The Ecole normale supérieure in Paris was ranked as France's top university and came 23rd overall in the QS World University Rankings, rising one place from last year's tables.
The Ecole normale supérieure in Paris. Photo: AFP
There were an additional 21 French universities that made the top 500, with the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) at 137th the next highest rated among them.
The ranking is just the latest global table to suggest French universities are struggling as a whole to compete with other countries.
The UK managed four of the top ten alone, and 18 in the top 100. The US could lay claim to four of the top five and 30 in the top 100. Elsewhere in Europe, Germany boasted four in the top 100 and Sweden had two.
The number one university in the world, according to QS, is the United States' MIT, closely followed by Harvard, with Stanford and the United Kingdom's Cambridge claiming a shared third place.
The QS World University Rankings annually rate 800 universities, based on measures including academic reputation, reputation among employers, citations, mentoring and student performance. The full rankings can be viewed here.
While France as a country may not have shone in the ranking, Paris has a stellar reputation when it comes to city by city comparisons. The capital has come out on top in QS rankings for years running when it comes to the world's “best student cities”.