Network News

A strong cooperation with American universities

Despite the Covid-19 crisis which temporarily interrupted student mobility, the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Figure® Network have renewed their desire to continue and promote their cooperation.

A strong Franco-American cooperation

Obtaining the Figure® Network label implies mandatory international mobility of at least three months (the Network recommends six months).

To facilitate this mobility, a memorandum of understanding was signed on 17 September 2018 with the Big Ten Academic Alliance, which brings together 14 universities in the United States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, Purdue, Rutgers-New Brunswick, Wisconsin-Madison). This network, created in 1958, supports cooperation between member universities at different levels: research, documentation, staff training, sharing of programmes.

The agreement covers the mobility of CMI students (bachelor’s degree L3, master’s degree M1, M2) for internships in a laboratory of an American department and, conversely, the hosting of American students for internships in the 208 co-located laboratories of the CMI.

A first positive assessment

The calls for applications take place within the framework of the International Research Experience Program. In cycle 1 (2019), 37 applications were submitted and led to 16 proposals and finally to 12 3-month internships (concerning 7 universities of the network) in laboratories of 5 American universities (Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rutgers). In cycle 2 (2020), 12 students from 7 universities of the network were selected for internships (out of 28 applications and 14 proposals) in the laboratories of 5 American universities (Northwestern, Michigan, Rutgers, Indiana, Illinois). Despite the disruption of Cycle 2 by the Covid-19 epidemic and the delay in the launch of Cycle 3, French and American universities have been constantly exchanging information in order to face this crisis together and prepare for the future.

Follow-up of student mobility

In addition, the application, launched online in October 2018, continues to collect information on the experiences of students returning from a study mobility, internship or even a gap year. The CMI student logs on and anonymously fills in a questionnaire developed with the help of the student federation CMI France, which asks several questions: CMI, year of study concerned, length of stay, steps to be taken, administrative formalities, types of accommodation, existing support systems, assessment of the welcome, detailed cost of mobility, integration in the university and in the country.

The processing of this data enables the Figure® Network and its member universities to provide the best possible assistance to students.