Aix-Marseille University, French Aix-Marseille Université, coeducational, state-financed, autonomous institution of higher learning founded under France’s 1968 Orientation Act, reforming higher education. The institution developed out of the original University of Provence, founded in 1409 as a studium generale by Louis II of Provence and recognized by papal bull in 1413. From the 15th to the 18th century it developed as an institution of classical learning, liberal arts, theology, law, and medicine. It was suppressed during the French Revolution, reestablished in Aix and Marseille, and came to be known as Aix-Marseille.
In 1896 Aix-Marseille became one of 17 self-governing regional universities financed by the state. Under the Orientation Act of 1968, Aix-Marseille was divided into three institutions, each with independent units of teaching and research. The University of Provence (Aix-Marseille I) was primarily a school of languages and letters. It had an observatory and a centre for tele-education. The University of Aix-Marseille (Aix-Marseille II) was primarily a school of medicine and sciences. The University of Law, Economics, and Science (Aix-Marseille III) was added in 1973 in a restructuring of Aix-Marseille I and II. In 2011 the three entities were united and became Aix-Marseille University with its campus in Marseille.