Paris, University of

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Paris, University of

University of Paris, at Paris, France; founded 12th cent., confirmed 1215 by papal bull. It was suppressed during the French Revolution and replaced in 1808 by an academy of the Université Impériale. In 1890 it was reestablished as a university. The student riots of 1968, which paralyzed Paris for weeks, centered around the university and led to radical changes. In 1970 the university was divided into 13 universities, and further reforms followed under the Higher Education Act of 1983. The new universities are state institutions enjoying academic and financial autonomy, operated under the jurisdiction of the minister of education and financed by the state. Each institution has a different focus and scale, appropriate to its status as an autonomous "unit of teaching and research." Paris IX, for example, which focuses on business and computer sciences, has some 6,000 students, while Paris I, with a more general curriculum, enrolls over 35,000. Traditionally, the Univ. of Paris accounts for one third of France's entire university population.

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