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You have the floor, Excellency - Ms Maryse Bossière

HE Maryse Bossière, French Ambassador to Mexico, who carried forward several developing UTC ‘offshore’ campuses* in Mexico, with her strong personal commitment and conviction, answered three key questions for Interactions’ readers. /* UTC, with the CNRS, set up the first international research unit (UMI) in Mexico.

You have the floor, Excellency - Ms Maryse Bossière

To what extent are the French and Mexican national authorities and enterprises involved in this project?

“The decision to set up of a “Franco-Mexican University Cluster” specifically aimed at sciences and technology was reached during the State visit of the President of Mexico to France in July 2015, following a proposal by the Franco-Mexican Strategic Council that brings together representatives of ‘civvy street’ and enterprise from both countries. Starting with a high school “prep. class”* in September 2015 located at the French lycée in Mexico City, the ultimate aim is to train (in a collaboration with UTC Compiegne and the existing Mexican engineering colleges) the future technical managers for both French and Mexican enterprises based in Mexico. The Mexican ministry in charge of Education and Higher Education will financially support the Mexica nationals selected, while the French and International Development Foreign Office will recruit the Project Executive Manager.”

/* ‘preparatory’ to sitting the competitive entrance exams to French Grandes Ecoles (engineering colleges).

 

What foreign policy ambitions does France entertain that would justify this form of partnership?

“At the heart of France’s foreign policy objectives, support for the international actions of our enterprises and participation of the country in training schemes that address potential foreign elites are seen as major aims. In the case of Mexico, our “economic diplomacy” implements fully this thrust with our enterprises, promoting their know-how and commercial presence in Mexico, facilitating training and recruitment of bilingual, bicultural, human resources. The presence of Mexican professionals who are perfectly aware of French specifics and our enterprises, and also their Mexican counterparts, represent an essential asset. That is why, in parallel to our major student mobility programmes for engineering science students (Mexfitec and Mexprotec), we have already negotiated and created skilled technician training Centres in aeronautics and PLM (product lifecycle management) in Mexican Institutes of technology and for the benefit of French companies installed in industrial sectors in Mexico. The UTC project is remarkable in terms of its contents, its locations and through the choice of partners and is a positive addition to the overall targets, via its engineering specializes”.

 

In your opinion, Ambassador, is it interesting (or even necessary?) to see French HE institutions getting involved, for the purpose of developing international partnerships?

“More than ever before, education and academic mobility have become the object of intense competition among nations. France is one of the key players of this global competition and the image of our university system is excellent in Mexico, both for arts and social sciences and also for hard sciences and technology. This advantage and associate privileges is of course due to the excellence of the training courses we offer in HE markets and with an increasing number of players in the game, it is now necessary that our universities in France organize themselves and propose to the potential foreign students increasingly innovative training specialties, open to be able to host international exchange agreements”.