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University of Grenoble

University of Grenoble (French: Université de Grenoble) or Grenoble University was a university in Grenoble, France until 1970, when it was split into several different institutions:

The institutions share campus and other facilities. As of 2014, there is a project to merge the first three organizations, but it has not yet been implemented. Thus post-1970 the name "Grenoble University" (Université de Grenoble) denotes some kind of shell organization with little real existence.


The university was founded in 1339 by Dauphin Humbert II of Viennois and Pope Benedict XII to teach civil and canon law, medicine, and the liberal arts.[1] However, the institution lacked resources and dissipated after the death of Humbert II. It was reestablished by François, Count of Enghien in 1542 and united with University of Valence in 1565.[2] The residents of Grenoble unsuccessfully attempted to reestablish the university several times in the 16th and 17th centuries. Napoleon I reestablished faculties of law, letters, and science in 1805–1808. During the Bourbon Restoration, the Faculty of Letters was suppressed in 1815 (reintroduced in 1847) and the Faculty of Law in 1818 (reintroduced 1824). The School of Pharmacy and Medicine was established in 1866 and became the fourth faculty in 1894.[3] However, at the time the school had just a few students and conferred only a handful degrees. The development of the sciences at the university was spearheaded by the transformation of Grenoble from an isolated mountain town to a major supplier of industrial motors and electrical equipment in 1880s.[3] The faculties were formally inaugurated as the University of Grenoble in 1879 in the newly constructed Place de Verdun.[4] The number of students grew from around 340 in 1868 to 3000 in 1930. A concept of Établissement public à caractère scientifique, culturel et professionnel (EPCSP) evolved under Minister of Education Edgar Faure. As a result, the university was split into several independent organizations in 1970.


  1. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), vol. 7, p. 28
  2. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica (1911), vol. 27, p. 756
  3. ^ a b Science in the provinces: scientific communities and provincial leadership in France, 1860-1930 (1986), pp. 80–81
  4. ^ Quelques rappels sur les origines de l'université Stendhal et celles, plus anciennes, de l'université de Grenoble

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