres and Social sciences. As for the ENSET, it changes name to become ENS Cachan.
There thus exist now four schools belonging to the group of the National universities on the French territory:
- two in Paris region: ENS Ulm and the ENS Cachan (the National university of Cachan has a antenna on the site of Ker Lann, beside Rennes, which recruits its own students but administratively remains dependant).
- two in Lyon: ENS Lyon and the ENS Letters and Social sciences.
Missions and emerged
The mission of origin being of training teachers, they are organized largely around the preparation with the contest of the aggregation. However, teaching is not the single outlet of the ENS, it is not theoretically obligatory any more for the normaliens to present aggregation, and the current statutes provide that the school prepares, by a cultural and scientific formation high level, pupils being intended for the scientific research fundamental or applied, the university education and in the preparatory classes at the universities like with the secondary education and, more generally, the service of the administrations of the State and the territorial collectivities, their public corporations or companies.
The relative importance of these various outlets varies from one ENS to another and discipline to another, but one can estimate very coarsely that a third of the normaliens is directed towards the basic research or applied, a third towards teaching (secondary or in preparatory classes) and a third towards the administration, the large body of the State and, in a marginal way, the private sector.
Statutes and administrative organization
The National universities constitute public corporations in scientific, cultural and professional matter, having an autonomous legal personality. They are subjected to the provisions of the article L. 716-1 of the code of education; their statutes are fixed by decrees in Council of State.
The ENS have their head a director, assisted one or more assistant editors, and directors of studies or formation. The director is named by a decree taken in the Council of Ministers, on the proposal of a committee of experts. They are managed by a Board of directors and a Scientific advice, each one being composed for half of members elected (by the pupils and different personal from the School) and for half - including the president - named members (by the ministry in charge).
The pupils normaliens (at least, those which are amenable to a Member State of the European Community or another State left to the agreement on the European Economic space) have the statute of training civils servant and thus receive a treatment throughout their study (currently four years): the entrance examination is thus a recruitment competition of the public office; n the other hand, the pupils sign a decennial engagement by which they are committed working during ten years (as from their entry at the school) on behalf of the State, of his communities, or state enterprises. It should nevertheless be specified that all the students with the ENS are not pupils normaliens, and there exists much of other possible statutes.
Entrance examination and formation
The principal recruitment of the pupils normaliens is done since the Preparatory classes at the universities by an annual contest which falls under the general system of contest of the Universities. The ENS of Ulm and Lyon also recruit students having followed their the first two years of studies to the university via the second contest (even if the places are far from numerous, even non-existent certain years). The ENS of Cachan proposes finally a recruitment competition open to the titular students of M1 (old control). The pupils normaliens represent however only approximately a half to two thirds of promotion of a ENS, certain student are recruited on file and are called listeners; others carry out a master; the ENS also accommodate foreign students with various possible statutes (either within the framework of bilateral exchanges, or on an international selection).
Once entered, the pupils have a broad freedom of course. This freedom nevertheless is framed by a contract of studies negotiated annually between the pupil, his teaching tutor, a department of the School, and the direction of the studies.
The schooling lasts four years for the pupils normaliens. That corresponds typically to time to pass a license, a master, the aggregation and often to begin a Thèse from Doctorat for those which engage in research.
The disciplines represented by the ENS cover a very broad spectrum, in particular:
- sciences fundamental and applied (mathematical, physics, biology…) with Ulm, Lyon, Cachan,
- humanities (letters, philosophy, history…) with Ulm and LSH,
- social sciences, languages and social sciences with Ulm, LSH and Cachan,
- technical and engineerings in Cachan.
Current polemics on the future of the ENS
In March 2005, a merger plan between the ENS of Paris and Cachan was made public by the directions of these two schools: the project caused a polemic, initially within the ENS then, at the time of the renewal campaign of the directions, in the national press. The partisans of fusion proposed the need for increasing the international visibility of the establishments and for carrying out economies of scale, while some of its detractors showed the direction to want to transform the ENS into a “super-university” without taking account of its specificities, while others put forward the insurmountable practical difficulties or the reduction on behalf of humanities. This debate is added to a polemic concerning the total budget of the ENS, while at the same time the Court of Auditors made a report/ratio public on the management of research in the universities: in Ulm, in particular, operation costs and of investment increased (had, in particular, with the need for renewing decayed equipment, work on the restoration, the computerization of the catalogs of the general Library) in particular over the period 2002 - 2004 were not followed of an increase in the equipment by the ministry in charge, putting the school vis-a-vis important difficulties of treasury.
Some normaliens famous
- * List of the famous normaliens alphabetically
- * List of the normaliens famous for promotion
Personalities following, without to have be pupils of ENS in a strict sense (generally because they were not French), studied there:
The following personalities taught in a ENS or directed one from there:
Charles Augustin Holy-Beuve, writer
- Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges (Ulm, director, 1880-1883), historian
- Louis Pasteur (Ulm, assistant editor sciences, 1857-1867), biologist
- Lucien Herr (Ulm, librarian, 1888-1926), militant of the human rights
- Emile Borel (Ulm, assistant editor sciences, 1910-1920), mathematician
- Samuel Beckett (Ulm, reader of English, 1928-1930), writer
- Louis Althusser (Ulm, professor of philosophy, 1948-1980), philosopher
- Paul Celan (Ulm, reader of German, 1959-1970), writer
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