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French varsities wooing Indian counterparts

Sweta Narayanan

Interactive rendezvous at Alliance Francaise



GO FRENCH: Representatives of universities and institutes from France interact with their counterparts in Chennai at the EduFrance meet on Monday. — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI : The city's French connection just got bigger. A host of French universities and their Indian counterparts came together for an interactive rendezvous at the Alliance Francaise de Madras here on Monday.

The two-day meet is part of the French Higher Education Week being organised in different Indian cities. EduFrance Chennai, in association with the French Embassy in India and the Alliance Francaise de Madras, is providing a platform for over 40 universities from France to network with Indian universities from Tamil Nadu.

The objective: to attract more Indian students to France, said Philippe Martineau, Cultural Counsellor, French Embassy in India. There are around 1,200-1,500 Indian students now studying in France.

``France is not too well-known in India,'' said Mathilde Mallet of the Department of Promotion, EduFrance. Such meetings would be more efficient when operated in a framework of bilateral cooperation.

Institutes at the meet will look at establishing faculty and making student exchange programmes and sharing resources among various departments with a focus on tie-ups in engineering, science and management studies. ``This is the first time that France is aggressively going after Indian universities,'' said Chitra Krishnan who heads School of English and Foreign languages, University of Madras.

The IIT-Madras, Anna University, University of Madras and Vellore Institute of Technology are some of the participants in the two-day meet.

The Universite Aix-Marseille held discussions with Stella Maris College and identified faculty and student exchange as interest areas. Similarly, Anna University has negotiated with three French universities for an umbrella agreement at the Masters and PhD levels, especially in the areas of nanotechnology, biotechnology and robotics.

Interactions will continue on Tuesday (2.30 p.m - 6.30 p.m) at Alliance Francaise.

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