Located in the heart of Quebec's historic capital city, Université Laval is one of Canada's leading universities. Among the top ten Canadian universities in terms of research, it has received more than 230 million dollars in external funds in year 2004 for research and international cooperation.
Université Laval traces its origins back to 1663, when Monseigneur François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, founded the Séminaire de Québec with the authorization of the King of France, Louis XIV. A Royal Charter creating the Université Laval was granted to the Séminaire de Québec by Queen Victoria in 1852. A few years later, in 1878, the Université Laval opened a second campus in Montreal to offer higher education teaching in this city . Université Laval's "Montreal branch" became the Université de Montréal in 1920. As Canada's first university, Université Laval was the very first institution in North America to offer higher education in French. Hence, it is the source of all French-speaking higher education on our continent.
Université Laval has been a pioneer in program assessment and strategic planning, and remains at the vanguard of the internationalization of teaching and research. As of fall 2004, Université Laval has over 350 programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and 38 000 students. 23% of those are at the graduate level. Finally, Université Laval attracts yearly more than 2 000 foreign students, and has close to 1 000 out-of-province Canadian students.