Franco-Chinese Cooperation: Stronger Links with the Southeast University of Nanjing

On 16 November 2023, the University of Rennes welcomed a delegation from the Southeast University of Nanjing, its long-standing partner of almost 40 years, to renew the framework agreement between both universities.

Renewal of the Framework Agreement between both Universities: A New Beginning

Almost 30 years after the signature of the first framework agreement between both universites, the University of Rennes welcomed a delegation from Southeast University of Nanjing to sign its renewal. This was the third visit of Zuo Wei, Chairman of the Chinese university, which currently has agreements with ISTIC, the Faculty of Economics and the Faculty of Law and Political Science. The delegation's visit was the opportunity for the university to enhance this partnership by taking stock of ongoing efforts and by identifying other schools likely to take part. Concerning the Faculty of Economics, it is currently hosting one Chinese PhD student, and it has three co-published articles under its belt, with two co-supervised doctorates signed, one ongoing and one completed in 2019. The Dean reiterated his wish that students from Rennes could follow courses through English in Nanjing. Concerning the Faculty of Law and Political Science, the agreement will be renewed with three students from each university going on a mobility programme.

By way of reminder, in 2018 the University of Rennes launched a joint graduate school with the Southeast University of Nanjing entitled "Rennes Graduate School of Southeast University". This is the first Franco-Chinese insititute to offer joint Master's and PhD programmes. Since then, over one hundred students have graduated from these programmes.

The signing of this agreement marks a new stage in cooperation between the two universities, in particular in the fields of digital technology, health technology and environment.

Southeast University of Nanjing: Long-Standing Relations with the University of Rennes

Southeast University (SEU), one of China's main universities, celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2022. It is one of the oldest higher education institutions in China and is one of the Chinese universities falling within the 'top-class' category. Drawing on its numerous programmes, the university is particularly focused on research and has placed internationalisation at the very core of its strategy for several years. It currently has over 36,000 students, some 2,000 of whom are from abroad.

Relations between the universities trace their origins back to cooperation in the field of science and health technologies launched in the 1980s between the Rennes-based Laboratoire Traitement du Signal et de l'Image (LTSI) and its 'mirror' laboratory in Nanjing, the Laboratory of Image Science and Technology (LIST), founded by a Chinese researcher who trained in Rennes. With a view to strengthening this synergy between both laboratories, the Franco-Chinese biomedical research centre entitled 'Centre de Recherche en Information Biomédicale sino-francais' (CRIBs) was created in April 2006, in partnership with INSERM, the University of Rennes and Southeast University. It was the first 'beyond-the-walls' university, an International Research Project (IRP) of the University of Rennes and Southeast University, as well as INSERM's first in the field of health technologies. This laboratory made it possible to create three delocalised Master's programmes: firstly in the fields of signal processing and electronics in 2008-2009, then in the field of banking and finance in 2010.  It is still active today, with seven ongoing PhDs (Chinese PhD students), and three co-supervised PhDs currently being signed. This dynamic was behind the creation of the IFC in 2018.