Domestic and Foreign Networks of École Normale Supérieure

Two other écoles normales supérieures were established in the 20th century: the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (sciences and humanities); and the École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay (pure and applied sciences, sociology, economics and management, English language). More recently, the fourth école normale supérieure was created on January 2014 under the name of École Normale Supérieure de Rennes (pure and applied sciences, economics and management, law school, sport) in Brittany. All four together form the informal ENS-group.

The École normale supérieure is also an institution of PSL Research University, a union of several higher education institutions, all located in Paris, which aims at achieving cooperation and developing synergies between its member institutions to promote French research abroad. In addition to this, the École normale supérieure cooperates in Atomium Culture, the first permanent platform for European excellence that brings together some of Europe's leading universities, newspapers and businesses. The school is a member of the Conference of University Presidents and of the Conference of Grandes Ecoles.

Domestic partnerships
Its educational project being based on research, ENS seeks to train its students to become researchers. The main objective of the education given is getting a doctorate, and more than 85% of normaliens achieve this. The students are free to choose their own course of study but must at least attain a master's degree in research. Since, traditionally, the institution does not have the powers to grand university degrees, this entails that students have to follow courses in other universities in Paris. To this end, ENS cultivates a large number of partnerships and conventions with other higher education institutions to create master's degrees which are co-presided by two institutions. ENS works closely with the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), the Paris-Sorbonne University, the Panthéon-Sorbonne University, HEC Paris and ESSEC Business School in particular to deliver joint diplomas to a certain number of students who have followed courses shared between the two institutions. It is also the main partner in the Paris School of Economics project which it has launched along with the EHESS, the École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique (ENSAE) and the École des Ponts. This project seeks to create a unified Master's-level economics school in Paris.

International partnerships
The Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa was founded in 1810 as a branch of the École normale supérieure by Napoleon and later gained independence. ENS and its Italian twin have retained very close links since this time and since 1988 a special partnership has 80 normaliens going to Pisa every year while half the class of the SNS spend a year at the Paris school. During its history and due to the far reach of the French Empire during the colonial era, many schools have been created around the world based on the ENS model, from Haiti (in Port-au-Prince) to Vietnam (in Hanoi) to the Maghreb (in Tunis, Casablanca, Oran, and Rabat to name but a few) and Subsaharan Africa (in Nouakchott, Libreville, Yaoundé, Dakar, Niamey, Bangui for example). ENS maintains good relations and close links with these institutions. In 2005, ENS opened a branch at the East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, whose French name was changed to École normale supérieure de l'Est de la Chine to reflect the agreement, and a joint doctoral program between the two institutions was launched.

ENS welcomes international researchers for one-year stays through the mediation of the Paris Institute of Advanced Research and the Villa Louis-Pasteur. The Blaise Pascal, Marie Curie, Condorcet and Lagrange research places (chaires) also allow researchers from abroad to stay for more than a year at ENS laboratories. ENS also is a member of the Franco-Chinese laboratory Saladyn since 2013. It has been hosting an antenna of New York University's Erich Maria Remarque Institute since 2007.

Furthermore, ENS has strong parternships for research at Master's and Doctorate levels, sending its students to universities around the world to complete their tuition. It also shares thesis habilitation with universities abroad, meaning that somes theses can be written with support from both the ENS and one of its partner institutions. It is also customary for students in the literary and linguistic subjects to go to teach for one year in universities abroad with the position of junior fellows. These exchange and cooperation programs link ENS with universities such as the University of Beijing in China, Freie Universität Berlin in Germany, the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh and Oxford in the United Kingdom, Trinity College in Dublin, McGill University in Montréal, and the universities at Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Tulane, and Yale in the United States.