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University of Montpellier III Paul Valery
Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III

University's logo
Established 1970
Type Public university
President Anne Fraïsse
Faculty 627
Students 16,138 [1]
Location Montpellier, France
Campus Urban
Athletics Service Universitaire des Activités Physiques et Sportives (SUAPS)

University of Montpellier III Paul Valery (French: Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III) is a French university in the Academy of Montpellier. It is one of the three successor universities to the University of Montpellier, specialising in the arts, languages and social sciences.



Paul Valéry University

Paul Valéry is one of the oldest universities in Europe. The University of Montpellier, founded on the October 26th 1289 through a bull issued by Pope Nicholas IV combining the schools of Medicine, Arts and Law, is the third university founded in France, following those of Paris and Toulouse.

In 1939, the new Faculty of Humanities was built in the city centre, facing Saint Paul's Cathedral on the rue du Cardinal de Cabrières (currently home to part of the University of Montpellier 1's Law Faculty), and inaugurated by the then Dean Augustin Fliche.

Having become too cramped, the university moved in 1966 to a campus of over 10 hectares in the north of the city (route de Mende), close to the University of Montpellier II's new campus. In order to avoid confusion with the University of Montpellier 2, the architectural aesthetic was very carefully selected and large green spaces created.

In 1970, the former faculties formed three separate universities (Montpellier I, II and III). The Faculty of Arts, Languages, Social Sciences and Humanities becoming the "University of Montpellier III", whilst also taking on the name of Paul Valéry as a homage to the Sète-born writer who studied in Montpellier.

In 1986 a new building comprising three lecture theatres (one seating 800 students) was built.

In 1998, a second University campus was built in Béziers on the site of the former Duguesclin barracks.

Since 2002, all Nîmes students have been included in the University of Nîmes and are no longer part of the University of Montpellier III.

A move of the University's UFR 5 (psychology and sociology department) is currently being planned to the Saint-Charles site in Montpellier city centre.

List of Presidents
Year of appointment Name Position Discipline
1990 Jules Maurin University Professor Contemporary History
1995 Pierre Benedetto University Professor Psychology
1998 Michèle Weil University Professor Literature
2003 Jean-Marie Miossec University Professor Geography
2008 Anne Fraïsse University Professor Latin

Student life

Student life is coordinated through the Maison des Etudiants, a place for students' activities, freedom of expression, clubs and societies.

Its aim is to help students realise their own ambitions, allowing them to open up and develop a place for creation, as well as cultural and campus activities.

The Maison des Etudiants and its "Jean Moulin" function room are an important centre for student life on campus, playing host to: dance, music, theatre and first aid classes, as well as conferences, film screenings, debates, exhibitions, solidarity and cultural days, concerts and student evenings, amongst others.



Since its creation, student strikes have frequently left their mark on the University campus' history. Students have often shown their dissatisfaction regarding university education reforms, but also in terms of other events not directly related to further education or employment.

The duration of the strike action, most often resulting in blockades, is variable, but can at times be very restrictive.

In 1986 a strike and demonstration paralysed the campus for some time, denouncing the loi Devaquet. This antiestablisment movement also took a hold of the other Montpellieran universities.

During the spring 2006 anti-CPE movement, Paul Valéry was one of the first universities to be blockaded and one of the last to have the barricades cleared.

In the autumn of 2007, the University was blockaded for around one month by protesters following the proposal of the Universities' Freedom and Responsibilities law. Following a week of barricades, the University was first peacefully repossessed by the police before an administrative closure was brought into effect by the University's president. A second blockade was organised following a vote by the General Assembly. The President of the University once again decided to call in the police to clear the campus. This re-opening of the campus was particularly violent; several students (both for and against the blockades) were hurt, with two students placed under investigation.

Following these events, on the morning of Thursday 13th December, the President organised a referendum regarding the continuation of the blockades. With a turnout of approximately 20% (3000 votes), 80% of the students showed themselves to be in favour of putting an end to the blockades and returning to classes.

Representative student organisations

Following the student elections of 30th and 31st May 2006 (postponed due to the anti-CPE blockades in March) marked by a low level of participation of around 5% (but a strong one from the Béziers campus of nearly 20%), the representative student organisations are as follows:

  • Tribune Étudiante, Confédération étudiante, Avis Culturel : 4 elected to the CA, 4 elected to the CEVU
  • UNEF : 3 elected to the CA, 3 elected to the CEVU
  • Sud étudiant : 3 elected to the CA, 3 elected to the CEVU
  • Melting-Pot : 2 elected to the CA, 2 elected to the CEVU, 1 elected to the CS
  • Caraïbe Afrique Solidarité Etudiante (The CASE) : 1 elected to the CA, 1 elected to the CEVU
  • Corpo Lettres Epsylone : 1 elected to the CA, 1 elected to the CEVU
  • UNI : 1 elected to the CA, 1 elected to the CEVU
  • La liste Culturelle étudiante : 1 elected to the CEVU
  • Association Contact : 1 elected to the CS
  • Etudiants solidaires : 1 elected to the CS
  • Réseau doctorant UPV : 1 elected to the CS

Other active associations

All student associations do not inevitably participate in representative student elections but are not less active. Numerous cultural associations, such as Asso7, ECUME or l'Ecran et son Double, actively participate in campus activities.

The associations and student unions are housed in the "Maison des Etudiants", found on the north side of campus near the Vert Bois university restaurant.

See also


  1. ^ Université Paul-Valéry MONTPELLIER III - L'Université en chiffres


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