NSU Professor was awarded the highest Order of France

Director of French Center NSU, professor of the Faculty of French language of the Institute of Humanities of Novosibirsk State University Michele Debrenne was appointed the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by the ordinance of the French Government.

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National Order of the Legion of Honour is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, established May 19 of 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte based on the model of the knightly orders. Affiliation with Order is the highest distinction of honor and official recognition of special merits in France. The appointment of the Order’s members is conducted by the President of French Republic for outstanding military or civil merits.

This is really a very high award – says Michele Debrenne, - Of course I never could imagine that I would be awarded. I received a letter from the Adviser of Consul of French Embassy in Moscow with the reference of the Decree publication with the list of names appointed by the Order. I am in the list, which was submitted by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Order is appointed for military or civil merits. Apparently, one of my great-grandfathers was awarded for military merits.

Generally, the citizen of France can be awarded by the Order after long years of impeccable government service or successful professional activity. Parisian Michele Debrenne entered the Humanities department of Novosibirsk State Univerisy in 1976 and graduated in 1980 with honors. For many years, Michele Debrenne is successfully implementing projects of student exchange and academic cooperation between Russia and France.    

Because of effort of Michele Debrenne major French Universities and high education Institutions has become key partners of Novosibirsk State University.

Among Russian universities, NSU is one of the most active in terms of cooperation with French institutions. In Russian-French cooperation, only RUDN University can be compared to NSU. The meaning of my work, for which, I assume, I received the award is that NSU to be more known abroad and thereby more students would arrive to study here. – says Michele.

She emphasizes that now cooperation with France is conducted in several areas.

This January NSU Alumni reunion meeting was successfully organized in Paris. The intake of students for short-term academic traineeships in Akademgorodok is currently being finalized. Last year 43 students have accomplished traineeships; this year the number of students applied for program exceeded the number of intern positions available.

According to Debrenne, this program is a very powerful impact for enhancing interest in Siberian science among French students.  

Michele Debrenne is also planning to organize “Study in Siberia” workshop in Paris.

For many times I organized conferences in Novosibirsk, when we demonstrated the local educational opportunities to representatives of French institutions. This time I am planning to do the opposite: to present Novosibirsk State University in Paris. It is worth mentioning that French partners of the conference are very interested. Furthermore, we have another plan for upcoming year – for NSU to join the Association of Francophonie – says Michele. Agreement on joining the Association of Francophonic Universities was accomplished in the end of 2016 during the visit of official representative of Association, Adela Talchiu-Chirita.

Order of the Legion of Honour is not the only award of Michele Debrenne. In 2008 she was granted with the award of French Senate «Trophées de la présence française à l'étranger» - for contributing to French culture development abroad.