On June 6th 2018, during President Emmanuel Macron’s working visit in Ottawa, the “Conférence des Présidents d’Universités,” (CPU) which is the voice of French universities, and the “Association des Collèges et Universités de la Francophonie Canadienne (ACUFC),” representative of the Francophonie postsecondary education institutions outside Quebec, made a joint commitment to strengthen the cooperation between Canada and France.
These two associations had already reached an agreement in May 2017 in order to enable French students to more easily become French teachers and teachers in French in Canada. They are now deciding to strengthen their cooperation with the signing of a letter of intent with a much broader scope.
The aim of this agreement is to solidify the relationships between Canadian and French institutions of higher education with the creation of a joint research and mobility program. To this end, the CPU and the ACUFC promise:
- To support the creation of joint online courses and programs in French between Canadian and French institutions;
- To increase the mobility of students, professors and researchers between institutions;
- To develop “double degrees” agreements between Canadian and French institutions;
- To promote the development of joint research projects in a variety of fields, such as artificial intelligence.
To achieve these goals, the two associations will create a three-person committee (presidents and directors of the institutions of both countries) which will hold a meeting once or twice a year in order to follow up on and ensure the progress of ongoing projects.
The signing of this letter of intent is a strong sign of Canada and France’s will to increase cooperation between their institutions of higher education and to enable Canadian and French students to interact with each other and to pool research efforts.