Historical and scientific heritage

Université de Rennes 1, a story spanning over five centuries.

Students sitting on the grass in front of Campus Centre
  1. From a ducal Université de Bretagne to Université de Rennes
  2. The rise of the university
  3. The road to independence
  4. The story goes on…

Université de Rennes 1 is the direct predecessor of Brittany's first university, founded in Nantes in 1461 by François ll, Duke of Brittany.  After its official dissolution in 1793, the ducal university became an imperial, secular and independent university, in 1808 in Rennes and the west. The decree of 23rd December 1970 created Université de Rennes 1 as we know it today.

From a ducal Université de Bretagne to Université de Rennes

  • 1461  Creation of Université de Bretagne in Nantes, and five schools: arts, theology, canon law, civil law and medicine.
  • 1735  The Law School is transferred to Rennes, headquarters of Brittany's Parliament.
  • 1803  A medical school opens, the future School of Medicine and Pharmacy.
  • 1808  An imperial university is founded in Rennes covering seven administrative zones.
  • 1810  Creation of a School of Arts.
  • 1839  Creation of a School of Sciences.
  • 1885  Creation of a University Council.
  • 1896  Université de Rennes regroups Schools and Higher Education institutions within the academy: law and economics; arts and social sciences; medicine and pharmacy.

The rise of the university

  • 1955  Creation of the Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (Business Administration Institute)
  • 1966  Creation of the IUT (University institute of technology) of Rennes.
  • 1968  The Faure Orientation Act of Higher Education reforms the university resulting in the creation of Teaching and Research Units (UFRs), as well as the participation of the entire university community in the management of institutions and facilitating interdisciplinarity.
  • 1969  The university integrates the School of Dentistry, future Dentistry Department, sets up an IUT in Lannion and acquires the island of Bailleron in the Morbihan, southern Brittany.
  • 1970  Creation of the Université de Rennes (decree of 23rd December 1970)
  • 1971  Further training courses are introduced.
  • 1972  The university twins with the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, one of the first agreements in Europe allowing students to carry out part of their studies abroad.
  • 1973  The university renews tradition by awarding 4 international universities the title of Doctor honoris causa. 70 researchers to date have received the award.

The road to independence

  • 1984  Université de Rennes becomes Université de Rennes 1 and Université de Haute Bretagne, Rennes 2
  • 1986  The Enssat, an engineering school in applied science and technology, opens in Lannion
  • 1986  Incorporation by decree of the Ecole nationale supérieure de Chimie de Rennes (Rennes National School of Chemistry)
  • 1987  A branch of the School of Law and Political Science is opened in Saint-Brieuc
  • 1989  Incorporation by decree of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Rennes (Rennes Institute of Political Studies)
  • 1992  Creation of an industrial and business activities department highlighting research results.
  • 1993  A branch of the Lannion IUT is opened in Saint-Brieuc, future IUT of Saint-Brieuc
  • 1994  A branch of the Rennes IUT is opened in Saint-Malo, future IUT of Saint-Malo
  • 1994  27 500 students are enrolled at Université de Rennes 1, more than double the figure in 1970
  • 1996  The School of Medicine creates a School of Hearing Aid & Audiology in Fougères

The story goes on…

  • 2007  Université de Rennes 1 is a founding member of the Université Européenne de Bretagne (Research and Higher Education hub).
  • 2010  Greater responsibility and authority given to the university (Passage aux compétences et responsabilités élargies) and launch of Université de Rennes 1 foundation.
  • 2013  Incorporation by decree of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Rennes into Rennes 1 and Rennes 2.
  • 2015  Université de Rennes 1 becomes a member of the Université Bretagne Loire (Community of universities and institutions).