A word from... Magda Fusaro

Magda Fusaro

Magda Fusaro, President of Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

How do you view Université Gustave Eiffel from an international perspective?

Magda Fusaro: The academic model offered by Université Gustave Eiffel is particularly promising. The federation of establishments of various vocations facilitates the integrated roll-out of research and training activities, in addition to the development of international partnerships with other universities active in the fields of the smart city, transport logistics or sustainable urban development and so on.
The pooling of viewpoints emerging from natural and human sciences is of great interest to UQAM, which also boasts centres where several fields contribute to the development of training programmes and research projects. This type of approach enables students to gain a multi-dimensional vision of urban issues and to develop the transversal skills sought after in professional sectors, on local and international levels.

As a newly-formed establishment, how can Université Gustave Eiffel contribute to the transmission of innovation and scientific knowledge, specifically in the field of the sustainable cities?

M. F.: The alliance of a research institute with a university and engineering schools hugely facilitates exchange between researchers from different fields, thus fostering creativity and innovation. There is a realisation that cities are playing an increasingly important role in the management of complex issues related to public health, technological integration, mobility and energy or ecological transition. Urban areas are becoming a laboratory where all the ecosystem’s players must work together to find long-term solutions to the challenges that emerge. All forms of practical and theoretical knowledge thus play their part in the co-building of knowledge with public and private stakeholders and civil society. We can only welcome therefore the initiative of Université Gustave Eiffel, which focuses on collaboration between researchers, academics and engineers.

UQAM in Montreal

What links does UQAM maintain with Université Gustave Eiffel?

M. F.: Prior to the creation of Université Gustave Eiffel, UQAM already had certain arrangements with three of its founding members, primarily in the field of student mobility. Our establishments share several common points. As an urban university located in the city centre of Montreal, UQAM has been designing and creating the city since its foundation. We offer numerous study programmes related to the city and its various challenges: urban studies, environmental science, tourism, design, urban agriculture, modern and heritage architecture or transport logistics and so on. Several of our research units are also dedicated to this area, in particular three new research chairs created in collaboration with the City of Montreal; one in ecological transition, one in smart cities and one in urban forests. Lastly, our Environmental Science Institution deploys knowledge on the biological, physical, social and human processes at work in cities. These inter-disciplinary initiatives at UQAM are based on a philosophy which is similar to that of Université Gustave Eiffel and promises the potential for close and fruitful collaboration.

What prospects does the framework agreement between UQAM and Université Gustave Eiffel open up?

M. F.: The framework agreement signed in January 2021 forms a bridge between our two establishments. It will facilitate student and faculty staff mobility in addition to joint research in common fields, with the complementarity of methods and expertise. This agreement helps to strengthen existing collaboration and to expand its reach to all the components of Université Gustave Eiffel.

A specific agreement to define the parameters for the setting-up of student exchanges is currently being finalised and various other projects can be envisaged, such as a faculty and administrative staff mobility programme, joint training programmes, communities of practice, summer schools and seminars or international cooperation schemes.