Collège de France (kôlĕzhˈ də fräNs) [key], institution of higher learning founded in Paris, France, in 1529 by Francis I at the instigation of Guillaume Budé. It was founded to encourage humanistic studies and has always been independent of any university and free from supervision. Its lectures are open to the public without matriculation or fee. It gives no examinations and grants no certificates or degrees. Now its range of studies encompasses numerous humanistic and scientific fields. Its faculty includes many distinguished scholars.