Paris West University Nanterre La Défense

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Paris Ouest University Nanterre La Défense
Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
Paris West University Nanterre La Défense.png
Established 1964
Type Public
President Jean-François Balaudé
Students 32,000
Location Nanterre, France
Campus Urban
Affiliations University of Paris, Elles Bougent

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 most prestigious French universities, mainly in the areas of law, humanities, political science, social sciences and economics. It is one of the thirteen successor universities of the University of Paris. It is located in the western suburb of Nanterre, in the La Défense area, the business district of Paris. The university 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 with the city in which they were located).

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).

Size and scope[edit]

Nanterre is the second largest campus in France after Nantes, with its own Olympic-sized swimming pool and a stadium. It welcomes 35,000 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 the postgraduate level, the university offers very competitive programs (highly selective master's degrees in Law and Business) and partnerships with some grandes écoles such as the Ecole Polytechnique, ESSEC, Ecole des Mines de Paris, and ESCP Europe among others.

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[edit]

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); and 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 a national level.

Students and alumni[edit]

Some famous alumni:

Famous professors and former professors[edit]

Nanterre in fiction[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Selected Master's programs

Coordinates: 48°54′14″N 2°12′50″E / 48.90389°N 2.21389°E / 48.90389; 2.21389