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Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines University

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Established  1991
Vice-president  Alain Bui
Phone  +33 1 39 25 78 00
Founded  22 July 1991
Endowment  €166 M
Administrative staff  752
Total enrollment  20,000 (Sep 2014)
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
Motto  La dynamique de la connaissance et de l'innovation The dynamics of knowledge and innovation
Type  Public University (EPCSP)
Address  55 Avenue de Paris, 78000 Versailles, France
President  Didier Guillemot (Since may 2016)
Similar  Pierre‑and‑Marie‑Curie University, University of Paris, Pantheon‑Sorbonne University, University of Paris‑Sud, Paris Diderot University

Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (French: Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, UVSQ) is a French public university created in 1991, located in the department of Yvelines and since 2002 in Hauts-de-Seine. It is mainly located in the cities of Versailles, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Mantes-en-Yvelines and Vélizy-Villacoublay / Rambouillet, with a total of eight campuses. It is one of the five universities of the Academy of Versailles.


Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University is a constituent university of the federal University of Paris-Saclay.

It is one of the four universités nouvelles (new universities) inaugurated in Île-de-France region after the plan université 2000 (2000 University project). It has 19,000 students, 752 staff people and 1,389 teachers and researchers. 285 teachers outside of the university come each year to provide courses.

The subjects taught are the exact sciences, the social sciences, the political sciences, engineering, technology and medicine. It also provide courses concerning the relationship between economy, ethics, natural environment and sustainable development.


Some Parisian universities had anticipated the decree of the Ministry of National Education and had relocated part of their activities in Paris aire urbaine. In fact, experiencing a significant increase of their numbers, they begin to open new locations to alleviate their main campuses. Thus, an antenna of the Pierre and Marie Curie University is created in Versailles in 1987. Dedicated to Sciences, it joined in the Yvelines the law annex of Nanterre established two years earlier at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

In the mean time, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research program as part of French higher education modernization plan called "Université 2000" the creation of new universities.

The Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University is officially created 22 July 1991 from these two centers of delocalized of the Pierre and Marie Curie University and Paris West University Nanterre La Défense.

A new status

At the end of 1996, the status of the university has been changed. It had to be in accordance with a law of 1984 which rules statuses of French universities.
According to this change, authorities have been elected, as well as the first UVSQ President : Mr Michel Garnier.
This President instituted different committees, which are still existing today :

  • A board of directors
  • A scientific council
  • A student life council
  • The further education knew a strong evolution in France from 1997 to 2002. During this period, the university was prosperous.
    Mr Dominique Gentile, the second President of the UVSQ, seized the opportunity to develop the university by creating new annexes and setting up new formations, such as :

  • PhD School
  • University Institute of Technology
  • Professionalized University Institute of art, science, culture and multimedia
  • During this period, the College of Medicine of Paris-Descartes University has been relocated in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and renamed “Paris-Île-de-France-Ouest” (PIFO). It is still a part of the UVSQ today.

    Modern period

    In 2002, the university has a new President. Sylvie Faucheux is nominated. The university applies the réforme LMD to its courses in 2004. The CFA d'Alembert is created at Guyancourt in 2006. The year 2007 shows the removal of the Unité de formation et de recherche médicale Paris Île-de-France Ouest (PIFO) to Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and the creation, with Paris-Sud 11 University and École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, of UniverSud Paris.

    2010 is also the year of the reorganization of the humanities and social sciences college of UVSQ. He disappears to make way for four new colleges : institut des études culturelles (cultural studies institute), institut supérieur de management (management institute), institut de langues et études internationales (languages and international studies institute) and social sciences research institute.

    The university is entering a phase of expansion and the development of the plateau de Saclay is the main goal. The UVSQ becomes founding member of UniverSud Paris but also of the foundation for scientific cooperation foreshadowing the future Paris-Saclay research-intensive cluster. A partnership with Cergy-Pontoise University is studied in 2011. Thus, the Université du grand ouest parisien is created in February 2012. An Institut d'études politiques commons to both universities is also being studied.

    Students profile and demographic changes

    The table shows the changes in student population, from 1993 to 2013. The number of students enrolled has more than doubled over the past ten years.

    In 2013-2014, the UVSQ welcomed approximately 9 600 undergraduate, 6 600 graduate and 700 post graduate students. The most popular degree courses are law, economics and management with almost 6200 students representing 37% of total enrollment in 2013, followed by science and engineering school (31%).

    Overall, more than half of the undergraduate students enrolled every year are females (60%), except for first-year students at Mantes and Vélizy IUT (University Institute of Technology ), two-thirds of whom are males.

    The students' social background is on average more advantageous than the average of French public universities. Approximately 50% of first-year students come from business and professional families, and globally about four out of five students belong to wealthy and cultivated social classes. The percentage of students coming from low-income families increased from 14% in 1992 to 20-23% in 2013, but it still remains a minority group. This rate, which is more common in most selective universities, reflects the population of the region where the UVSQ is located: in fact, two thirds of first-year students come from the Yvelines department (66%) with a significant concentration around Versailles and Saint-Quentin.

    Nevertheless, the university welcomes an increasing number of international students: in 2010 they were 2.400 from 72 different country, which means 13,3% of the UVSQ students; most of them enrolled in PhD programs (In 2010, foreign students made up 45% of all PhD students).


    The university is mainly located on four campuses at Versailles, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Mantes-en-Yvelines and Vélizy-Villacoublay / Rambouillet, but has height campuses in total, on two departments and seven communes. In total, UVSQ has 160 000 m2 of buildings. Versailles campus welcomes the « sciences » college and the one of computer science of ISTY. On the campus of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines are located the « law and political sciences », « social sciences », « medical research » colleges and the sciences of the universe observatory. At Le Chesnay, another part of the « sciences » college is located. Vélizy-Villacoublay welcomes the IUT of Vélizy and Rambouillet an annex of it. On the campus of Mantes-la-Jolie is located the IUT of Mantes-en-Yvelines. Mantes-la-ville welcomes the mechatronics college of ISTY.

    Other graduate school and institutes

    The Unité de formation et de recherche médicale Paris Île-de-France Ouest (in English Paris Île-de-France West Medical Research and Training Departement; also called PIFO or Paris Ouest) is a faculty department of the Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University.

    PIFO left Paris Descartes University to join Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University during the year 2001/2002.

    It is located in Guyancourt. Associated hospitals include the Raymond Poincaré University Hospital, Ambroise-Paré Hospital, Foch Hospital, André Mignot Hospital, Poissy St-Germain Hospital, Sainte-Périne Hospital, René Huguenin Hospital. In parallel to medicine courses, two schools of midwifery are located in the PIFO department.


    Sustainable development is an important mission for the UVSQ. Indeed, the observatory also called OVSQ is the structure that deals the most with this preoccupation. It is located in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines campus and has three main missions : observing, teaching and affirming the position of the university in its engagement in favor of the environment.

    Observing : The aim is to reach a better understanding of the modifications of our environment including the sanitary and socioeconomic aspects of this question. With this in mind, the OVSQ is involved in many spatial programs supported by the CNES (French National Center of Spatial Studies) and the ASE (European Spatial Agency). Moreover, the observatory collaborates in many international agreements for monitoring the Earth's atmosphere. It also develops instruments of observation for the analysis of natural and social phenomena.

    Teaching : The aim is to prepare the next generations to think, decide and act in the field of sustainable development. To achieve this, the OVSQ provides an interdisciplinary culture to the students : economics, humanities and environmental studies.

    Affirming UVSQ’s position in the field of sustainable development : In France : The observatory develops sustainable territories and eco-innovations thanks to its partnership with Fondaterra (European foundation for sustainable territories) and the international industrial professorship Econoving.

    Abroad : The OVSQ provides a high level of expertise thanks to its partnership with the Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute, located in Guyancourt. The observatory also contributes to the study of climate and to the works of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Moreover, the OVSQ allows the university to be at the heart of the « Climate-Environment-Energy » center of the Paris-Saclay Campus. Finally, the observatory also contributes to the works of the university within the European community of Knowledge and Innovation dedicated to the Climate (KIC).

    PhD graduate schools

    The university has PhD graduate schools which take care of the PhD students and also of habilitation. There are five schools and 102 Doctorates has been delivered in 2009.

  • The « Cultures, regulations, institutions and territories » PhD graduate school which study various topics specific to social sciences and humanities as well as legal and political sciences.
  • The « Genome organizations » PhD graduate school (co-accreditation with University of Évry Val d'Essonne) which is interested in biology, genomics in particular, and also interfaces with mathematics, computer science, physics and chemistry.
  • The « Environmental Science in Ile de France » PhD graduate school (co-accreditation with Pierre and Marie Curie University and École Normale Supérieure de Cachan) covers the multidisciplinary fields related to the understanding of the physical, chemical and biological equilibria of the Earth's environment.
  • The « Science and technology of Versailles » PhD graduate school which study the following subjects: chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering sciences.
  • The « public health » PhD graduate school (in partnership with Paris-Sud 11 University and Paris Descartes University) which has three laboratories : research centre for epidemiology and population health, health-environment-aging, pharmaco-epidemiology and infectious diseases.
  • Libraries

    Its main library, inaugurated in June 2002, has an area of 8400 m2 and has over 100,000 books. In 2005, the university inaugurated the library of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines with an area of 7500 m2 on three levels and 1,100 reading places. September 2011 saw the commissioning of the new library on the sciences campus, located in Versailles. In total, the university has six academic libraries located, in addition to the campus already mentioned, on those of Vélizy, Boulogne-Billancourt, Rambouillet and Mantes, consisting of about 200,000 books, 5,000 digital books and 26,000 magazines and newspapers.


    Like all the établissement public à caractère scientifique, culturel et professionnel, the university is managed by a President elected by the boards of directors. He is member of the three councils of the university. Staff representatives (including academics) and external representatives, on the boards of the university, have a term of four years, student members are elected for two years.

  • The board of directors, which has 30 members, determines the policy of the institution. He is responsible for budget, jobs repartition, and the approval of agreements and conventions.
  • The academic and university life council, which has 40 members, is responsible for initial training and continuing education. He helps the board of directors by asking the accreditation for new courses.
  • The scientific council, which has 40 members, is responsible for research activities and development. Making the link between research and training, it gives its opinion for modification on PhD courses.
  • Presidents of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University

    Since its foundation in 1991, there have been 4 presidents at Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University.

  • Former Presidents
  • Michel Garnier, was the first President of UVSQ from 1991 to 1997. He is an alumnus of the Ecole Normal Supérieure, professor of geophysics, electronics and signal processing. As President of Pierre and Marie Curie University, Michel Garnier created at first an office in Versailles in 1987: the Faculty of Science. He was then President of UVSQ from 1991 to 1997.

    Dominique Gentile, served as President of UVSQ from 1997 to 2002. University professor and qualified teacher of physical sciences, Dominique Gentile began his career by working successively in the laboratory of fluid mechanics, then in the laboratory of physical mechanics. First professor and after Vice-President, he became President of UVSQ in 1997. In 2003 he was director of L’Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires. And in 2008, director of l’Institut des sciences et techniques des Yvelines (Isty), a public engineering school at UVSQ.

    Sylvie Faucheux., is a French professor who served as the 3rd President of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University from 2002 until 2012. Sylvie Faucheux is an academic and a French politician, she is also a specialist in environmental economics and sustainable development. In December, 2002, she was elected President of UVSQ. She was reelected in 2008 for a four-year term until April 12, 2012. She was director of the academy of Dijon from October 2012 to February 2014.

    Jean-Luc Vayssière, Professor of Biology, was the 4th President of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University from 2012 until April 2016. Before being elected President, Jean-Luc Vayssière was, between 2004 and 2008, chief of staff at UVSQ. Then, from 2008, he was vice-president of the Board of directors of the University.

  • Current President
  • Didier Guillemot, Doctor, is the 5th and current President of UVSQ since May 2016. Before being elected President, Didier Guillemot was, between 2007 and 2016, head of the Biostatistics, Biomathematics, Pharmacoepidemiology and Infectious Diseases laboratory. He will remain President until 2020.


    The University has a budget of 166 millions of euros in 2011 which represents a 16% increase compared to 2010. The University had a budget of 143 millions of euros in 2010, which is 13.1% higher than the one of 2009. The budget for normal operations grew by 29.2% during the period 2007–2010. The amount of investment over the same period was about 3.3 millions in total.

    Employment structure except for teachers of hospital department

    In 2009-2010, according to the official report published in June 2010 by the human resources department of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University employs 229 non-permanent teachers which corresponds to 119 Full-time equivalent, which is 20,4% of the total teachers of the university, placing it well above the national average of 15.5%. The total number of permanent teachers is 464, including 121 university professors, 250 docents or assistants, and 93 secondary school teachers.

    Versailles University foundation

    The UVSQ Foundation is intended to help the projects and the realizations of the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines on the territory of Yvelines.

    Real issues in society, the scientific higher education and scientific research evolve from now on in a very competitive environment. In the Yvelines, UVSQ plays a vital role in developing a high-quality offering for 22 years.

    For the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, the challenge is participating actively in the construction of the University Paris-Saclay, in close collaboration with Grandes Ecoles (HEC, Polytechnique, Supélec, etc.), Université Paris Sud and research organizations (CNRS, CEA, INSERM, INRA, etc.).

    The mission of the UVSQ Foundation is to facilitate this evolution. The UVSQ Foundation offers to sponsors who wish it to invest by its side, to accompany training programs and research excellence, or to support projects that matter to them on questions of social responsibility.

    The UVSQ foundation has been created in May 2010 by nine founding members : the university, technical center for mechanical industries, Graduate school of engineering in electrical engineering, Graduate school of aeronautical technology and automotive, IFP Energies Nouvelles, the National research institute for transport and safety, and PSA Peugeot Citroën companies, Renault, Valeo and Safran group.

    4 main actions : - Attract the best researchers and students - Develop an educational quality research excellence - Participate in creating an innovation ecosystem in the Yvelines - Fostering interdisciplinary and research at science frontiers

    Some of the UVSQ Foundation projects : - Young talent UVSQ scholarship - Development of the university library holdings - Equal Opportunities Program - Business researcher club - Thesis prize


    Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University is divided into ten components. There are six faculties, two University Institutes of Technology, one School of Engineering and one Observatory.

    Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University is also managing three schools in partnership with other institutions.


    In 2012, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University offers 50 Bachelor's degree, 53 diplôme universitaire (university degree), 10 E-learning courses, 95 Master's degree, 13 diplôme universitaire de technologie (university diploma in Technology), 2 Diplôme d'Ingénieur, 1 Doctor of Medicine degree, 1 Midwifery degree and 2 diplôme d'accès aux études universitaires (access to university degree).

    In 2012, the Bachelor's degree is issued in four areas : arts-humanities-languages, law-economy-management, humanities and social sciences, and science-technology-health. In 2012, the Master's degree is issued in five areas : arts-humanities-languages, law-economy-management, humanities and social sciences, environmental science-territory and economics, and science-technology-health.


    Research activities at the university are done in 35 laboratories. 12 of them are affiliated to the French National Centre for Scientific Research. It are grouped in six departments and have a total of nearly 950 researchers and 715 PhD students.

  • The « chemistry, physics, materials, renewable energy » department, center for the study of materials and solid will host in 2013 the Institut de la fiabilité des matériaux pour la mécatronique et les systèmes complexes (Institute of materials reliability for complex systems and mechatronics).
  • The « environment and sustainable development » department deals with many themes: sciences, humanities, economics, medicine, ...
  • The « mathematics, computer science, engineering sciences » department examines two themes: mathematics and computer and systems engineering.
  • The « biology and health » department includes about 300 researchers and 1200 students of 1st year medical course. Research areas are: biology, medicine, epidemiology and population health. This pole is attached to several hospitals like Ambroise-Paré, Raymond Poincaré, Sainte-Périne, Foch, ...
  • The « cultures, humanities and sciences » department with three main areas of research and training : languages and civilizations, culture and business, social sciences.
  • The « institutions and organizations » department which focuses on management science, law and political science.
  • The Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (Pierre-Simon Laplace Institut), a research institute in global environmental sciences, located at Guyancourt, composed of six laboratories which only three are under partial guardianship of UVSQ : terrestrial and planetary study center, aeronomy department, laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (Climate science and environment laboratory).

    The aeronomy department and partially the terrestrial and planetary study center merged on 1 January 2009 into the laboratoire atmosphères, milieux et observations spatiales (LATMOS, atmospheres, environments and space observations laboratory), placed under the supervision of UVSQ.

    Teachers and former teachers

    Several sociologists teach or have taught at the university, including Roland Guillon, known for his work on the problem of employment and capital; Laurent Mucchielli, specialist in criminology including issues of crime and violence of immigrant populations; Philippe Robert, specialized in the study of delinquency and deviance; and Étienne Anheim, Didier Demazière and Claude Dubar.

    UVSQ also counts among its current or former teachers historians like Bernard Cottret, honorary member of the Institut Universitaire de France; Christian Delporte, specialist in political and cultural history of the 20th-century of France; Bruno Laurioux, French Middle Ages historian; Jean-Yves Mollier and Loïc Vadelorge, both specialized in contemporary history.

    In science, people like the creator of the ext2 file system Rémy Card, the docent in practice and theory of photography Fabien Danesi, the deputy director of the École Normale Supérieure Jean-Charles Darmon or the chemist and member of the French Academy of Sciences Gérard Férey teach or have taught at the university.

    Valérie-Laure Bénabou, teacher of private law, is also on the faculty.

    Doctors honoris causa

    During the honorary degree graduation ceremony on 18 October 2011 at the Versailles Orangerie, Sylvie Faucheux, who was President of the university, awards, in the presence of Alain Boissinot, six personalities: Andrew Abbott (sociology teacher at the University of Chicago), George Bermann (international law teacher at Columbia University), Amos Gitai (director and filmmaker Israeli), Robin Hartshorne (mathematics teacher at the University of California), Günther Lottes (history teacher at the University of Potsdam) and Seiji Miyashita (physics teacher at the University of Tokyo).

    External image

    The university has a logo showing a white sunrise on a green earth referring to the sustainable development, major theme of the university. The diary is named « T'DACtu » is published every two months. He is for partners of the university, and also for students and staff. A movie diary called « UVSQ & Vous » is also available each month. Moreover, the university is the initiator of the European project « Europolytec » which purpose is to design a website dedicated to careers in computer science and mechatronics.

    Student services


    The DVE (Direction de la Vie Étudiante) mission is to improve student life through different ways and bring life on campuses.

    There are two services :

    - Advice and support: reception for foreign students and accommodation service, to help students to find a room

    - accompaniment of students initiatives : culture service, sport service and associations service.

    Student life spaces

    The DVE is also responsible to manage places for students on the campuses such as places for lunch breaks, for relaxation or work. These places are on the first floor of Buffon building at Versailles campus and for Saint Quentin en Yvelines campus, you will find these relaxation places at Vauban building.


    With the DVE, students have discount for a selection of cultural events. There is a cultural program in the Yvelines for each semester. So the students can go to cinemas, theatres and concerts with reduced prices.


    In Guyancourt, Versailles and Vélizy campuses, students have access to 20 sports activities.


    The CROUS (Centres Régionaux des Oeuvres Universitaires et Scolaires) is also a service which is dedicated to improve student life. Every student who is registered at university can access CROUS services.

    Accommodation : CROUS can help students to find accommodation closer to their universities. In 2011, more than 8500 students were housed in 25 residences managed by the CROUS.

    Scholarship : the CROUS is in charge of the awarding of the scholarships to students. They also have case workers who can help students.

    Restaurants: On the campuses, there are restaurants managed by the CROUS. Students can have meals for reduced prices.

    Student job and internship : The CROUS makes job or internship advertisements for students available for free.


    Scholarships on social criteria : Students can apply between 15 January and 30 April for the year after. There are 3 criteria : - household revenue - number of children to support - distance from the place of study

    Allowance for diversity in public service : support for most deserving applicants preparing competitive exam to work on public services.

    Student loans : students can apply for bank loans guaranteed by the French state. They do not need guarantees.

    Student associations

    Approximatively 30 associations are offering students many diverse activities along the year. They include the fields of science, social sciences and humanities, law, medicine, humanitarian-social-environment, handicap, international, communication, reflexion, student involvement and mechatronics.

    It is quite easy to join in or to create an association at the Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University.

    Being in an association gives the students the opportunity to imagine and develop specific unprofitable projects though it. Associations can present these projects and get a grant attributed by the FSDIE commission (Solidarity and Development Fundings for Student Initiatives) to finance them. This funding is partly composed with the registration fees from the students each year. This commission gathers three to four times a year (September, November, March and June) and allocates, through a vote, the subsidies among the projects.

    Other financial partners of the university can contribute to help the associations to finance their projects.

    In order to give the students a place to gather and elaborate projects or to entertain, a student house opened in 2013 on the Versailles campus. It was designed by architect Fabienne Bulle, and has an area of 1,730 m2. This building accommodates local trade and cultural activities, a multipurpose room, an art room, service areas and also a cafeteria. Associations offices are also located there.

    International relations

    From the beginning, the university has developed international networks such as Erasmus, the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CREPUQ) or other partnerships with universities abroad. The number of partners is about 230 in 2011. The university has welcomed 330 students from a foreign country in 2010. The amount of students from Erasmus from 2003 to 2008 is between 0,41 and 0,67% of the university students, which rank the university 61/75 of the French universities for this programme.

    The university also welcomes foreign students who wants to obtain a French degree. In 2010, they are about 2,400, which is 13,3% of the students. They are much more in proportion in the PhD courses, where they are almost half of the students (45%).


    On the 14,226 students of the university in 2004, 77.1% were holder of a Baccalauréat général (general Baccalauréat), 12.3% a Baccalauréat technologique (technological Baccalauréat) and 0.7% a Baccalauréat professionnel (vocational Baccalauréat). Furthermore, 12.5% of students receive scholarships. Concerning the social origins, 49.2% of the students have a favored social origin and 20.2% a disadvantaged social backgrounds. 30.6% have an average social origin.


    Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University Wikipedia