How to grow up yet stay the same?

UTC-Compiegne, as a Founder Member of the Sorbonne Universities Cluster, has opened its local innovation ecosystem, its experimental territorial infrastructure, for its partners. We recall that UTC itself benefits from an experimental university status and is now spreading its academic model outside France as it has already done in France. The thrust covers two strong concepts, one of which consists of boosting technological research (with UTT-Troyes) on complex systems already under development in Shanghai. The other concept revolves round its cursus based on flexible pedagogy which enhances training and aims at closing the gap with the entrepreneurial world with long placements and workshop projects. This is now being exported to countries abroad, such as currently to Brazil.

How to grow up yet stay the same?

Do the French Universities de Technology (UTs) share common aims?

UTC-Compiegne has moved closer to UTT -Troyes) and is currently preparing to consolidate HE clusters as required by the public authorities following the 2007 Pécresse Law. French Universities are indeed engaged in a vast consolidation thrust. The size of each campus is considered to be a powerful lever for productivity and progress as long as they respect the individual identities and their specific features. In every other sector, we can observe how enterprises have regrouped over the past decade.

Globalization forces us to achieve critical sizes. France does not escape this self-evident requirement. UTC-Compiegne asserts that its particular DNA profile and its other specific features constitute a real added-value. As UTC sees it, technology is not a by-product of science - it is a science in its own right. This identity of the French UTs (and in particular for UTC) is an undisputed advantage, a form of differentiation that makes the pioneering UTS original and yet different.


A question of methodology

There are 3 universities of technology today in France: ours (UTC-Compiegne, created in 1972), UTBM-Belfort Montbeliard and our “big neighbours” UTT-Troyes. For the past year now, Compiegne and Troyes have been working together and getting closer. “With UTT-Troyes, our objective is to become the first engineering school in France in terms of their combined size”, adds President Storck. If they achieve this, they will be in an excellent position to defend the colours of engineering sciences and technology in an even larger combination, including a big Parisian techno-cluster. UTC and UTT have lots of points in common: “Together we have begun building a partnership with various enterprises via our engineering subsidiary Uteam,” comments Prof Storck, “and our specialty curricula are complementary and can be seen as a geographic extension of the Paris capital area and its engineering schools”.

Pierre Koch, President and VP of UTT-Troyes confirms the potential synergies and makes a plea to adopt organization modes that preserve the interests of the parties. “In France, our engineering schools are too small, individually, but one previously heard solution, to combine them all together would not have been an appropriate move”. President Koch also recalls that the recent French Regional reform has led to less, but larger geographic entities. “We are now key players in our respective territories, UTT-Troyes in the ‘Grand Est’ and UTC-Compiegne in ‘Hauts de France’ (the new official ‘denominations’) and we must preserve our capacity to act locally”.

Nonetheless, both Compiegne and Troyes are supporting the same training project; they have agreed to jointly take major, new, changes into their pedagogical vision, but President Koch feels that “we must identify an arrangement that complies with the consolidation-related challenges ad preserves the independence of all regional actors. But the conditions of participation of University Paris 4 and Paris 6 will help us clarify these points”.