Signature of the Tripartite Agreement in Paris on May 11, 2023
In 2018, having spent ten years developing partnerships in Latin America, ParisTech began exploring possibilities for cooperation in Africa, in particular with the University of Nairobi in Kenya. The University of Nairobi is the top-ranked university not only in Kenya but in all of East Africa. It has around 84,000 students and is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020.
Thanks to the ADESFA* programme, which is financed by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and run by France Education International, five of the ParisTech schools (AgroParisTech, Chimie ParisTech, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Institut d’Optique Graduate School and Mines Paris - PSL) have been investigating the possibility of forming a partnership with the Université de Nairobi between 2010 and 2021 and to deepen these first contacts thanks to an Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (ICM) scheme obtained in 2020 for a period 2020-2023. So, the ParisTech schools have visited the Faculties of science and technology, of engineering and of agriculture in July 2019. A return visit was organised in February 2020.
Beyond institutional contacts, four ParisTech schools – AgroParisTech, Chimie ParisTech, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Mines Paris – and the University of Nairobi have begun to develop scientific and academic relationships. Particularly in electrochemistry with a seminar hold by two researchers from Chimie ParisTech in Nairobi in November 2022 and a workshop on the same topic in June 2023 in Paris. Training sessions were also organised on internationalization of higher education institutions in April 2022 in Paris with the four schools and on water management by AgroParisTech in Nairobi in April 2023.
Student mobilities have begun thanks to the support of the French Embassy in Kenya: in September 2020:for the first time, a student from the University of Nairobi joined the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech to study for a Master’s in Transport and Sustainable Development (TRADD). Then a master student did a 6-month internship at Chimie ParisTech in 2023 and will do a PhD in « cotutelle » between the two HEIs.
This preparatory steps and discussions have continued in parallel and resulted on May 11, 2023 in Paris in the signature of a Tripartite Agreement between the University of Nairobi, ParisTech and CentraleSupélec. This agreement, signed in the frame of the building of the Complex in Engineering and Science at UoN thanks to a sovereign loan of the French Agency for Development (AFD) is dedicated to the accompaniment of the UoN by the French graduate engineering schools on the organisation of university-companies links, particularly in the Complex’ governance, in research and innovation, as well in the revision of the curricula in science and engineering and internationalization. The kick-off meeting took place in Nairobi in the beginning of July 2023 with all participating higher education institutions.
*ADESFA: “Appui au développement de l’enseignement supérieur français en Afrique” = Support for the Development of French Higher Education in Africa