Although the University of Rouen has been around for only a short while in comparison to others, it is necessary to do research in order to truly comprehend all that has happened in the past fifty years. When discussing the history of a university in general, various questions arise both implicitly and explicitly. For instance, how does a university transmit knowledge, professional skills and expertise? Who are the transmitters of these competencies? Who is on the receiving end? There are questions more explicit like how does one manage and organize a university? What is the mission of the university and how does it play a role in society? Establishing and maintaining a university requires team-work, collaboration, creativity all the while encouraging individual liberty! It is also necessary to analyze the environment, regional partners and influences both nationally and internationally.

Overall, when discussing the history of the University of Rouen, there are many angles that need to be taken into consideration, starting with regional development, then national, and ultimately international. The University of Rouen was founded in 1966, but the history dates years before. There are three main time periods that are essential when talking of the history; namely before 1966, 1960-1970, and 1980-1990. The establishment of the university was inspired by the University of Caen which is considered the academic metropolis in the Normandy region.

From 1960-1970, the University of Rouen was planned and created. This period was notable for spreading the word and mission of the university throughout the region despite geographic barriers like the plateau Mont Riboudet. During 1980-1990, the university reanalyzed the question of expansion and in the 2000s decided to establish other campuses around the Normandy region that permitted more students to study in a wider variety of formation options, training programs and certifications.


The sky is the limit for the University of Rouen, in regards to expansion, due to the International Relations Office and the acceptance of all students. After WWII, there was a surge of universities established all over the world. This wave of universities was larger than an other in years precedent. The University of Rouen was a part of the great wave of universities established after the war. These universities were considered new, modern and fresh because they sought to attain and transmit a certain mission and vision. It was a vision of peace, harmony, democratization and development.  

After many years of war, mankind was ready for change and it was evident with the establishment of the universities nationwide. Optimism, innovation, and charismatic leadership were also characteristic of this time period. Such a vision was not common in traditional French universities, but the University of Rouen was one of many that decided to move forward and promote this vision. Technics in researching this rich history of the university include interviews, audio recordings, old newspapers and photos and other archives. With this research, we aim to put together a book, available in 2016, recalling all the history gathered since the establishment of the university that will be available through PURH.