From August 29th to September 9th, 2023, the USTH delegation led by Prof. Jean-Marc Lavest – Principal Rector of USTH visited and held working sessions with leaders of French universities within the USTH Consortium. The aim was to promote and expand collaborative programs, and to explore new areas of future cooperation.
During the mission, Prof. Jean-Marc Lavest participated in the Conference of French Universities organized by the Association of French Universities on August 30th, 2023. The conference was attended by the Minister of Higher Education and Research of France and the Presidents of French universities. This marked the first time that the USTH Rector Board was invited to attend the conference. At the Conference, Prof. Jean-Marc Lavest met Prof. Guillaume Gelle – President of the Association of French Universities to discuss the development of USTH. He also expressed the desire to further strengthen bilateral cooperation with French universities in training and research. In response, Prof. Guillaume Gelle stated that the Association is willing to negotiate a higher-level cooperation agreement with the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology to facilitate collaboration between USTH and French universities.
In the next two days, on August 31st and September 1st, 2023, Prof. Jean-Marc Lavest participated in the “Expertises France” meeting, coordinated by the leaders of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Europe, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research of France. During the meeting, the university leaders gained insights into the perspectives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Europe regarding French higher education cooperation projects abroad (known as the Franco-X university model). USTH was evaluated as one of the most stable and successful universities following the Franco-X model.
As a part of this mission, USTH signed two cooperation agreements for jointly delivering a double degree program in Chemistry with University of Reims Champagne Ardenne and in Biotechnology and Drug Discovery with University of Montpellier . These agreements play a crucial role in opening up international study opportunities and cultural exchange experiences in France for young Vietnamese students.
On September 4th, 2023, the USTH delegation visited the Alternative and Atomic Energies Agency (CEA) in the city of Grenoble. They met the leaders of Interdisciplinary Research Institute of Grenoble (IRIG), a fundamental research division under CEA, which encompasses LCBM and SyMMES laboratories specializing in chemistry and applied biology related to energy and environment. Both parties discussed the possibility of establishing joint labs in the field of materials science, and energy, along with the feasibility of jointly supervising PhD students (PhD cotutelle). IRIG proposed the creation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between IRIG and USTH as a foundation for seeking suitable funding sources to further develop research and doctoral training cooperation.
On September 5th, 2023, the USTH delegation met the Rector Board of Aix Marseille University, a close partner of USTH in many bachelor and master programs, including the double degree program in Chemistry. Both sides discussed several key points to facilitate a smooth transition for USTH students when transferring to Aix Marseille University, as well as the prospects for doctoral training cooperation (PhD cotutelle).
On September 7th and 8th, 2023, the delegation visited the campus and worked with the leaders of University of Toulouse and its member institutions, including IUT Blagnac and University of Toulouse III- Paul Sabatier.
During the meeting with Prof. Michael Toplis, President of University of Toulouse, Prof. Jean-Marc Lavest highlighted USTH’s recent developments, expressed gratitude for the founding role of University of Toulouse in the USTH Consortium. He also expressed hope that University of Toulouse and its member institutions would continue to support USTH in the future.
IUT Blagnac, a part of the University of Toulouse II, is located in the aerospace technology hub, near Airbus headquarters. Both sides discussed potential collaborations in aerospace training and came to an agreement that IUT Blagnac would send a delegation to further assess the Aeronautical Engineering program at USTH, compare curricula, and determine the most effective collaboration approach.
University of Toulouse III has been a close partner of USTH in training and research. USTH has collaborated with University of Toulouse III in jointly delivering the Master’s program in Applied Environmental Sciences. In addition, USTH has hosted many of its students for exchange programs in both master’s and doctoral programs. Furthermore, lecturers from both USTH and University of Toulouse III have engaged in numerous research collaborations and co-supervised PhD students. Based on this foundation, both parties expressed a keen interest in furthering the collaboration, particularly in establishing double degree programs, collaborative research groups, joint research projects and cotutelle PhD programs.
As part of the mission, the delegation had meetings with two distinguished Vietnamese scientists to discuss potential research collaborations, including Prof. Tran Quoc Tuan, Director of Research, Fellow Scientist, and International Expert at the CEA and Dr. Tran Ngoc Huan, a researcher, who works at College de France and in the research group of Prof. Marc Fontecave, an expert in hydrocarbon catalysis and CO2 reduction.
The delegation also convened with USTH alumni currently studying and working in Paris to learn about their professional journeys and academic pursuits. Additionally, it served as an opportunity to gather feedback from USTH alumni to the establishment of a robust alumni network. This initiative aims to fortify the bonds among generations of students who have been part of the USTH community.