The Frankreichzentrum (FZ) was founded in 1993 on the initiative of the rectorate of the University of Leipzig and has been integrated in the Zentrum für Höhere Studien from 1994 to 2008 in order to give a common frame to the diverse France-related activities of the university, to facilitate the organisation of research groups and event, and to promote the offer of studies connected to France at the university. The project brought together different institutes with France-related activities, such as the Institute for Roman Studies, the Franco-German programmes of the institute of Economical Sciences and of the Teaching Training Programme for French and German languages, the research seminar “Forschungstages Frankreich/Frankophonie” of the Institute for Roman Studies, and the French partners of the Science department.
The centre counts several successes; among them the organisation of a yearly French Summer School from 1993 to 2009 or the creation of the interdisciplinary Magister Programme “Frankreich-Studien”, running from 1996 to 2008. The latter gathered together divers faculties of the university, e.g. the faculty of Theology, of Economical Sciences, of Law, of History, Art and Oriental Studies, of Social Sciences, and of Philosophy. Besides, through the publication of two book-series – “Deutsch-Französische Kulturbibliothek” (29 volumes since 1993) and “Studien des Frankreich-Zentrums” (9 volumes since 1995) – and a biyearly journal – “Grenzgänge” – the centre has been able to release worldwide the outcomes of its research. Between 1998 and 2009 the FZ has also organized “Journées d’études”, a meeting between doctorates of different fields of study but whose researches are linked to France. The FZ has also played an important role in exchange programmes organised between the University of Leipzig and French universities or francophone universities in Africa. It also supports and helps the university to apply for membership to the Franco-German University network.
The Frankreichzentrum of the university of Leipzig has a special profile, compared to other France Centres throughout Germany. Its particular focus on Franco-German relationships in the perspective of worldwide Francophonie makes it one of its kind.