| The University of Limoges has signed a tripartite agreement with the City of Limoges and the Urban Community. Its president, Isabelle Klock-Fontanille, discusses the content of this partnership
The University of Limoges has renewed and enriched its contract with the city of Limoges. However, since the first charter signed five years ago, Limoges has linked the Métropole to various events. After the transition to a City Community in 2019, Limoges Métropole has new capabilities in terms of support and assistance for higher education and research institutions and research programs. University President Isabelle Klock-Fontanille sheds light on the partnership.
@TOP! : In what areas have the skills of Limoges Métropole been strengthened?
Isabelle Klock-Fontanille: This is the first tripartite agreement we have signed since Limoges Métropole became an urban community with new powers on January 1, 2019. We are implementing an annual activity program of 180,000 euros for 2022 with strong support for entrepreneurship. For example, Limoges Métropole will participate in the funding of an “Entrepreneurial Spirit” seminar for doctoral students to be aware of the business world, project creation and development opportunities. The City Council will fund the creation of a grant to support this entrepreneurial approach. The Jean-Claude Cassaing dissertation prize has been renewed with a grant of 3,000 euros focused on innovation. Supports the funding of conferences organized by the University of Limoges Métropole. In addition to innovation, it targets priority sectors, surface treatment, electronics, photonics and cyber security, in close cooperation with the aim of supporting local businesses.
@ : Research and engagement are important axes, how do they translate?
I. KF. : Urban Community supports applied research and business development. For example, there is a project to build a local meat sector, the University is responsible for completing the analyses. Two research and development projects will also be supported. The contract includes an attraction component to attract students, as this is also one of the challenges of Limoges Métropole, to attract of course, but above all to make people want to stay. It supports measures to make our area attractive for international students with summer school. This year, companies such as Weston, Legrand, Sothys, Saint-Junien glove factory joined this program. This allows them to provide information about these companies. Limoges Métropole is funding the creation of an operational innovation portal at the end of the year. The idea is to facilitate collaboration between the University, the socio-economic world and communities through the network.
“Students make the city attractive and are in the center of the city”
@ : Scientific culture is a preventable problem, what do you suggest?
I. KF. : Scientific, technical, and industrial culture is an important cross-cutting area of work because one goal is to engage high school students in science. Through “Scientibus” and various actions, we conduct educational work among young people in secondary schools. Limoges Métropole is more associated with it because the University has acquired the label of SAPS, ministry for science and society. The framework agreement for the years 2021-2024 includes various axes, in addition to ongoing or upcoming activities, in this case, research for excellence, increasing synergies between companies or players in the area; support for the development of already structured sectors; To support and coordinate research promotion and transfer activities in close cooperation with ESTER Technopole and finally to include innovation and research projects in international networks.
This year an action program costing €180,000 is being implemented – Credit: Philippe Laurençon
@ : The city of Limoges has always been a historical partner, how does that translate?
I. KF. : As always, the city supports actions that accompany student life this year. During the health crisis, he was very reactive in allowing our students to eat packed lunches. The mayor is very sensitive to the presence of students who make the city attractive and are at the center of city life. The Communal Center for Social Action offers a paid mission to those experiencing financial difficulties through the student work action system. A temporary accommodation allowance may be granted without funds for periodic admission of students. Students can access the social and educational grocery store for food parcels. In addition, the City helps student associations with their projects, and many are also supported by CVEC, which contributes to student life. Students use sports equipment, rooms and materials provided by the city, which also applies to the university.
@ : Admissions of international students can thrive with the hugely different registration fees they have to pay…
I. KF. : We have a common understanding of the challenges of accepting and integrating international students. This risks affecting student numbers following the end of differential entitlements, which were introduced for the first time at the start of this academic year. And for the countries that we don’t have an agreement with, they won’t come anymore because they won’t be able to pay more than 3,000 euros a year. We had no other choice, even though we dragged our feet for years, we did it because it is mandatory from 2018.
By Corinne Merigaud
Photo credit: University of Limoges