A Major Player in the European Higher Education and Research Area
As an active member of the League of European Research Universities and the European University Association (EUA), Sorbonne University contributes to debates on the impact and influence of European universities. It also participates in strengthening multilateral cooperation between European universities. It is thus a major actor in the political and practical construction of the European Higher Education and Research Area.
Sorbonne University adheres to the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).
The free circulation of knowledge
Thanks to the Erasmus+ program, students and academic researchers benefit from mobility opportunities in Europe and beyond. Through specific Erasmus+ actions, such as "strategic partnerships", "knowledge alliances" and "capacity building", Sorbonne University is able to consolidate its privileged collaborations with foreign universities, promoting pedagogical innovation, exchange of best practices and mutual learning, as well as strengthening links with companies.
Through its dynamic mobility policy and the development of its partnerships, Sorbonne University affirms its role in disseminating knowledge to all sectors and actors of our society, from citizens to politicians, in a spirit of open science.
Erasmus (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a community action program that encourages university cooperation. Encouraging partnerships between European universities, it facilitates, first and foremost, the mobility of students and staff (teachers, researchers and administrative staff). By improving administrative and pedagogical operations through innovation and the exchange of best practices, it is also a vector for the internationalization of institutions.
The new Erasmus+ program has a record budget of 26 billion euros for the period 2021-2027. It is more inclusive, more innovative and more ecological, with the following main objectives:
- To develop of mobility in all its forms (physical, virtual, hybrid)
- To improve accessibility for everyone
- To reinforce of language and digital learning
- To promote of European citizenship and democratization
- To promote cooperation, innovation and excellence
- To strengthen the links between education, research and innovation
- To participate in the creation of a European Higher Education Area by 2025.
It sets four priorities:
- (Digital Erasmus) - Promoting digital transformation - Developing digital practices in education and mobility management, particularly through the European Student Card initiative
- (Green Erasmus) - Promoting environmentally friendly practices and sustainable development
- (Inclusion) - Encouraging the participation of students and staff with fewer opportunities
- (Civic values) – Promoting the civic engagement of beneficiaries.
The Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) establishes the general quality framework applicable to European and international cooperation activities carried out by a higher education institution under the Erasmus+ program. Qualifying for ECHE status is a prerequisite for all institutions located in a country participating in the program and wishing to take part in mobility and/or cooperation activities under the Erasmus+ program. By joining ECHE, Sorbonne University commits to respect the principles and is authorized to answer calls for projects of the Erasmus+ Program within the three key actions:
- Key Action 1 "Mobility of individuals"
- Key Action 2 "Partnerships for cooperation
- Key Action 3 "Support for Policy Development and Cooperation".
Sorbonne University is open to the world and has an ambitious international policy. By relying on Erasmus+ program activities for many years, it has increased the internationalization of its academic offer, strengthened its connections with its partners (in Europe and outside Europe), and gained recognition for its expertise in education and research.
The selected calls for projects will contribute to a proactive and determined European policy supported by a dedicated vice-presidency and aiming to strengthen the European dimension in all the institution's activities (teaching, research and innovation).
5 major axes are envisioned to develop activities within the framework of the Erasmus+ program:
- Axis 1 - Modernize and internationalize teaching, particularly through innovative partnerships
- Axis 2 - Develop mobility (virtual and physical) and ensure equal opportunities for its beneficiaries (non-discrimination and inclusion)
- Axis 3 - Ensure the recognition of activities carried out in the Erasmus + program
- Axis 4 - Strengthen cooperation through sustainable partnerships
- Axis 5 - Diversify the promotion of the Erasmus + program and increase the overall participation
As a global university, Sorbonne University gives a central role to the internationalization of education. By integrating innovative pedagogies and teaching methods and strengthening the links between education, research and innovation, the creation of an offer of education excellence will be guaranteed. Sorbonne University encourages teachers and researchers to participate in Erasmus + programs and, more generally, in European ecosystems. The internationalization of the University is based on its ability to create courses that are in high demand because of their international content and participation. The presence of academic researchers from partner universities in the academic programs thus contributes to the international openness of students.
Mobility is an integral part of the institution's culture involving all its members. Sorbonne University encourages and helps its students and staff to consider a mobility to complete their education or build their career.
Offering international training is essential for graduates as well as for those who employ them. Students, as well as first-time beneficiaries, are encouraged to go abroad to study, but also for internships. Increasing the mobility of students and young researchers remains at the heart of the institution's European activity.
In order to welcome students and staff from all over the world, the University wishes to give itself more means: it is a question of making students and researchers want to come to study, research and innovate at Sorbonne University and to offer them the best hosting conditions. As for staff mobility, it will be further strengthened and included in the education and career plan. Reflections on the integration of mobility in the career paths of the different professions will be conducted.
Sorbonne University also aims to develop its distance learning offer. It aims to develop virtual mobility, which could help diversify the people hosted or sent on mobility. The distance learning (or hybrid) courses that already exist, such as those offered by the Interuniversity Language Learning Service (SIAL), are already tools that are in use. At the same time, Sorbonne University is deploying these training methods and has obtained several national funds for this purpose and can also rely on services dedicated to digital teaching to support teachers in this process.
The understanding and recognition of skills acquired during a mobility are important issues for the success of European projects. Sorbonne University already relies on services dedicated to mobility within its three faculties. These faculty services have a perfect understanding of Erasmus mobility. To systematize the recognition based on common experiences and thus improve the confirmation of the results obtained during a mobility, Sorbonne University will support the initiative of the European student card.
The 4EU + European University Alliance also provides for the implementation of flexibility in the academic courses to facilitate mobility for students between partner institutions. Because all partners approve these courses in advance, mutual recognition of ECTS credits is guaranteed.
Sorbonne University has initiated targeted strategic partnerships with higher education institutions in Europe and internationally. The identification of these partners is based on several different and/or complementary cooperation objectives: scientific influence by cooperating with world-class universities, academic criteria (complementary education offers, teaching languages, etc.), and values (such as a humanistic approach, social responsibility and diversity). These strategic international partnerships are thus at the heart of its international relations policy. They are a comprehensive framework, integrating research, innovation and educational activities. They are aimed at the circulation of students in international academic programs; the circulation of personnel in scientific programs; the sharing of infrastructures and best practices; and cross-innovations.
The latest example, which illustrates particularly well Sorbonne University’s enthusiasm to build strategic partnerships with other universities, is certainly the creation of the 4EU+ Alliance: with Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic), Heidelberg (Germany), Warsaw (Poland), Milan (Italy) and Copenhagen (Denmark). It relies on existing bilateral and multilateral collaborations that can involve companies in France and in the partner universities’ countries or local authorities.
Sorbonne University also wishes to pursue a policy of targeted academic partnerships with developing countries with a low human-development index and whose university systems are in the process of being structured, for example in French-speaking Africa. These partnerships, which are deliberately limited in number and developed in particular with the IRD, give priority to actions that are most relevant to the academic development of these countries.
Sorbonne University is actively committed to promoting the opportunities for mobility to partner universities to its students and staff (teachers and administrators). To ensure the realization of its European strategy and increase the participation of the entire community in Erasmus+, multiple recurring communication campaigns to raise public awareness of the program's activities are planned. This dissemination will also increase the visibility of the results already achieved and maximize their impact on individuals, other institutions and the academic community as a whole.
Sorbonne University supports its staff in their efforts by offering them individualized support from the submission of the project to its implementation, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination of results.
Research and innovation at a European level
The Sorbonne University community’s participation has excellent success rates in European research and innovation programs, and thus contributes to meeting global challenges with its European partners. The University provides researchers with assistance in setting up their projects including legal and financial support in responding to calls for tenders.
The community maximizes the opportunity of collaborative research by coordinating or participating in a number of European projects, and the success of our teams demonstrates their international engagement. In addition, Sorbonne academic researchers and partner researchers are notable in their success in the ERC, a highly competitive European program that awards individual grants for fundamental research.
A pioneering marine infrastructure network
The University coordinates the EMBRC (European Marine Biological Resource Centre)—a European infrastructure network of nearly 20 marine biology structures and stations in nine countries. The EMBRC was awarded the "ESFRI landmark" status in 2018, confirming its excellence and international reach. Sorbonne University is the first French university to develop a European infrastructure.
Our European projects by the numbers
- 146 European projects funded
- 65 collaborative research and innovation projects
- 82 ongoing ERC projects, 20 new ERCs in 2019
- 55 projects Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
For a cumulative total of more than 80 million euros in funding for the Sorbonne University teams – 22 million of which was awarded in 2019.
19 ongoing European projects received more than 900,000 euros in funding to Sorbonne University teams.
Ongoing project coordination
PhoQuS is an H2020 project in Future and Emerging Technologies in Physics, "Photons for Quantum Simulation." The objective of the project is to develop a new quantum simulation platform based on photonic quantum fluids.
Animatas is an H2020 project with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks and the ISIR laboratory. This project seeks to understand how robots with social skills could be used in schools to assist teaching teams.
ERCcOMICS is an H2020 Project ERC and a collaboration between ERC award-winning researchers and artists working on the link between comic strips and science.
Waves is an H2020 Project with the Marie Curie Initial Training Network at the ISTeP laboratory. This collaborative project brings together 15 academic and industrial partners for the training of PhD students in the field of wave propagation in complex media.
PIONEER is an H2020 Project with the Marie Curie Initial Training Network, Institut Jean Le Rond d'Alembert (IJLRA). This project brings together 15 partners in 9 countries to explore and develop CO2 transformation technologies. It is associated with 6 industrial partners who bring valuable technological know-how.
Under the aegis of EMBRC, the H2020 infrastructures ASSEMBLE Plus project is a network of 24 partners at 30 marine stations. Its goal is to stimulate fundamental and applied research in marine biology and ecology.
SO-CHIC stands for Southern Ocean Carbon and Heat Impact on Climate. It is an H2020 collaborative RIA project that brings together 15 partners in 7 countries in order to better understand the impact of the Southern Ocean on climate, with hopes to ultimately improve climate prediction models.
EMPOWER is a CSA Collaborative H2020 Project. Its goal is to accelerate the development of joint EU-US "post 5G" platforms and to develop a common connectivity ecosystem.
EMC2 is an ERC Synergy grant with the laboratories LJLL (Yvon Maday), LCT (Jean-Philippe Piquemal), INRIA and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. The goal of the EMC2 project is to achieve scientific breakthroughs in the field of molecular simulation by bringing together the expertise of a multidisciplinary community at the interfsections of mathematics, chemistry, physics and computer science.