UP and Bordeaux INP establish new student exchange and research collaboration partnership

Posted on February 23, 2024

"I am pleased that both universities have further solidified their commitment to collaboration," said Prof. Sunil Maharaj.

A remarkable opportunity awaits students and academic staff from the University of Pretoria (UP) and France’s Polytechnic Institute of Bordeaux (Bordeaux INP), with a recently signed memorandum of cooperation between the two institutions. The agreement opens doors for students and academics to expand their horizons, experience new cultures and enhance their academic journeys.

UP’s Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) and Bordeaux INP have been engaged in a fruitful partnership since 2017, having built on a relationship that originated in 2000 between Professor Stefan Gruner of the Department of Computer Science at UP and the Laboratoire Bordelais de Recherche en Informatique in Bordeaux. The collaboration has been particularly successful in student exchange programmes and joint research endeavours, enriching the academic experiences of students and advancing knowledge in the field, such that the institutions have decided to renew and broaden the scope of the partnership.

“I am pleased that both universities have further solidified their commitment to collaboration by extending the original INP-EBIT agreement to the new INP-UP agreement, thereby broadening the scope of collaboration to include other faculties at UP,” said Prof Sunil Maharaj, UP Vice-Principal for Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Education. “Collaboration lies at the heart of innovation and progress in academia. It’s through the exchange of ideas, resources and expertise that we can push the boundaries of knowledge and drive meaningful change in society. By working together, we can tackle complex challenges more effectively and create impactful solutions that benefit our communities and the world at large.”

Bordeaux INP is a public institute that brings together six graduate schools of engineering that include several domains, such as electronics, computer science, biotechnology, chemistry, mechanics, aeronautics and environmental resources. It is also a major player in research and scientific and technological transfer through its 11 research laboratories.

“In the coming months, other topics such as architecture will certainly be at the heart of new synergies between UP and other higher education institutions located in Bordeaux and more generally in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in the southwest of France,” said Prof Eric Grivel, Bordeaux INP Vice-President for International Relations. “The variety of the scientific field developed there fully justifies the extension of the cooperation agreement established with UP and will allow us to intensify our exchanges. Everything will be done to facilitate the welcome of UP members to our beautiful region. We hope to be able to intensify our scientific collaborations.”

According to Prof Gruner, the new INP-UP agreement holds particular interest for several departments within the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UP. Disciplines such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and agriculture are well represented across various faculties of the INP, making this extension especially promising.

The new agreement encompasses the exchange of undergraduate students starting from the third year, with full accreditation of course modules from the partner institution. Additionally, it facilitates the exchange of postgraduate students and actively encourages research collaborations among seasoned academics from both institutions.

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