The university of Nantes was founded in 1460. It was closed down after the French Revolution in 1793, like other French universities, but was not reopened in 1808 by Napoleon. It finally reopened in 1962.

As the major pole of higher education and research in western France, the university of Nantes is the number one multidisciplinary French university and the third largest by its number of students: 32,000 students in the initial part of their higher education and 11,000 in continuous higher education.

The university of Nantes is located in 3 different places: Nantes and Saint-Nazaire in the Loire-Atlantique département, and La Roche-sur-Yon in the Vendée. Students benefit from a high-quality coastal and metropolitan environment. The campuses are located in exceptional places of natural beauty and near town-centres.

Degrees, based upon the LMD European model (licence, master, doctorate), are proposed in all areas of knowledge : in letters, humanities, sciences and techniques, law, economics and managerial sciences, health, technology.

The university has established relations with more than 250 higher education partners in Europe and around the world which facilitates student mobility. The internationalisation of curricula also allows the university to welcome international students in the best way possible : around 3,000 foreign students, from 125 different countries, study here each year.

The university counts 73 research units and structures recognised by French national research bodies and French Ministry of Research, many of them are acknowledged on an international scale. Exchanges and many forms of collaboration between different research teams have also lead to the creation of several interdisciplinary research centres. The research laboratories of the university of Nantes participate in European Union research and development programs as well as in numerous international projects.