Flinders’ French connections were strengthened with the signing of a new agreement on 23 November 2018, which expanded the University’s growing list of French academic partnerships providing students and researchers with fantastic opportunities for cross-country placements and projects.
The Memorandum of Understanding was brought to the University by representatives of graduate school of engineering IMT Atlantique, who toured Tonsley campus before signing Flinders to the document that consolidates its collaboration with Western Alliance for Scientific Outcomes in Australia (WASSA) members.
WASSA members comprise a cluster of higher education institutions in the Brittany area of France, including IMT Atlantique, which have a focus on maritime engineering and defence. Members include the University of Brest, University of South Brittany, Brest National School of Engineering, the French Naval Academy and Flinders’ existing partner, ENSTA Bretagne, which is soon to host three Flinders students on Nicholas Baudin scholarships.
Representatives from IMT Atlantique on the visit included President Paul Friedel, who was accompanied by Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and senior University staff, together with Dr Nicholas Duhaut of the Embassy of France and Dr Jon Gorvett, Director of Intergovernmental and International Relations with the South Australian government.
The new agreement cements Flinders place in the South Australia / Brittany sister-Region MoU and formalises the University’s existing collaborations in this area, while opening up new opportunities for students and researchers through future government-funded initiatives.
The visit also provided an opportunity to discuss potential areas of working with IMT Atlantique and introduce Flinders students, who have applied to participate in its upcoming summer school in Brest.