University of Strasbourg
Université de Strasbourg
Palais Universitaire, main building of the former Imperial University of Strasbourg
Latin: Universitas Argentorati
TypePublic research university
Established1538; 486 years ago (1538)
Budget€536 million (2019)[1]
PresidentFather Michel Deneken
Location, ,
AffiliationsLERU, Utrecht Network

The University of Strasbourg (French: Université de Strasbourg, Unistra) is a public research university located in Strasbourg, France, with over 52,000 students and 3,300 researchers. Founded in the 16th century by Jean Sturm, it was an intellectual hotbed during the Age of Enlightenment.

The old university was split into three separate entities during the 1970s, before they merged back together in 2009. The University of Strasbourg is currently composed of 35 academic faculties, schools and institutes, plus 71 research laboratories spread over six campuses, including the historic site in the Neustadt.

Throughout its existence, Unistra alumni, faculty, or researchers have included 18 Nobel laureates, one Fields Medalist and a wide range of notable individuals in their respective fields. Among them are Goethe, statesman Robert Schuman, historian Marc Bloch and several chemists such as Louis Pasteur.


Johannes Sturm founder of the university, 1539

The university emerged from a Lutheran humanist German Gymnasium, founded in 1538 by Johannes Sturm in the Free Imperial City of Strassburg. It was transformed to a university in 1621 (German: Universität Straßburg) and elevated to the ranks of a royal university in 1631. Among its earliest university students was Johann Scheffler who studied medicine and later converted to Catholicism and became the mystic and poet Angelus Silesius.[4]

The Lutheran German university still persisted even after the annexation of the city by King Louis XIV in 1681 (one famous student was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1770/71), but mainly turned into a French speaking university during the French Revolution.

The university was refounded as the German Kaiser-Wilhelm-Universität in 1872, after the Franco-Prussian war and the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany provoked a westwards exodus of Francophone teachers. During the German Empire the university was greatly expanded and numerous new buildings were erected because the university was intended to be a showcase of German against French culture in Alsace. In 1918, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France, so a reverse exodus of Germanophone teachers took place.

During the Second World War, when France was occupied, personnel and equipment of the University of Strasbourg were transferred to Clermont-Ferrand. In its place, the short-lived German Reichsuniversität Straßburg was created.

In 1971, the university was subdivided into three separate institutions:

Following a national reform of higher education, these universities merged on 1 January 2009, and the new institution became one of the first French universities to benefit from greater autonomy.[5]


Grand hall of the University Palace, where the first session of the Council of Europe Assembly took place[6]

See also: Palais Universitaire, Strasbourg; National Academic Library (Strasbourg); and Observatory of Strasbourg

The university campus covers a vast part near the center of the city, located between the "Cité Administrative", "Esplanade" and "Gallia" bus-tram stations.

Modern architectural buildings include: Escarpe, the Doctoral College of Strasbourg, Supramolecular Science and Engineering Institute (ISIS), Atrium, Pangloss, PEGE (Pôle européen de gestion et d'économie) and others. The student residence building for the Doctoral College of Strasbourg was designed by London-based Nicholas Hare Architects in 2007. The structures are depicted on the main inner wall of the Esplanade university restaurant, accompanied by the names of their architects and years of establishment.

The administrative organisms, attached to the university (Prefecture; CAF, LMDE, MGEL—health insurance; SNCF—national French railway company; CTS—Strasbourg urban transportation company), are located in the "Agora" building.

Nobel laureates

Notable people

  • Simon Schraub
  • Rankings

    University rankings
    Global – Overall
    ARWU World[7]101–150
    QS World[8]303
    THE World[9]351–400
    USNWR Global[10]187

    See also


    1. ^ "Budget". University of Strasbourg. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
    2. ^ "Chiffres clés". University of Strasbourg. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
    3. ^ "Formation doctorale". University of Strasbourg. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
    4. ^ Paterson, Hugh Sinclair; Exell, Joseph Samuel (October 1870). "Angelus Silesius: Physician, Priest and Poet". The British & Foreign Evangelical Review. Vol. XIX. London: James Nisbet & Co. pp. 682–700, based in large part on Kahlert, August (Dr.). Angelus Silesius: Ein literar-historiche Untersuchung (Breslau: s.n., 1853).((cite book)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
    5. ^ "Décret n° 2008-787 portant création de l'université de Strasbourg" (in French). 18 August 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
    6. ^ See commemorative plaque Palais Universitaire de Strasbourg-10 août 1949
    7. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018". Archived from the original on 16 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
    8. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2018". Top Universities. 1 February 2017.
    9. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 18 August 2017.
    10. ^ "U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2018".

    48°34′49″N 7°45′52″E / 48.58028°N 7.76444°E / 48.58028; 7.76444