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Collège de France

An institution open on the world


The Collège de France has been a central place for French intellectual life since the Renaissance. It is open on the world and is the voice of France in the international debate of ideas.


A laboratory for the French school of thought

The Collège de France was founded in the 16th century by Francis I. It is a prestigious and unique institution dedicated to fundamental research in all industries in science, literature and art. It is also a place of teaching where high level, free and open classes are available. These classes do not provide a degree, but their goal is to teach "science in the making" and to present the state of research in all disciplines.

The Collège is a true place of debate and exchange of ideas for the scientific community, and it holds a grand multi-disciplines symposium every year, as well as a many conferences and meetings.

Henri Bergson, Paul Valéry, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Michel Foucault… The history of the Collège is marked by the thinkers who have given classes there. Today, its reputation comes from its vision of a bold and free research, in constant adaptation to the evolution of the world.

 The Collège de France in the entire world…

Since the 90's, the Collège de France is leading an ambitious policy of international relations and is determined to make French research shine beyond its borders and take part in the debate of ideas regarding the main challenges of today.

Every year, teachers from the Collège are free to offer part of their classes in a foreign institution thanks to partnership conventions concluded with universities all over the world. Chairs have been created in Germany, Lebanon, Brazil, the United States and China. This is an opportunity for teachers to meet their peers abroad and in other cases to initiate joint research projects.

For several years now, the international ambition of the Collège de France also targets the Web. Many classes and conferences are available online, subtitled in French or English, and meet a growing success.

... and the entire world in the Collège de France

Scholars from all over the world are welcome in the Collège de France. A fifth of its teachers are now of foreign origin and many young foreign researchers work in the research labs of the institution.


In addition, many annual chairs frequently welcome high-profile international intellectuals. Over the last few years, German painter Anselm Kiefer (chair of Artistic Creation 2010-2011), Swedish economist Thomas Sterner (chair of Sustainable Development - Environment, Energy and Society (2015-2016) and Brazilian anthropologist Manuela Carneiro da Cunha (chair of Knowledge against Poverty, 2011-2012) have given classes there.

By encouraging the transfer of ideas throughout the world, the Collège wants to show that 21st century France is still a great country for intellectual innovation and a leader of modern thinking.


[Photo credits]

Photos © Collège de France