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Paul Cézanne University
Aix-Marseille III
Université Paul Cézanne
Aix-Marseille III
Aix-Marseille III.jpg
Established 1973-07-26
Type Public
President Marc PENA
Faculty 760
Staff 930
Students 22,500
Location Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, France
Website (in French)

Paul Cézanne University (or Paul Cézanne University Aix-Marseille III) is a French university in the Academy of Aix and Marseille. It is located in both Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. It is one of the universities of Aix-Marseille.

It was founded in 1409 by Louis II of Anjou and now has 22,500 students, 3000 of which are international students. It specialises in the humanities, law, political science and economics although it also has a faculty for exact science and technology.

The University of Aix-Marseille III has an established reputation as one of the oldest universities in France. Many prominent government leaders have studied at the University's Institute of Political Studies (Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence): for example the current French Minister for Economy, Industry and Employment, Christine Lagarde, is a holder of a Master's Degree. [1] [2] [3] Furthermore, Philippe Séguin, former President of France's Cour des Comptes (Court of Financial Auditors), graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma. [4]

It is significant that its law school remains one of the largest in France today, and is considered as one of the most prestigious. [5] Admission to the school is among the most selective in France.

The University is composed of teaching and research faculties. Its 42 recognized research laboratories make it a centre of international excellence in social and natural sciences. With more than 230 international agreements, the University of Aix-Marseille III takes part in the construction of European area of education and research. A policy in the direction of developing countries in Asia has led to increase its enrolments of excellent international students. The share of international students represents 12% of the total number. Programmes in French and/or English have been organized in order to favour the welcome and the integration of international students, in particular thanks to the presence within the University of the Institute of French studies for foreign students.

The total budget volume of the University is equal to 44.93 m €, the main funding resources being the Ministry of Higher Education, fees and investment revenues. This amount does not include the civil servant salaries that are directly paid by the “trésor public”. There are 1,329 civil servants including 678 faculty members. Their salaries roughly amount to the initial budget figure to give a total budget of 100 m €. The University is split in 16 sites located in five cities. The overall area occupied by the University is equal to 225,000 square meters. There are eight major components in the University which benefit from financial autonomy:

- Faculty of Sciences

- Faculty of Law

- Faculty of Applied Economics

- Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (IAE d’Aix - Graduate Business School)

- Institute of Business Law

- School of Engineering

- Institute of French studies for foreign students

- Institute of Urban Planning

The University is governed by three councils: two of them (the council of studies and student life for the teaching side and the scientific council for research matters) have an advisory role, the third one (the administrative council) is the decision body under the direction of the President of the University. The President is elected for a 5-year period by the assembly of the three councils. The members of the councils are representatives of the students, the administrative staff, the faculty, or external personalities. The University statutes define the division into different schools or institutes. Each one of those, headed by a dean or a director, has its administrative council that decides on policy issues.

If the President of the University is the most important actor in defining the mission and the strategies of the University, he also has the necessary power to impulse or to sustain the projects that relate to these strategies. Before implementing these projects, they have to be accepted by the University Council and if necessary they have to be included in the planning processes.

There are two main planning processes in the definition of projects in the University that have to be followed in order to be financed or even authorised and accredited by the public (national and local) authorities.

The first process takes place every six years and involves the central government, the region as well as the University. It is devoted to major investment projects, for instance building a new school, a new campus, a new library, etc. It is a catalogue of projects and for each of them it defines the financial burden accepted by each partner in the contract.

The second process covers four years (for instance for 2004-2007), and has to be approved by the French Ministry of Education. In this process, the University sets its objectives at the pedagogical and research levels (new degrees, research projects).

This planning process is very important because the University is free to define its own strategy, to be approved by the decision makers. Each process generates an important brainstorming period at all levels of the University in order to identify and build new ideas, new needs, and opportunities, to prioritise them, after an analysis of strengths and weaknesses. Other choices can be made after each process is closed, but they are more difficult to implement because other sources of funding and other ways of authorisation must be found.


René Cassin - a French jurist, law professor, judge, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize [1]

Paul Cézanne - a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter [2]

Gaston Defferre - Minister of the Interior of France: 1981-1984 [3]

Toussaint-Bernard Émeric-David - a French archaeologist and writer on art [4]

Christine Lagarde - Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment of France: 2007-present [5]

François Mignet - a French journalist and historian [6]

Frédéric Mistral - a French writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature [7]

Philippe Séguin - President of France's Court of Financial Auditors: 2004-2010 [8]

Adolphe Thiers - 2nd President of the French Republic: 1871-1873 [9]




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