Lille University is the result of the common desire of the three universities of Lille to develop a leading European University, recognized worldwide for its research, the excellence of its teaching and its innovation in lifelong training. Today, Lille University is working toward becoming one of the top 10 French universities and among the top 50 European higher education institution by 2025.
Lille University has deep roots in the past. The first university was created in Douai in 1562 by the king of Spain. At the end of 18th century, the French Revolution and subsequent regimes made it hard for the university to continue. The real rebirth of the university, in its present form, dates back in 1854 with the creation of the faculty of Science in Lille under the aegis of Louis Pasteur. After the Second World War, the university underwent extensive development that led to the creation in 1967 of 3 universities: the University of Science & Technology (USTL), a vast green campus outside Lille in the city of Villeneuve d’Ascq, known as the "Cité Scientifique"; the University of Health & Law with various campuses in Lille; and the University of Human and Social Sciences, which was relocated in 1974 to a modern campus in Villeneuve d’Ascq known as "Pont de Bois". In 2014, the three universities signed a partnership agreement to begin a merger process to create Lille University. The merger will take place in 2018.