MU has had close ties with the French university for more than twenty years, and for over fifty years Brno and Rennes have been official twin cities. In addition to the international exchange of students and lecturers, the two universities teach a joint French-Czech study programme in Public Administration (Administration publique) and last year opened two more joint study programmes for students from all over the world. On this occasion, a four-member delegation from MU, including Rector Martin Bareš, visited Rennes last November.
This year, the French party accepted the invitation to Masaryk University, leading up to the visit by Sébastien Le Picard, Vice-President for European Projects, and Muriel Hissler, Vice-President for International Relations. They arrived in Brno together with David Alis, President of the University of Rennes, Claire Piquet-Pellorce, Dean of the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, Marie-Laurence Abasq, representative of the Dean of Pharmacy, and Stéphane Szymanski, Education programme developer of the Graduate Cybersecurity Research School.
“We warmly welcome our important partners from Rennes back to Brno after the pandemic years and we are delighted to have met so many new people. With our French counterparts, we discussed our cooperation so far, in particular the possibilities for its further development, including the opening of new joint study programmes and the application for a prestigious European Union grant to open the Erasmus Mundus Master’s programme. We have also committed ourselves to this by signing a memorandum of cooperation and I sincerely believe that the project will be successful,” said Břetislav Dančák, MU Vice-Rector for Internationalisation.
In addition to Rector Martin Bareš and Vice-Rector Břetislav Dančák, the strategic meeting was attended by Radim Polčák, Vice-Rector for Development, Legal and Information Technologies, David Póč, Director of the MU 2021+ Strategic Project, and Jana Klánová, Director of the RECETOX Research Centre. Other participants included Violeta Osouchová, Director of the MU Centre for International Cooperation, Jan Dvořáček, Director of the MU Faculty of Medicine Simulation Centre, as well as deans and other management members from the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science and Pharmacy, Faculty of Informatics, and the Faculty of Sports Studies.
In addition to establishing new joint study programmes and submitting an Erasmus Mundus project application, the universities also made other commitments in the memorandum relating to cooperation through exchange visits, collaboration on development projects and programmes, and research activities with a particular focus on exposomes and cybersecurity.
During the visit, the Rennes delegation visited the MU Cyber Polygon to attend a meeting on cybersecurity, and then moved on to visit the newly opened MU Simulation Centre, which made quite an impression on the visitors. The French partners spent the afternoon touring the RECETOX research centre and ended the day with a joint dinner with MU representatives.
Masaryk University and the University of Rennes have also collaborated closely over the past five years thanks to their membership in the eight-member European University Alliance (EDUC), which also includes other universities from Germany, Italy, Hungary, Spain and Norway. The Alliance’s activities mainly focus on international student education in a variety of formats, including virtual and hybrid teaching.