The Université Catholique de Lille was founded in 1875 and is now a prestigious actor in the French higher education system. The UCL is a private, non-profit university, and its educational philosophy is based on excellence, humanist values, achievement, and solidarity. The university boasts about 25,000 students, 6 faculties, and 20 colleges and institutes and welcomes over 2,600 students from 100+ countries each year. The UCL is accredited by the French Ministry of Education (Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche), which is charged with determining the policies and direction of the research and educational system in France. Students attending the Université Catholique de Lille are able to take courses in the following areas:
- Social sciences
- Science/computer science
While the Catho is a historically Catholic university, its curriculum, campus life, and student activities are secular in nature. The faculty and student body is comprised of people from all backgrounds, and diversity is embraced. The atmosphere of the campus is more similar to what students in the U.S. are used to than many other universities throughout Europe, with a sprawling campus, beautiful ancient buildings, and green space throughout. The Catho de Lille also houses a central library, a hospital complex, residence halls, a sports complex, an arts center, and more. The campus is about a 15 minute walk from the city center, giving students easy access to all that Lille has to offer.