BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University recently signed two important new partnership agreements with Sorbonne University, one of France's top-ranked research universities. The agreements were signed during a visit to the IU Bloomington campus by a 16-member delegation led by Sorbonne President Jean Chambaz.
The agreements, signed last week by IU President Michael A. McRobbie and Chambaz, will develop new areas of faculty research collaborations and enable student exchanges between both institutions.
"We are very pleased to have Sorbonne University as a new and valued international partner," McRobbie said. "Indiana University is a global university and has long believed in embracing and understanding the world in all its diversity. Agreements like these are essential to our missions to expand opportunities for our students to learn about other nations and cultures through overseas study and for IU faculty to collaborate with researchers all over the world to bring to bear the best possible expertise to address global challenges."
In addition to the Sorbonne University delegation, French Consul General in Chicago Guillaume Lacroix and a number of his colleagues attended the formal signing of the agreements.
McRobbie led an IU delegation to France in 2017. During the trip to Paris, he and his fellow delegation members held meetings on the campus of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France's top science and medical education university; and Paris Sorbonne Université, the country's largest institution dedicated to the study of literature, languages, civilizations, arts and humanities, and the social sciences. The two leading institutions have since merged to form Sorbonne University, a multidisciplinary global research university that traces its roots to the original Collège de Sorbonne, which was founded in 1253 as part of the original University of Paris.
Sorbonne University, which is already ranked among the world's leading universities, has 55,600 students, of which 10,200 are international students. Among its faculty, who make up more than a quarter of France's national science and medicine academy, are 6,400 researchers, including two Nobel Prize winners in physics and three recipients of Fields Medals in mathematics. The university has 11 academic departments, 26 sites around Paris and elsewhere, and 110 research laboratories.
Since the IU delegation's visit, IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel, Vice President for International Affairs Hannah Buxbaum and Vice Provost for Research Rick Van Kooten have advanced IU's relationship with the French university in subsequent visits that included meetings to determine areas of shared interest and discuss potential opportunities for research collaboration and student mobility.
"Our partnerships with leading universities around the world are one of the key foundations of IU's global engagement, and we're excited about the many opportunities for students and faculty that this new relationship will create," Buxbaum said.
Faculty at IU and Sorbonne are already engaged in several educational collaborations, including in the areas of French linguistics, marine biology, neuroscience and physics.
During their visit to IU, Chambaz, Sorbonne Vice President for International Development Serge Fdida and other senior leaders and faculty researchers from the university met with their IU counterparts to further explore scholarly and research collaborations in areas including the humanities, media communications, the physical, life and computer sciences, and IU's Grand Challenges initiatives.
The visit by the Sorbonne University delegation was organized by the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs.