The Paris-Sorbonne University – Paris IV was one of the most prestigious institutions for teaching arts, languages and humanities in France or indeed the world.
The university, which was known as Paris IV had a long and politically-charged history dating back to medieval times. The original Collège de Sorbonne was founded in 1257 as part of the (even older) University of Paris. During the 1500s the university became a centre of Catholic conservatism and the Sorbonne was later supressed during the French Revolution before being re-opened again by Napoleon in the early 1800s. More recently the Sorbonne was the setting for some of the most turbulent actions in the May 1968 student uprisings which swept across France. In 1970 the University of Paris was divided into thirteen separate institutions, The Paris-Sorbonne University – Paris IV inhabits the original Sorbonne building along with two other universities created during this time.
Paris IV also occupied campuses in 12 sites across Paris and had six libraries in the city. The Sorbonne Library (formerly the University of Paris library) contains 2.5m books and is shared by several universities. The university offered tailored tutoring to students from overseas who do not have French as a first language.
Paris IV inherited the schools of Human Sciences, Classical Languages, Modern Languages and the Arts from the original University of Paris. The university was also home to the prestigious school of communication (CELSA) and ESPE school of education. It has constantly ranked highly for teaching in these fields in the global rankings since its creation in 1970.
Famous alumni include Paul Biya, president of Cameroon and writer Carlos Alvarado-Larroucaua.
Until 2018 Paris-Sorbonne University 4 was ranked as a separate institution in the THE 2018 World University Rankings. Since the 2019 World University Rankings, Sorbonne University (which is a merger of Pierre and Marie Curie and Paris-Sorbonne University 4) has been ranked.