Paris West University Nanterre La Défense

Paris West University Nanterre La Défense
Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
Established 1964, following the division of the University of Paris (1253)
Type Public
President Bernadette Madeuf
Students 35,000
Location Nanterre, Île-de-France
Affiliations University of Paris

Paris West University Nanterre La Défense (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense) formerly called Paris X Nanterre is a French university in the Academy of Versailles. It is one of the 13 successor universities of the University of Paris. It is located in the western suburb of Nanterre, near La Défense, the business district of Paris. It is commonly referred to as Nanterre.



Ths Social Sciences buildings

Nanterre was built in the 1960s on the outskirts of Paris as an extension of the Sorbonne. Based on the American model, it was created as a campus (as opposed to the old French universities which were smaller and integrated to the city they were in).

Nanterre became famous shortly after its opening by being at the center of the May 68 student rebellion. The campus was nicknamed "Nanterre, la folle" (Mad Nanterre) or "Nanterre la rouge" (Red Nanterre, in reference to communism). To this day, the university remains traditionally a center of the left wing, as opposed to universities such as Paris II-Assas, traditionally inclined to the right.

Size and scope

Nanterre is the second largest campus in France after Nantes, with its own Olympic-sized swimming pool and a stadium. It welcomes 35 to 40,000 students every year in all fields of studies: Social Sciences, Philosophy, Literature, History, Languages and Linguistics, Economics, Law and Political Sciences, as well as Teacher Training, Acting, Cinema, Physiology and Sports.

The university is renowned in the fields of Law and Economics. Even though French universities are required by law to admit anyone with a Baccalauréat, strain is put on the students from the start and the first year drop-out rate consistently hovers in the 60% region. At postgraduate level, the university offers very competitive programs (highly selective Masters in Law and Business) and partnerships with some grandes écoles such as the Ecole Polytechnique, ESSEC, Ecole des Mines de Paris, ESCP Europe ...

The Rene Ginouves Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology (Maison de l'archeologie et de l'ethnologie Rene Ginouves) is another important institution on campus, merging the departments of the CNRS, Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne and Paris X-Nanterre.

As in most Parisian universities, there is a large minority of foreign exchange students.

Paris X-Nanterre in May 68

Innovative programs

Over the years, Nanterre has developed innovative programs such as the double bilingual courses in French Law and Anglo-American, Spanish, Russian, German or Italian law, in Economics & Management (with half of the courses in French and half of the courses in another foreign language), in History (with half of the courses in French and half of the courses in another foreign language). These programs have inspired many universities and grandes écoles throughout the country and are now renowned on the national level.

Students and alumni

Some famous alumni:

Famous professors and former professors

  • Maurice Allais, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1988.
  • Jean-Jacques Becker, historian.
  • Guy Carcassonne, French expert in constitutional law.
  • Dominique Strauss-Kahn, French economist, lawyer, and politician. Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, 2007-2011.
  • René Rémond, historian and political economist.
  • Denis Buican, French historian of biology, 1983-2003.
  • Jack Lang, French politician, 1986-1988 and 1993-1999.
  • Michel Aglietta, French economist, founder of the regulation school
  • Michel Crozier, French sociologist and member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques.
  • Emmanuel Lévinas, philosopher , 1967.
  • Jean Baudrillard, philosopher.
  • Paul Ricœur, philosopher, 1966-1970.
  • Étienne Balibar, philosopher.
  • Matty Chiva, professeur de psychologie
  • Henri Lefebvre, geographer, professor, and influential figure in the events of 1968
  • André Legrand, professor of French and comparative public law, Human Rights, Civil Liberties.
  • Claude Lepelley, historian, 1984-2002.
  • Danièle Lochak, is a professor of law specialised in human rights and civil liberties. Former president of the GISTI, and member of the Ligue des droits de l'homme. She's the Director of the Centre de recherches et d'études sur les droits fondamentaux.
  • Pierre Mélandri, historian.
  • Robert Merle, novelist
  • Alain Pellet, French expert on international law.
  • Catherine Perret philosopher.
  • Jean-Pierre Rioux, historian.
  • Yves Roucaute, philosopher, politist, Director of the "Cahiers de la Securite".
  • Jean-François Sirinelli, historian.
  • Alain Farshian, free-lance journalist, former contributor to Le Monde.
  • Michel Troper, professor at the University of Paris X-Nanterre. He is also a member of the Institut Universitaire de France and the Director of the Centre de Théorie du Droit.
  • Damianakos Stathis, Greek agriculturist and sociologist.

Nanterre in fiction

See also

External links

Selected Master's programs.

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