On October 18, ParisTech welcomed an American delegation led by the Franco-American Fulbright Commission. Composed of senior representatives from various American universities, the delegation could discuss with ParisTech schools about the place of engineering schools in the French higher education system and the French engineering education.
The Franco-American Fulbright Commission, which manages the France Fulbright Program, organizes each year the hosting of a delegation of representatives from American universities as part of the Fulbright International Education Administrators Program. This year's delegation included representatives from GeorgiaTech, the Universities of California, Maryland, Montana, Boston, Houston, Sam Houston State University, Florida Atlantic University, Central Washington University, as well as colleges such as Marist College in Poughkeepsie and Lone Star College in Cypress.
After a first stop in Nantes and Angers area, the delegation led by Martine Roussel, Executive Director of the Franco-American Fulbright Commission, was welcomed on October 18 for one of its last visits at ParisTech by Christian Lerminiaux, President of ParisTech, and a representative of each ParisTech school.
The meeting was very rich in exchanges about the place of graduate engineering schools in the French higher education system. C. Lerminiaux recalled how these schools which were mostly created in the 18th century, fit into the newly redefined landscape of higher education. He had the opportunity to evoke the articulation between the schools and the universities or groups they belong to. Then Marie-Christine Bert, Director of International Relations and Corporate Partnerships at École des Ponts ParisTech, presented the special features of French engineering education.
Finally, each ParisTech school had the opportunity to present itsef and the partnerships in the USA they may have individually with PennState, University of Florida, Yale School of Environment, GeorgiaTech, Texas A&M University, Berkeley, University of Chicago, Columbia, Tufts University, MIT, the University of Washington, the University of South Carolina, the University of Santa Barbara, the University of Nevada, Stanford, CalTech, Harvard or the University of Rochester and the University of Tucson, and to map out prospects for cooperation with the United States.
The discussion was intense, both on engineering education, the recruitment of international students within the framework of ParisTech, double degrees and the internationalization of the engineering curricula. The United States is a preferred destination for students from the schools; however, they may encounter financial difficulties when they cannot be assured of obtaining a research or teaching assistant position before departure - and therefore a waiver of tuition fees. On both sides of the Atlantic, the same questions are being asked about the structuring of international partnerships within the framework of a training-research continuum, whereas scientific cooperation is often primarily base on individual relationships. The delegation and the school representatives then continued their discussions over a convivial buffet.