Promoting internationalization

The Master Plant Biology and Biotechnology specialism is part of a pilot scheme to help internationalize our courses.

The Master Plant Biology and Biotechnology (Master BBP) specialism (part of the Biology/Health Master Degree course, hosted on the “Campus Vert”) which benefits from international FidEx support, has developed a real policy of international partnerships in recent years, including regular student exchanges and the creation of a dual degree.

In the beginning

The Fruit Biology and Pathology laboratory (UMR 1332 - INRA / University of Bordeaux), which accommodates most of the Master’s course teaching team, started an initial partnership with the University of Tsukuba in 2008. The sharing of tomato genetic resources led to the setting-up of a joint INRA-University of Tsukuba laboratory. Training partnerships were then introduced between the two universities, and this led to theme-based study visits for students.

And now

Every year, ten undergraduate students travel to Japan for a week to represent the University of Bordeaux. In exchange, ten Bachelor students from the University of Tsukuba are welcomed at the University of Bordeaux for one week to study the theme of French agriculture. They visit the University and INRA research laboratories, a number of farms and agro-industrial companies in the region, and attend specific tuition sessions. These exchanges lead certain Master Degree students to complete a placement or a full year of study at the University of Tsukuba. For example, this autumn, a Master BBP student will travel to the University of Tsukuba for the second year of his Master course.

In the future

The next stage for the partnership is to sign a dual Master Degree qualification in Biology/Health, Plant Biology and Biotechnology specialism, between the universities of Bordeaux and Tsukuba. A number of course units (UE) will be taught in English from this autumn to make life easier for foreign students and prepare Master BBP students for careers abroad. This change has been made easier by the “Teaching academic content through English” training course for lecturer-researchers and researchers involved in teaching the Master BBP. The training is given at the University by the Department of Languages and Cultures as part of the course internationalization policy.

As part of its policy of developing international partnerships with well-known universities, the University of Bordeaux signed an exchange agreement in 2012 with the University of Hangzhou (China) to act as a framework for lecturer and student exchanges. From autumn 2014, the Master BBP course tutors will host two students from the university for a year. The creation of a dual degree between the two universities is also under discussion.

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