National College of Agronomy, Toulouse (ENSAT)
The National College of Agronomy, Toulouse, in French the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse or ENSAT, is the graduate school of Life Sciences of the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (INPT). The ENSAT is a public and national grande école, funded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and specialized in Agriculture Science, Food Science, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Sustainable Development and Management.
Founded in 1909 by Paul Sabatier, a Nobel Prize recipient in Chemistry, the Agricultural Institute became ENSAT in 1948. In 1970, it became part of the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (INPT) which combines the Institute of Electrotechnology, Electronics, Computer sciences, Hydraulics and Telecommunications (ENSEEIHT) and the Institute of Chemistry, Industrial and Chemical Engineering and Technology (ENSIACET).
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France has a highly selective system of grandes école, i.e. institutes training high level engineers, in parallel with a large network of universities, dealing mainly with basic sciences. The grandes école system is characterised by highly selective recruitment, a progressive specialisation and strong links with research and industry.