University of Rennes 2 – Upper Brittany: Wikis


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Coordinates: 48°07′14″N 1°42′13″W / 48.12055556°N 1.70361111°W / 48.12055556; -1.70361111

University of Rennes 2 - Upper Brittany
Université Rennes 2 - Haute Bretagne
Established 1969
Type Public
Endowment 30 035 867 €
President Marc Gontard
Faculty 645
Staff 1095
Students 17 380
Undergraduates 11 760
Postgraduates 3 956
Doctoral students 509
Location Rennes,
Website (French)

The University of Rennes 2 - Upper Brittany (Université Rennes 2 - Haute Bretagne, UHB) is a French university, one of four [1] in the Academy of Rennes. The main campus is situated in the northwest section of Rennes in the Villejean neighborhood not far from the other campus, located at La Harpe.




Creation of the University of Brittany

Asked by Francis II, Duke of Brittany, the Pope created the first university of Brittany in Nantes in 1460 . It taught arts, medicine, law, and theology. In 1728, the mayor of Nantes, Gérard Mellier, asked that the university be moved to Rennes, Nantes being more trade orientated. The Law school was thus moved the Rennes in 1730. This city already had the Parliament of Brittany, it was thus more suited to have this School. In 1793 the French Revolution closed all universities. It is not before 1806 that the Law school reopened in Rennes.

Development of the faculties in Rennes

Former Palais Universitaire of the University of Rennes, currently Municipal Museum of Fine Arts

In 1808, Napoleon I reorganized the universities in France, creating the University of France. From the 2 original cities housing the University of Brittany, only Rennes was included in this University. Nantes had to wait until 1970 to have its university again. In 1810 a faculty of letters opened, which gathered in 1835 five schools (French literature, foreign literature, antic literature, history, and philosophy). The science faculty opened still in Rennes in 1840. Those 3 faculties remained without clear boundaries between them until 1885 with the creation of a "Conseil des facultés" which took in 1896 the name of University of Rennes. In the middle of the 19th century, they were gathered in the Palais Universitaire, located currently in the Quai Émile Zola, but were then scattered downtown. The faculty of letter was thus relocated in [1909]] in the Séminaire, located currently in the Place Hoche.

Creation of the University of Rennes 2

inside the campus, view on the ALC and Human Sciences buildings

In 1967, the Villejean campus opened, dedicated to Arts, Letters, and Human Sciences.

In 1969, in order to enforce the growth of French universities, a law was passed, splitting the University of Rennes into two new entities. This new university took the name of 'University of Upper Brittany'. The Villejean neighborhood was then still in development, building housing facilities for students, along with other university facilities.

In the east of the city, Beaulieu gathers sciences and philosophy. In the west, Villejean gathers Schools of Foreign Languages, Arts, Human Sciences and Social Sciences. Rennes I University's School of Medicine, is located on the edge of Villejean campus, but also on Brittany's largest hospital center, Pontchaillou.

Since March 2002, Villejean campus can be reached with the VAL subway, via the station 'Villejean-Université', making the university only 5 minutes away from the inner city.

The two universities are currently working on their unification. If this project were to be accomplished, the brand new university, with its 40,000 students, would be the largest in France.

List of former presidents

List of the university' presidents
year name
since January 2006 Marc Gontard
2001-2006 François Mouret
1996-2001 Jean Brihault
1991-1996 André Lespagnol
1986-1991 Jean Mounier
1982-1986 Jean François Botrel
1976-1980 Michel Denis

Academic programs

Entrance to the departement of foreign languages

The University is structured around 5 UFRs, or Units of teaching and research. This organization based on UFR is common to all public universities in France.

  • The UFR of Sports (APS), ;
    • 1 department: STAPS
    • 1 research unit.
  • The UFR of Social sciences:
    • 4 departments: Administration économique et sociale (AES), Geography space amenagement, History, and Mathematics applied to Social sciences (MASS),
    • 6 research units, including 5 belonging to the CNRS.
    • 2 institutes: L'Institut des Amériques de Rennes (IDA), the American Studies institut, and the "Institut de formation et de recherche sur l'administration territoriale" (IFRAT)

Campus Life

The EREVE building houses most of the student groups and unions as well as the bookstore, information desk, banking and health services, and dining locations

Student organizations

With its 50 or so students circles, Rennes 2 University has the highest rate of organizations per student.
They have their own radio station, Radio Campus Rennes, for which the EREVE was built in 2005. Most of the organizations are nevertheless located throughout different buildings on campus.


Different festivals are organized by the students, some of them were large enough to enlarge their fields to the city itself. Among them:

  • "K-barré"", focusing on performing arts
  • "Roulements de tambour", focusing on music
  • "Travelling", focusing on cinema, now a City wide festival.
  • "Tubas d'or", focusing on short movies

Notable people



Honoris Causa recipients

The University of Rennes 2 in Fiction

In the movie Brocéliande (2003) by Doug Headline, the story is set in the campus, even if the only recognizable element is the 2001-2002 orange student ID card.


  1. ^ The two others are: UBO (Brest), Western Brittany, and UBS in Lorient - see: Académie de Rennes

See also


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