How are the campuses, the people, and the environment behind each of the pieces that make up the map of EELISA? What is the impact of such an ambitious Alliance on each member institution?
Welcome to the second episode of #WeAreEELISA, a campaign that aims to give visibility to the EELISA microcosm through interviews with key people from each organization and video tours recorded by students from each University.
Our next interviewee, Antoine Mercier, Deputy Director for International Relations at Chimie ParisTech – PSL and Member of the EELISA Executive Board, will be giving us some insights on these topics.
Q. Your university is a member of EELISA. Can you briefly introduce your university to us?
A. Sure – PSL is a comprehensive university of 11 schools that comprise the fields of Humanities, Engineering, Sciences, and Arts. Selective but committed to equal opportunity, it draws directly from current research to train researchers, artists, entrepreneurs, engineers and managers who are aware of their social responsibility.
With 2 900 researchers, 17 000 students (2/3 are enrolled in a master’s/PhD programme), 140 laboratories and 10 incubators, fab labs and co-working spaces, PSL is a familiar university where all can easily meet and know each other.
It is one of the best French universities and ranks among the world’s top 50 universities in major rankings.
Q. What is your personal connection to EELISA?
A. I am involved since the very beginning of EELISA when the engineering schools of PSL considered that there was a fantastic opportunity to promote a future European engineer. Then, set by set, we build EELISA as an Alliance to promote student engagement, SDGs so that all students can benefit from EELISA. Since then, I am a member of the Executive Board of the Alliance where I have been Chair for one year.
Via EELISA, I was able to know better existing partners in eastern Europe and new ones such as FAU!
A. “Together is better than alone” – Why should in your opinion universities work together in an alliance like EELISA?
The playground of students in Europe is still limited compared to the US or China: it is difficult for a graduate student to think of a European career due to the different legal framework between countries (for instance in engineering) whereas no such barrier exists in the US or China. So, we really need to work together to support our students and make them European citizens. To me, this change cannot be implemented via a top-down approach and can only be achieved via collaboration within and between universities so that (legal) barriers can be removed.
Q. What does EELISA mean for your University? And how does EELISA enrich your university’s community?
A. EELISA is a European test bed for academic and research initiatives. At PSL, we are creating new curricula in sustainable development, we support collaborations between schools to create original training at the Master level, interdisciplinary is our motto and we always back our training with excellent research.
We can find all those aspects in EELISA, and collaborating with other members will help us achieve our mission.
Q. What would you wish for the future development of EELISA?
A. I wish that the people (academics, researchers, staff, students) get closer and closer and closer by offering them more opportunities to develop their careers.