Siberian and French Universities Discuss Cooperation at NSU Conference

Ten representatives fr om French and Siberian universities took part in an annual NSU conference. The conference program included a presentation of the Trianon Dialogue, a round table, “Academic Mobility: How to Overcome Obstacles”, a presentation of the program “Exporting Education”, a round table, “University Networks, Why?” , and a visit to the research laboratories in Akademgorodok and Academpark.

During the first round table, representatives from higher educational institutions discussed obstacles to the implementation of inter-university cooperation, the financial aspects of mobility, administrative difficulties implementing exchange programs and double diplomas, developing a sample contract for joint management of dissertations, and internships in Russia.

Evgenia Pashayan-Leroy, Representative of the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comte, talked about the event,

Forums like this are a great opportunity to meet new partners, share experiences, and discuss critical issues. We tried to solve problems together, compare different practices, and find vulnerabilities in our internship programs. NSU is one of the best universities in Siberia. In addition, Akademgorodok has large world-renowned research centers, so our delegation needed to come here and see everything for themselves. The presence of our University at the conference is also important because the University of Burgundy-Franche-Comte consists of seven universities and our President shared his experience managing this type of university.

Pashayan-Leroy noted that Russian students at French universities often have a number of problems with visas and housing.   Conference participants also shared their experience organizing internships and learned how to provide better conditions for foreign students. The group of universities in the Franche-Comte Burgundy Region, together with NSU, are working together for the first time, but productive international cooperation is already expected.

During the second round table, “University Networks, Why?”, conference participants discussed what is better having direct contact or a university network, why university alliances are needed, and whether international consortia are necessary.

Michelle Debrenne, NSU Coordinator of Cooperation with France and French-speaking Countries, described one outcome of the discussions,

One of the main ideas that evolved during the discussions is that inter-university international cooperation makes it possible to create truly joint educational programs wh ere the sciences intersect, that meet time requirements, and combine the advantages of the Russian and French partners for the benefit of students.

In addition, NSU is the third Russian university that has a joint educational program agreement with one of the best engineering schools in Europe, the Ecole Polytechnique. Ecole Polytechnique has been an NSU partner since 2003. From 2005–2013, there was a double diploma program. 46 NSU students studied in the Ecole Polytechnique Engineering program. 36 of these students were in the NSU Mechanics and Mathematics Department and 27 of them earned double diplomas. Three Ecole Polytechnique students received NSU diplomas, and 10 French students had scientific internships under the guidance of NSU professors. Currently, Ecole Polytechnique is ranked #1 among French universities, 65th in the QS ratings and 115th THE ratings. Ecole Polytechnique’s guiding principle, “learning through science”, echoes NSU’s motto.