The University of South Australia will sign a memorandum of understanding with French graduate engineering school, IMT Atlantique, set to open up important opportunities for SA students to study and complete work placements in some of the world’s leading defence organisations, such as DCNS, the international partner for Australia’s future submarine project.
The MOU builds on a wider agreement with the Western Alliance for Scientific Actions with Australia (WASAA1) sealed in a visit to France by the University earlier this year.
UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor External Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Nigel Relph says UniSA is consolidating its collaboration with France’s defence education and development institutions and broadening its global connections.
“This agreement with IMT Atlantique will provide some terrific opportunities for post graduate students to study in France and get real world experience of the defence sector at some of the most sophisticated global companies, as part of their studies,” Relph says.
“As Australia’s University of Enterprise, UniSA is keen to forge the kind of relationships that will build capacity in South Australia and support the development of thriving defence industries and we see this collaboration as one important part of that goal.
“The MOU offers opportunities for full year placements for two students to study at IMT Atlantique or an option for four students to attend for single semester placements.
“This is a rare opportunity to study at such an elite graduate engineering school and one we believe will really benefit South Australia by returning graduates with state-of-the-art expertise to work and lead in the defence sector.”
UniSA will sign the agreement in a week where the largest contingent of representatives from French universities and research institutions arrive in Adelaide to attend the first South Australian-French Tertiary Education and Research Workshop. Exploring new ways of working together, the workshop will focus on meeting future workforce development training and skills challenges by tailoring courses to the needs of business and industry as the $50 billion Future Submarine contract for Australian submarines unfolds.
The week will also see Premier Jay Weatherill and Ambassador of France to Australia, Christophe Lecourtier sign a letter of intent, which will strengthen exchanges in higher education and scientific research between South Australia and France.
More than 150 people will attend the workshop in Adelaide, including 30 from French universities and companies, and nine from the DCNS office in Paris.
1WASAA is the DCNS “ecosystem” in Brittany and consists of a group of grandes ecoles (IMTA and ENSAB) universities and technical institutes, which have committed to working with Australia. WASAA includes IMT Atlantique, ENSTA Bretagne, Ecole Nationale d’Ingenieurs de Brest, Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, Universite Bretagne Sud, Ecole Navale
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