Presentation of the school

Our courses are geared towards the leading sector for employment in France (14% of jobs) and span an extremely broad range of over 300 professions.

The School emphasizes the fundamentals in the training process: – Acquisition of the engineer’s skills – Personal development – Professionalization with 15 months of supervised internships – Obtaining a generalist degree – 9 months of international experience for nearly 100% of students – Training in and through research.

Engineering diplomas are issued in the field of life sciences and lead to positions of responsibility in organisations and enterprises across France and abroad that recognise the importance of the qualities and aptitudes possessed by our engineers.

The human training, specific to PURPAN, gives students a dimension that is highly appreciated by companies: attachment to the agricultural world, proximity to the field, adaptability, versatility, integrity.


A word from the director

“Cultivating the Human Being” a commitment and a philosophy

Welcome to the PURPAN website. I hope that this digital visit will be the springboard to physical meetings and exchanges within our two campuses, in Toulouse and Lamothe, in the Haute-Garonne. The older campus, in Toulouse, is located in the heart of the Domaine de PURPAN with its 15th century castle and its Magnolia tree, which is now almost 300 years old. It opened in 1920, one year after the creation of the School in 1919.

For more than a century, PURPAN has been accompanying French agriculture, which is constantly evolving, in line with regulations, behavioral changes, societal and environmental debates, and technological progress, to name but a few variables.

The current health (and economic) crisis demonstrates how, throughout the world, our societies and their balances remain totally interdependent and fragile. The agricultural and agri-food sectors are no exception. However, it seems clear that they contain answers and new models to be imagined, developed and deployed in order to ease these dependencies and to (re)integrate alternative and complementary ways of production, processing, distribution and consumption. As we know, citizens want to have access to a large quantity of quality products from a healthier, safer, more local, more ethical and fairer agriculture.

With a sense of responsibility, enthusiasm, benevolence and involvement, PURPAN leads its students to acquire this vision, this culture of the world around them. So that they possess technical skills, a critical mind and adaptability, but also and above all so that they can anchor themselves in convictions, values and benchmarks that stand the test of time.

PURPAN designed its own anchors from the outset and continues to consolidate them. There are 4 of them: – Love of the Earth, – Openness to knowledge, – The Pedagogy of Accompaniment, – The Strength of the Human Being.

These four pillars structure its identity and support its DNA, which can be summed up in two words: “Cultivating the Human”. Our administrative teams and our teacher-researchers all embody this philosophy and commitment. For our students as well as for the professionals we support each year in their research, development or innovation issues.

Being anchored obviously does not exclude building bridges and links with actors who may or may not be similar to us, who may be from here or elsewhere. Quite the contrary. By being integrated into the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, Toulouse Agri Campus, Toulouse Tech, the Université Fédérale de Toulouse, the national network France Agro3, the FESIC, the C.G. Through its networks, PURPAN is enriched, embodied, shares experiences and projects and opens up opportunities for its students and staff, including its teacher-researchers – who are themselves often members of Joint Research Units in which scientific disciplines intersect and merge.

This dual capacity to anchor oneself and to be enriched by the other in order to contribute to acting in a changing world is what we want for our students. No matter which country, near or far, they settle in. Whatever the field of study in which they will work today or tomorrow. Whatever the existing or yet-to-be-invented profession they will practice there. Our graduates were, are and will be there. The many professional testimonies prove that they are already actors in an agricultural transition involving technical innovations and an understanding of economic, social and environmental dynamics in the four corners of the globe.

It is difficult to project the school into a century, but if the world moves, the values remain and PURPAN’s commitment to Cultivating the Human is not about to change.

History and values

The PURPAN School of Engineering, founded in 1919 by farmers and Jesuit educators, trains general engineers during a 5-year post-baccalaureate course.

Through a pedagogy of success drawing on Ignatian sources: the importance of experience, its analysis, accompaniment and review, PURPAN’s ambition is to enable the development of women and men with a great capacity for action and adaptation, integrating personal commitment, solidarity, a sense of action and a passion to serve.

More than 300 jobs are available in the life sciences, agriculture, agri-food, marketing and management sectors.

The School has a recognised public service mission (Rocard law 1984) in the fields of training, research, international cooperation and technology transfer.

The engineering diploma of the PURPAN School of Engineering is awarded under the dual responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the National Commission for Engineering Titles.

Located in the heart of Toulouse, in a wonderful green setting, the School graduates more than 200 engineers each year.

February 2021 – Publication of the Gender Equality Index score Purpan School of Engineering obtains 94/100 in the Gender Equality Index, broken down by indicators as follows – Pay gap indicator: 34 – Indicator of the difference in the rate of individual increases: 35 – Return from maternity leave indicator: 15 – High pay indicator: 10

Our specific approach

Human training at the heart of our project

A progressive five-year course is organised to give our students:

• Learn to know oneself, to listen, to accept oneself in order to progress and take one’s place.
• Accepting complementarity by working in a group and discovering cultural diversity in the world and in the company.
• Develop the taste and desire to communicate.
• Become autonomous and responsible.
• To build one’s capacities as a future manager.
• Integrate personal and corporate ethics.

To ensure openness and understanding of the world: 100% of students complete a 3-month internship at the end of the 2nd year in English-speaking countries, mainly New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, and Northern Europe. 90% of students spend the first semester of the 4th year abroad (80% in university semesters in nearly 60 partner universities and 15% in humanitarian organizations). In the 5th year, PURPAN offers 8 double-degree agreements for 18 months of university semesters in 8 prestigious universities.

The agricultural sector at the heart of education and research:

• 250 hectares of crops (wheat, corn, sunflower, hemp, …).
• 1 workshop of 6000 free range laying hens.
• 1 herd of 120 dairy cows milked with robots (1.200.000 liters).

It offers a real immersion in the reality of the field and allows the practical illustration of lectures and a confrontation with the management of a farm. An agronomic platform, unique in France, is dedicated to research programmes on sustainable production.

As an integral part of the training programme, internships are the subject of preparation, intense tutoring and a time to review the experience. Reports, with increasing requirements, conclude these internships and the 5th year thesis is defended in front of a jury where the student must demonstrate his engineering abilities before entering the company.

This is a PURPAN trademark that translates into:

• A business park permanently hosting more than 10 companies near the School.
• A future science park that will host about 15 additional companies focusing on health issues related to agri-food.
• Teacher-researchers conducting contracts each year for 50 to 80 companies.

This global system constitutes a double guarantee of the adaptation of teaching to the realities of the economic world and of the possibilities for companies to recruit future executives, true operational managers of teams and projects.