For a single Strasbourg UniversityEuropean universities are currently undergoing far-reaching changes. The driving force behind this movement is a coordinated policy for higher education and research in Europe which aims to make the European Union the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by the year 2010. While competition is a well-known factor in research laboratories, it is now a reality in education as well. On an international scale, research and higher education establishments are already confronted with increased emulation. Indeed, the Bologna Process has brought the universities out of their national sphere, where a certain standardisation of education avoided all forms of competition other than those linked with the geographical map, and projected them into a European, or even international arena, where increased differentiation imposes a competitive factor on the universities and obliges them to strive to make their respective educational offers as attractive as possible.
Within this context, the 3 universities in Strasbourg, Louis Pasteur University, Marc Bloch University and Robert Schuman University with their 42,000 students, 2,687 doctoral students, 2,890 lecturers and researchers, 2,605 university personnel and 90 research units have decided to join forces to create a single Strasbourg University.
What can be expected of a single University in Strasbourg?First and foremost, a firmer position on the international scene, but also a more coherent and ambitious scientific policy through streamlined governance. The pooling of the skills and competences of the 3 universities and their recognised scientific and cultural heritage will ensure Strasbourg University's place among the great European and international universities and clearly underscore its European identity. Strasbourg University aims to stand as a reference and a centre that attracts students, researchers and lecturers.
In terms of research, many scientific issues today find solutions at the interface of several disciplines. For example, health and environmental issues now require the coordinated competence of specialists in the medical sciences, exact sciences, human and social sciences and law. The enhanced inter-disciplinary approach resulting from the meeting of the 3 universities will be a seedbed for top-calibre research.
As to learning and education, the broad spectrum of disciplines open to students within a single University represents a tremendous asset. In addition to the opportunity of following a full degree course on a single geographical site, students will also be able to build a personal course structure in keeping with their career objectives. The aim is to give students the best possible grounding for social and professional integration in a constantly developing society and labour market in France and Europe.