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Identify future research areas, boost the dissemination of knowledge and contribute to the reputation of French research

Spread an exceptional education, freely to anyone all over the world. The development of the International Digital Campus of The College de France, supported by the foundation Bettencourt Schueller, allowed this multidisciplinary institution to identify future research areas, boost the dissemination of knowledge and contribute to the repuration of French research.


The Collège de France is the only institution of its kind in the world. Its mission is to teach science in statu nascendi (in the making), identify future research areas, boost the dissemination of knowledge and contribute to the reputation of French research.

When it was created by François I in 1530, the Collège de France had six royal lecturers who taught subjects not yet available in universities. Today, with about 50 tenured professors, it is still the most daring research institute. Its teachings are open to all, with no registration, selection or entry fees. The lectures cover a wide range of disciplines, from basic science to the study of great civilizations, life sciences, social sciences, economics, philosophy, linguistics and history. Its three annual chairs ensure that it is in tune with the times and that it explores emerging fields or those requiring a multidisciplinary approach.


This mission and its special features give the Collège de France a fundamental advantage at a time when the digital age is profoundly changing methods of disseminating knowledge and, subsequently, higher education and research.

Open, online access to outstanding content that meets the requirements of high-level research, constitutes a decisive advantage in the highly competitive world of research and knowledge transmission. The Foundation supported the creation and development of the Collège de France’s International Digital Campus. Open online access to courses in English and French, and some in Spanish and Chinese, widens the Collège’s audience and contributes greatly to its international status. All of the professors’ courses can now be followed in the Collège’s amphitheaters or viewed at any time on www.college-de-france.fr.

The Collège de France and Yale University are the only institutions that offer free online access to complete courses on current research, with a clear editorial line, annual updates, and digital audio, video and/or text resources. In 2013, over 19 million hours of courses were downloaded from the Digital Campus’s different platforms (website, podcasts, iTunes U, YouTube, Dailymotion, Twitter and Facebook).


We are pleased with the success of the International Digital Campus. In 2013, over 19 million hours of courses were downloaded. Our teachings have left the bricks-and-mortar buildings and are open to anyone at any time, in any place and in different languages, since all of the courses are translated into English and some into Chinese and Spanish. This success is proof of our fruitful cooperation with the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, without whom this innovative project would not have been possible. The International Digital Campus is now very popular among both researchers and the general public. This partnership brings international scope to our mission of disseminating knowledge at the highest levels and contributes greatly to the spread of French science and culture.

Serge Haroche, Director of the Collège de France, Nobel Prize for Physics in 2012.


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