History of the School

The École normale de l'enseignement technique (ENET) was founded by decree in 1912. It became the École normale supérieure de Cachan in 1985 and finally the École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay in 2016.


A century of history

The School's history is closely linked to the history of technical education. In 1912, the need was to train technical teachers for primary schools.

In 1932, the School became an "École supérieure".
When it moved to Cachan in 1957—a time when the economy was booming—its mission was expanded. The School’s focus had long shifted to educating secondary school technical teachers, and its development now continued into higher education. Preparation for the agrégation became common practice and the School engaged in research.

École normale supérieure

In 1985, the words "technical education" disappeared from the name École normale supérieure de Cachan, and the research budget grew with the establishment of research laboratories. Research policy already gave a high priority to technology, experimentation and applications; a focus indicated by the term "practical science". The link between teaching and research, or “research-led teaching”, was adopted as the cornerstone of an ENS Cachan education.

In the 1990s, laboratories were established to cover the full range of disciplines offered at the School, and the Practical Sciences Doctoral School was founded. The Rennes branch was developed; it would become independent in 2014..


As a founding member of Université Paris-Saclay in 2015, the School invested its future in this world-class university.
In 2016, the School undertook a fundamental step by introducing its new diploma, which formalises the renewal of its study programme with an accent on research-led teaching, interdisciplinarity and an international outlook. The new name, École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay, asserts the School's position within this prestigious university system as the grande école for teaching and research.

Construction of the future building has begun, with the move to the Saclay plateau scheduled for 2019.