Spirit and History

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Building on a unique heritage and paving the way for the future

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Mixing the Past and the Present

Officially established in 1969, but with roots dating back to the creation of the University of Brittany in 1460, Rennes 2 has a heritage that continues to be uniquely linked to the development of Rennes and the region.

From the Duke of Brittany to the creation of Rennes 2 as we know it today, our university has undergone a number of changes. These changes have helped us to reflect on how we can best continue to grow in our contemporary landscape. 

Today, we are proud to be the only major university in the Greater West of France that offers students a broad range of specialties in the fields of art, literature, languages and human and social sciences.


A Brief History of Rennes 2 University

  • 1460: Creation of the University of Brittany in Nantes at the initiative of Francis II, Duke of Brittany
  • 1735: Part of the University, the Faculty of Law,  is moved from Nantes to Rennes upon request of the Mayor of Nantes
  • 1793: Closure of all universities in France
  • 1806: Napoleon I restructures the system of higher education and creates the Imperial University of France
  • 1806: Re-establishment of the Faculty of Law in Rennes
  • 1810: The Faculty of Letters is created in Rennes
  • 1839: Five chairs are created at the Faculty of Letters (encompassing various literatures, history and philosophy)
  • 1896: The University of Rennes is established. It includes the Faculties of Law, Letters and Sciences.
  • 1961: Plans are made to develop a university center that could hold up to 500,000 students
  • 1969: The decision is made to split the University of Rennes into two universities:  the University of Rennes 1 and Rennes 2 University
  • 1984: Creation of University Presses of Rennes (PUR)
  • 1991: Rennes 2 adds courses at the campus Mazier site in Saint-Brieuc
  • 1993: The campus La Harpe is opened in Rennes
  • 1993: Reorganization of the university to include 5 Faculties and 24 Departments

Where We're Going


Our principles of strategic development for today and tomorrow are based on a number of strategic axes, including but not limited to: 

  • the development of stronger partnerships with other higher education institutions in the Rennes area
  • an increasing focus on internationalization in the teaching and research domains of our establishment at large
  • an heightened focus on significant strides made recently by the university in the areas of digital technology 
  •  a continuation of the work being done in the areas of sustainable development and social responsibility