Bordeaux-Waterloo, international starts at undergraduate level!

On the 26th January, a signing ceremony was held in Bordeaux to celebrate the official launch of a joint Bachelor exchange program in biobased chemistry.

  • 29/01/2018

This joint academic exchange program in biobased chemistry, will enable students from Bordeaux and Waterloo to follow courses via online training modules, and then partake in an exchange semester at the partner university, thus completing a truly international training experience. This new Bachelor program is particularly innovative not only for its use of technology in its teaching methods, but also for its offer of international possibilities at an undergraduate level.

With the signing of this Franco-Canadian Bachelor, Prof. Feridun Hamdullahpur (President University of Waterloo) and Prof. Manuel Tunon de Lara (President University of Bordeaux), shared their thoughts concerning the partnership and also the necessity of a hand in hand approach for innovation and internationalization.

What are the reasons for the success of the Bordeaux-Waterloo partnership? 

FH: This partnership was positive from the start – with key players who got together and shared some really interesting and exciting ideas. From there, perseverance, determination and vision were the key drivers to making this initiative very successful.

What does the launch of this Bachelor in biobased chemistry mean for the partnership? 

MTDL: This joint academic exchange program represents an important milestone in the development of our partnership. Our collaboration is now extending to the field of education. This requires an even closer alliance as it implies adapting to another academic system with input from faculty members.

This project clearly participates in the achievement of our objective to train our students as global citizens.

Manuel Tunon de Lara — President, University of Bordeaux

How would you explain the importance of internationalization in accompanying and strengthening innovation? 

FH: Internationalization is absolutely key in any new project developed at the University of Waterloo. Every new initiative must satisfy the three “I” rule: Internationalization, Innovation and Interdisciplinarity. With internationalization comes complications, yet the beauty is that we learn so much from each other, from our experiences, from seeing things differently… Therefore when you develop a program based on international cooperation, innovation is already embedded.

Global challenges must be approached with a global set of tools and this is what our partnership is about.

Feridun Hamdullahpur — President, University of Waterloo

The Waterloo delegation, which included Prof. Terry McMahon (former dean of science, academic coordinator of the Bordeaux-Waterloo partnership), made the most of their trip by visiting the joint laboratory, “Laboratory of the Future” (LoF) and the Institute of Optics as well as participating in meetings about innovation/partnerships and research collaborations. The months ahead thus promise many new projects…


Save the date!

The University of Bordeaux and the University of Waterloo will be presenting a session on the topic “Deepening and Broadening Institutional Partnerships - Key Success Factors” at the EARMA conference (Brussels) taking place on the 17th and 18th April 2018.

Bordeaux - Waterloo

The partnership between the University of Bordeaux and the University of Waterloo dates back to 2010. The initial years of collaboration focused on research in functional materials for energy, nanoscience, health and environment before further developing at an institutional level. In 2015, a joint fund was launched to support collaboration between the two communities in education and research in all fields. As a result, the number of shared projects has increased significantly and discussions are currently undergoing to renew this joint fund for another period of 3 years.

For more information, consult: