A historic university

The University of Rennes is rooted in a prestigious history of more than five centuries: it's the direct heir of the very first university in the region, founded in Nantes in 1461 by François II, Duke of Brittany. Officially dissolved in 1793, the Duke's university gave way in 1808 to an independent, secular imperial university based in Rennes and covering the western regions.

From the Ducal University of Brittany to the University of Rennes

  • 1461 - Creation of the Université de Bretagne (Nantes) of which the Université de Rennes 1 is the direct heir
  • 1735 - The Faculty of Law is transferred to the seat of the Parliament of Brittany in Rennes
  • 1803 - Opening of a medical school, future Faculty of medicine and pharmacy
  • 1808 - Birth in Rennes of an imperial university covering seven departments
  • 1810 - Creation of a Literature department
  • 1839 - Creation of a Sciences department
  • 1885 - Creation of a Departments Council
  • 1896 - The Université de Rennes brings together the departments and higher education institutes of the academy: law and economic sciences; humanities; sciences; medicine and pharmacy.

The rise of the university

  • 1955 - Creation of the Institute of Business Administration
  • 1966 - Creation of the Rennes IUT
  • 1968 - The "loi Faure" on the orientation of higher education reformed the university (creation of teaching and research units, participation of the entire university community in the management of institutions and facilitation of interdisciplinarity).
  • 1969 - The university welcomes the dental school, future Faculty of ondotology, establishes a new IUT in Lannion and acquires the Ile de Bailleron in Morbihan
  • 1970 - Creation of the Université de Rennes (decree of 23 December 1970)
  • 1971 - Implementation of a continuous training offer
  • 1972 - Twinning with the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, one of the first agreements in Europe allowing students to spend part of their course abroad
  • 1973 - The university is renewing its tradition of awarding honorary doctorates to four international scholars. The tradition continues: more than 70 researchers have been honoured to date.

On the way to autonomy

  • 1984 - From now on, the University of Rennes becomes the Université de Rennes 1, the University of Haute Bretagne becomes the Université Rennes 2
  • 1986 - Opening of Enssat
  • 1986 - Attachment by decree of the École nationale supérieure de Chimie de Rennes
  • 1987 - Opening of a branch of the Faculty of Law and Political Science in Saint-Brieuc
  • 1989 - Attachment by decree of the Institute of Political Studies of Rennes
  • 1992 - Creation of an industrial and commercial activities department to promote the results of research
  • 1993 - Opening of a branch of the Lannion IUT in Saint-Brieuc, future IUT of Saint-Brieuc
  • 1994 - Opening of a branch of the Rennes IUT in Saint-Malo, future IUT of Saint-Malo
  • 1994 - 27,500 students are enrolled at the Université de Rennes 1, which is more than double the number of students since 1970
  • 1996 - Creation, by the Faculty of Medicine, of a school for hearing aid acousticians in Fougères

The University of Rennes continues to write its history

  • 2007 - The Université de Rennes 1 is a founding member of the European University of Brittany (research and higher education cluster)
  • 2010 - Transition to extended competences and responsibilities and launch of the Fondation Rennes 1
  • 2013 - Attachment by decree of the Ecole normale supérieure de Rennes to the universities of Rennes 1 and Rennes 2
  • 2016 - The Université de Rennes 1 is a founding member of the Bretagne-Loire University (Community of Universities and Institutions)
  • 2017 - The Université de Rennes 1 and its partners on the Rennes site are committed to setting up a coherent territorial grouping in order to create a major university of research and education of international renown, the Projet Unir
  • 2019  - The Université de Rennes 1 is a member of EDUC European Digital UniverCity
  • 2020 - The project to create the Université de Rennes brings together ENSCR, ENS Rennes, EHESP, INSA Rennes, Sciences Po Rennes, the Université Rennes 2 and the Université de Rennes 1. The ambition is to define a strategy of scientific excellence, attractiveness of training and global and ambitious internationalisation on the scale of the Rennes site, in complementarity with the other major partner schools of the site (Agrocampus Ouest, CentraleSupélec, ENSAI) and the research organisations (CNRS, Inra, Inria, Inserm, Irstea), as well as the University Hospital.