21/09/2022 | The University of Limoges has signed a tripartite agreement with the city of Limoges and the municipal community. Isabelle Klock-Fontanille, its president, discusses the content of this partnership
The University of Limoges has renewed and enriched its agreement linking it with the city of Limoges. However, after the first charter signed five years ago, it linked Limoges Métropole to various actions. After transitioning to an urban community in 2019, Limoges Métropole has new skills in support and assistance for higher education and research facilities and research programs. Isabelle Klock-Fontanille, president of the university, sheds light on this partnership.
@WHO! : In which areas have Limoges Métropole’s capabilities been strengthened?
Isabelle Klock-Fontanille: This is the first tripartite agreement we have signed since Limoges Métropole became an urban community with new powers on January 1, 2019. Every year, we implement an action program in the amount of 180,000 euros for 2022 with strong support for business. Limoges Métropole will, for example, participate in the financing of the “Entrepreneurial spirit” seminar for doctoral students with the aim of introducing them to the world of business, the possibilities of creating and developing a project. The Urban Community will finance the creation of a grant to support this entrepreneurial approach. The Jean-Claude Cassaing Prize has been renewed with a €3,000 innovation grant. Limoges Métropole supports the funding of conferences organized by the university. In addition to innovation, it focuses on priority sectors, surface treatment, electronics, photonics and cyber security, with close cooperation to support local businesses.
@! : Research and attractiveness are important axes, how do they translate?
I.KF. : Urban Community supports applied research and business development. For example, there is a project to structure the local meat sector, the university is responsible for completing the analyses. Two research and development projects will also be supported. The agreement includes an element of attractiveness in order to attract students, because this is also one of the problems of Limoges Métropole, certainly to attract, but above all to make people stay. It supports actions to make our territory more attractive for foreign students through summer schools. This year, companies such as Weston, Legrand, Sothys, the glove factory in Saint-Junien have joined this program. This allows them to know about these companies. Limoges Métropole is financing the creation of an operational innovation portal at the end of the year. The aim is to facilitate collaboration between the university, the socio-economic world and communities through networking.
“Students make the city attractive and are its heart”
@! : Scientific culture is a challenge to be met, what do you suggest?
I.KF. : Scientific, technical and industrial culture is an important cross-sectional area of work because one of the goals is to attract high school students to science. Through “scientibus” and various events, we raise awareness among young people in secondary schools. Limoges Métropole is associated with it all the more because the university received the SAPS ministerial label, science with society and for society. The framework agreement for 2021-2024, in addition to the actions that have been carried out or to be carried out, established different axes, in this case the increase of synergies between research for excellence, companies or actors in the territory; support the development of already structured sectors; support and coordinate actions to support and transfer research in close cooperation with ESTER Technopole and finally integrate innovation and research projects into international networks.
This year there is an action program worth 180,000 euros – Credit: Philippe Laurençon
@! : The city of Limoges has always been a historical partner, how does that translate?
I.KF. : This year, as always, the city supports events that accompany student life. During the health crisis, she was very responsive in giving our students access to packed lunches. The mayor is very sensitive to the presence of students, who make the city attractive and are the heart of city life. The communal center for social activity offers a paid mission to those who get into financial difficulties with the system of student work actions. A temporary housing allowance can be provided for the occasional admission of students without means. Students have access to a social and educational grocery store for food packages. In addition, the city helps student associations with projects, and CVEC, student life, also supports many. Students use sports equipment, rooms and materials provided by the city, this also applies to the University.
@! : Admission of international students could develop with excessive differentiated registration fees that have to pay…
I.KF. : We have a common opinion about the difficulties with the admission and integration of foreign students. After the end of differentiated rights, which are applied for the first time at the beginning of the school year, there is a risk that this will affect the number of pupils. For the countries with which we do not have an agreement, they will no longer come because they will not be able to pay more than 3000 euros per year. We had no choice, we finally did it because it is mandatory from 2018, even though we dragged our feet for years.
Author: Corinne Merigaud
Photo credit: University of Limoges