Based on the American model, Paris West University Nanterre, formerly called Paris X Nanterre, has the second largest campus in France. It welcomes from 35 to 40,000 students in all fields of studies annually. It is, however, most renowned in the fields of law and economics.
The University offers such faculties as social sciences, philosophy, literature, history, languages and linguistics, economics, law and political sciences, teacher training, acting, cinema, physiology and sports. At postgraduate level, the university offers very competitive programmes (highly selective Masters in Law and Business) and partnerships with some grandes écoles (“great schools” -higher education establishments outside the main framework of the French university system). As in most Parisian universities, there is a large minority of foreign exchange students. Over the years, Nanterre has developed innovative programmes such as the bilingual courses in law, economics and management, and history. These programs have inspired many universities and grandes écoles throughout the country and are now renowned at the national level. Interestingly, one famous student of the university was Nicolas Sarkozy – the former President of France.