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The history of CIDEF

Created in 1947 in Angers, CIDEF is the Centre of French as a Foreign Language (FFL) of the Université Catholique de l’Ouest.

At the time of its foundation, CIDEF was located in the Palais universitaire, UCO’s original building dating back to 1875.
The first foreign students attending the “French classes for non-native speakers” were Polish and German. In the mid-sixties, CIDEF expanded rapidly, especially with the arrival of American students taking their “gap year” in France. Today CIDEF has partnerships with over 150 universities in many countries such as Canada, China, Korea, the United States and Japan; it welcomes over 1,200 foreign students every year and has been awarded a Label Qualité FLE (FFL quality label).
CIDEF has been successively headed by Yves Lagrée (1947-1956), Paul Roland (1956-1965), Hyacinthe-Marie Houard (1965-1970), Albert-Paul Carton (1970-1985), Renée Cochin (1985-1998), Marc Melin (1998-2013). Its current director is Florence Plessis.   

The Université Catholique de L'Ouest (UCO)

CIDEF is an integral part of the Université Catholique de l’Ouest. Founded in 1875, UCO is among the oldest universities in Western France and plays a key part in today’s higher education and research.

The university is a multi-disciplinary institution of learning with a global reach; it has over 100 training programmes offered by its six faculties:

  • Law, economics and management
  • Education
  • Humanities
  • Sciences
  • Human and social sciences

The university campuses

As a university with an international focus (180 partner universities and 1,200 international students) UCO has nine campuses, each offering specific course programmes whilst sharing common values and the same purpose which is to help students give their best and successfully develop their professional and personal project.

  • UCO campus of Angers + Ifepsa
  • UCO campus of North Brittany (Guingamp)
  • UCO campus of South Brittany (Vannes-Arradon)
  • UCO campus of Laval
  • UCO campus of Nantes
  • UCO campus of Niort
  • UCO campus of the Reunion Island
  • UCO campus of the Pacific (Tahiti)