Transatlantic Cooperation: Exchanges with the University of Rochester Showcased for the 65th Anniversary of the Rennes-Rochester Twinning

From October 17-21, the City of Rennes welcomed a delegation from the City of Rochester (New York State) to celebrate 65 years of friendship between the two cities. To mark the occasion, various members of the higher education community of Rennes met with the delegation at the Cité Internationale.
Photo : Violette Le Gall

Meeting with Members of the Higher Education Community of Rennes

Representatives of higher education in Rennes met with the Rochester delegation on 18 October at the Cité Internationale Paul Ricoeur, to present the city's higher education and research policy and discuss existing and future partnerships.

Isabelle Pellerin, Vice-President in charge of Higher Education, Research and Innovation at Rennes Métropole, recalled the importance of university exchanges and Rennes Métropole's desire to encourage exchanges between the sister cities. She also mentioned the role of the metropolitan authority in supporting higher education and research.

Sébastien Le Picard, Vice President for European and International Strategy at the University of Rennes, emphasised the importance of the collaboration with the University of Rochester, which has been active for some fifty years. This is seen particularly through the engagement of the Faculty of Economics, which regularly sends undergraduate students to the northern part of the United States. He also expressed the wish to extend this partnership to other disciplines. Short-term programmes such as 'summer schools' will be considered so that American students can be hosted. And research collaboration, particularly in chemistry and physics, could also be relaunched.

The presentations continued with the Université Rennes 2, and then with Isabelle Thibon, Director of International Relations and Anne-Sophie Gablin, Head of International Services at INSA (which offers a summer school for Rochester students), Todd Donahue, Head of International Relations for ENSAI and finally Sklerijenn Havouis, Head of Teaching, and Fabrice Clochard, Programme Director for LISAA.

The University of Rochester has made the intercultural skills of its students an essential part of their training, with the aim of demonstrating the usefulness of mobility for cross-disciplinary skills and the added value for their careers. Their programme is comprehensive as it includes a pre- and post-mobility phase. The students are trained to speak about American culture in their host country.

© Violette Le Gall Violette Le Gall

65th Anniversary of the Rennes and Rochester Sister City Relationship

Rochester is the third largest city in New York State, with 209,934 inhabitants. It has been twinned with the city of Rennes since 1958 and has a bridge named the Pont de Rennes, in tribute to this partnership.


The delegation visited the city of Rennes from 17-21 October 2023 and was welcomed by Nathalie Appéré, the Mayor of Rennes, at a reception held at the Hôtel de Ville. This event marked the anniversary of the Sister City relationship, in the presence of all the stakeholders involved, namely the Twinning Committee, the Franco-American Institute and players in higher education, research and innovation from the city of Rennes.