The University of Bordeaux (French: ''Université de Bordeaux'') was founded in 1441 in France. The university is part of the Community of universities and higher education institutions of Aquitaine. It is one of the two universities in Bordeaux, with Bordeaux Montaigne University.


A first university during Roman Antiquity

In 286, a university had been created by the Romans. At this time, the city was an important administrative centre and the school had to train administrators. Only rhetoric and grammar were taught. Ausonius and Sulpicius Severus were the two most famous teachers.

The modern university

The original ''Université de Bordeaux'' was established by the papal bull of Pope Eugene IV on 7 June 1441 when Bordeaux was an English town. The initiative for the creation of the university is attributed to Archbishop Pey Berland. It was originally composed of four faculties: arts, medicine, law, and theology. The law faculty later split into faculties of civil law and canon law. A professorship in mathematics was founded in 1591 by Bishop François de Foix, son of Gaston de Foix, Earl of Kendal. In 1793, during the French Revolution, the National Convention abolished the university, and replaced it with the École centrale in 1796. In Bordeaux, this one was located in the former buildings of the College of Guyenne. Due to the lack of moral and religious teaching, and the revolutionary inclination of the École centrale, Napoleon reestablished the university in 1808. On 10 July 1896 the Third Republic re-founded the university. In 1970 the university was split into three universities: Bordeaux 1, Bordeaux 2, and Bordeaux 3. In 1995, Bordeaux 4 split off from Bordeaux 1. In 2007 the universities were grouped together as ''Communauté d'universités et établissements d'Aquitaine''. From 1 January 2014, the universities of Bordeaux were reunited, except for Bordeaux 3 which chose not to take part to the merger.

Notable alumni


* Geoffrey Keating (c. 1569–c. 1644), Irish historian * Léon Duguit (1859–1928), French scholar of public law * Henri Moysset (1875–1949), French historian and politician * Jacques Ellul (1912–1994), French philosopher, sociologist, lay theologian, and professor * James Joll (1918–1994), British historian and university lecturer * Julio Cotler (1932–2019), Peruvian anthropologist and sociologist * Théophile Obenga (b. 1936), Congolese Egyptologist * Spencer C. Tucker (b. 1937), American military historian * Charles Butterworth (b. 1938), American political philosopher * Helene Hagan (b. 1939), Moroccan–American anthropologist and Amazigh activist * Pascal Salin (b. 1939), French economist and professor * Marie-France Vignéras (b. 1946), French mathematician * Alfredo Co (b. 1949), Filipino Sinologist * Idowu Bantale Omole (b. 1954), Nigerian professor and academic administrator * Abderrahmane Hadj-Salah (1928-2017), Algerian linguist


* Aubrey Willis Williams (1890–1965), American social and civil rights activist * Jean-Claude Bajeux (1931–2011), Haitian political activist and professor * Louis Clayton Jones (1935–2006), African-American international attorney and civil rights leader


* Mireille Gillings (b. 1971), French Canadian neurobiologist and entrepreneur * Olivier Le Peuch (born 1963/1964), French businessman, CEO of Schlumberger


* Thomas Barclay (scholar)|Thomas Barclay (c. 1570–1632), Scottish jurist and professor * Ba Maw (1893-1977), Burmese politician * James Marshall Sprouse (1923–2004), United States Circuit judge

Literature and journalism

* François Mauriac (1885–1970) French novelist, dramatist, critic, poet, journalist and Nobel Laureate * Saint-John Perse (1887–1975), French poet-diplomat * Lucien Xavier Michel-Andrianarahinjaka (1929–1997), Malagasy writer, poet and politician * Esther Seligson (1941–2010), Mexican writer, poet, translator, and historian * Lee Mallory (b. 1946), American poet, editor and academic * Marc Saikali (b. 1965), Lebanese–French journalist * Sarah Ladipo Manyika (b. 1969), British Nigerian writer

Performing arts

* Luc Plissonneau (b. 1961), French screenwriter and film director * Morteza Heidari (b. 1968), Iranian TV presenter


* Jean Baptiste Gay, vicomte de Martignac (1778–1832), French statesman * Jean Ybarnégaray (1883–1956), Basque–French politician * Jean-Fernand Audeguil (1887–1956), French politician *Ba Maw (1893–1977), Head of State of Burma * Michel Kafando (b. 1942), Burkinabé diplomat * Xavier Darcos (b. 1947), French politician, scholar, civil servant and former Minister of Labour * Jean-Paul Gonzalez (b. 1947), French virologist * Mario Aoun (b. 1951), Lebanese politician * Alain Vidalies (b. 1951), the French Secretary of State for Transport, the Sea and Fisheries * Nagoum Yamassoum (b. 1954), Chadian politician and former Prime Minister of Chad * Anicet-Georges Dologuélé (b. 1957), Central African politician * Reza Taghipour (b. 1957), Iranian conservative politician * Thierry Santa (b. 1967), French Polynesian politician in New Caledonia * Germaine Kouméalo Anaté (b. 1968), Togolese government minister, scholar and writer * Olivier Falorni (b. 1972), French politician * Myriam El Khomri (b. 1978), French politician


* Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (1738–1814), French physician, politician and freemason and namesake of the guillotine * Célestin Sieur (1860–1955), French physician * Charles-Joseph Marie Pitard (1873–1927), French pharmacist and botanist * Pierre-Paul Grassé (1895–1985), French zoologist * Émile Peynaud (1912–2004), French oenologist * Laure Gatet (1913–1943), French pharmacist, biochemist and spy * Basile Adjou Moumouni (1922–2019), Beninese physician * Roland Paskoff (1933–2005), French geologist * Jean-Marie Tarascon (b. 1953), French chemist and professor * Bruno Vallespir (b. 1960), French engineer and professor


* Jean-Pierre Escalettes (b. 1935), French retired footballer * Karounga Keïta (b. 1941), Malian football official and former coach and player * Bixente Lizarazu (b. 1969), Basque–French retired footballer

Visual arts

* Charles James (1906–1978), English-American fashion designer

See also

* List of medieval universities



''International Dictionary of University Histories''
Routledge, 2013, pp. 429–431. {{DEFAULTSORT:Bordeaux 0, University Of University of Bordeaux Category:Educational institutions established in the 15th century Category:1441 establishments in Europe Category:1440s establishments in France Category:Forestry education Category:Universities and colleges formed by merger in France