First "Salon for Higher Education in Siberia" in Paris

From November 12 to 15, delegations from 13 leading Siberian universities attended the first “Salon for Higher Education in Siberia” in Paris. The event was organized by Novosibirsk State University with support from Rossotrudnichestvo, Tomsk State University, the Russian-French civil forum “Trianon Dialogue”, the French Embassy in Russia, the Russian Embassy in France, Campus France, and the Alliance Francaise.

The Salon included presentations by universities, meetings with French partners and interested universities, and an exhibition of nature photographs of Siberia. On the first day, there was a meeting of 80 graduates from Siberian universities who live and work in France. They discussed establishing a Siberian community in Paris. This would facilitate coordinating assistance for Siberians in France, provide information about job opportunities, and help organize events or meetings. Another Salon event was the XX International Scientific and Practical Conference “Cooperation with French Universities in Siberia: Problems and Solutions” that conducted three round tables.

Michele Debrenne, Director of the NSU French Center, talked about the event,

In general, the first Salon can be considered a success even though not everything turned out as planned. For example, it was not possible to reach a wide French student audience. Nevertheless, the discussions demonstrated that Siberians understand each other and are ready to unite to find solutions so our French partners come away with positive impressions of Siberia and the higher education opportunities offered by leading universities in the region. I really hope the Salon concept has a great future.

Salon participants also discussed the creation of a league of Siberian universities to cooperate with French partners. This would facilitate addressing issues that arise from the implementation of joint programs. Exhibition stands presented the results and prospects for scientific cooperation with French universities.

Another important aspect of the event was the official signing of four inter-university agreements between NSU and the French higher education institutions Mines Paris Tech, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, ESPCI Paris, and Telecom Paris.

During the meeting a proposal was made to conduct “Salons of Higher Education” in France as a response to this event in Siberia and to organize “Salons” in other regions of Russia or to focus on specific subject areas.