We are excited to share that the European Commission has agreed with our wish to integrate Sorbonne Nouvelle University as full partner into the YUFE Alliance. Effective as of 30 March 2023, Sorbonne Nouvelle University is a member of our consortium. 

To provide insights into our newest partner’s ambitions and expectations, we have spoken to the President of Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Professor Daniel Mouchard. Read the full interview below!

Why did USN choose to join the YUFE Alliance?

Sorbonne Nouvelle University (USN) shares a common profile with the members of the YUFE Alliance. We are a young, research-intensive university with a longstanding commitment to inclusiveness and openness to the world. Our overall objectives are very much aligned with YUFE’s long-term vision for widely accessible, student-centred higher education that promotes European values, active citizenship, and the drive to tackle contemporary social and environmental challenges.

In line with YUFE goals, USN aims to create a learning environment where research, education and valorisation of results are closely interrelated. We believe that students at all levels should be introduced to cutting-edge research being carried out by our teams, in collaboration with our European and international partners and with a view to optimizing our dialogue with local and regional ecosystems.

European and international cooperation have always been key priorities at USN. Close to a third of our student body comes from countries other than France (more than half at doctoral level) and both our research programmes and teaching practices are strongly rooted in multilingualism and multiculturalism. We also share YUFE’s conviction that students at all levels are a driving force for our collective functioning.

Becoming an official member of the YUFE Alliance is therefore a major milestone for our community. We are delighted to be able to join in the drive to make European Universities fully fledged actors in the transformation of our societies in order to build a better world.

A man named Daniel MouchardHow will USN contribute to the Alliance?

Specialized in the Arts, Media, and Social Sciences, USN seeks to provide its learner community with a higher educational experience that fosters cultural awareness, citizen well-being and social responsibility. In order to develop our students’ talents and abilities, we encourage interdisciplinarity, flexibility and self-directed learning. We also aim to enhance their career opportunities by offering them a wide variety of internship, entrepreneurship and volunteer programmes, set up in collaboration with our network of regional and local partners in government, civil society and the business sector.

In 2022, our university moved to a brand new eco-certified campus, located close to Nation in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. The campus has been designed by renowned architect and urban planner Christian de Portzamparc to facilitate innovative practices in teaching and research. It brings together all Sorbonne Nouvelle University’s faculties, which were previously dispersed over several sites. The new campus is home to a beautiful and colourful library, dedicated spaces for artistic and museum activities, as well as an auditorium that can host major international conferences and cultural events open to all.

Indeed, we are convinced that, alongside other higher education institutions, Arts and Humanities universities have the potential to transform society. By promoting deeper understanding of the diverse cultures and traditions of Europe and by encouraging students to engage in critical thinking, these universities help shape cultural narratives that take greater account of diversity and foster new ways of thinking and acting.

In joining forces with YUFE’s 9 other academic and 2 non-academic members, USN, whose motto is ‘University of Cultures’, wishes to reaffirm its commitment to inclusive, student-centred higher education. This is done by maintaining extensive links with citizens and society as a whole, and seeking to address the challenges facing Europe and the rest of the world today.

What do you expect from this European cooperation?

We realize, of course, that participation in a highly ambitious endeavour such as YUFE requires significant commitment and an important measure of flexibility. At USN, we are eager to take on this challenge and we believe that we have the necessary expertise.

By integrating YUFE, USN has become part of a vibrant laboratory for exchanges on best practices in research and education. Collaborating in YUFE programmes and activities represents a wonderful opportunity to enhance our capacity to co-design and implement innovative pedagogical models. Our students, researchers and staff will also have greater prospects to travel and interact with regional and local actors. In short, USN will gain greater academic excellence and visibility in Europe and beyond.

At a time when long-term structural and strategic cooperation between higher education institutions is playing an increasingly critical role in tackling regional and global issues, USN is both proud and enthusiastic to join the construction of a model “Young University for the Future of Europe” that actively contributes to a more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable society.