Learning and teaching for the development of 21st century skills

Ranked among the top universities in France for the quality of its academic courses and research, the University of Bordeaux is strongly committed to providing a high-level of international education.

  • 16/10/2018

In line with this commitment, the “International Challenge” program, launched in 2014, provides linguistic and pedagogical support for academics teaching their discipline through English. The booklet, “International learning and teaching experiences”, presented herewith, opens the door on the diversity of international classrooms via the stories and reflections of lecturers at our University, thus giving an insight into international education “chez nous”.

Rethinking traditional formats

A core principle of the “International Challenge” program is that internationalization is not limited to the question of language skills and student mobility, but rather implies a specific pedagogical approach. This highlights a key aspect to internationalization in our university, which is that our international classroom approach is also valid for programs taught in French and is of value for all of our students. Multilingual, multi-cultural teaching and learning draws upon program design, active pedagogy and student diversity to develop 21st century skills – intercultural competence, collaborative learning, critical thinking, open-mindedness.

These objectives are also supported by NewDEAL, a University of Bordeaux program selected in the “New University Curricula” call for projects, a strand of the French “Investments for the Future” program. Based on an innovative, student-centered education model, NewDEAL helps the development of innovative education in undergraduate programs. With diversified teaching methods and tools, the program favors personalized study paths, the acquisition of confirmed knowledge and student professionalization via a life-long learning approach.


The NewDEAL program is articulated around three core principles, focusing on success in and after Bachelor degree programs:

  • Open-curricula: providing new sets of skills and forms of knowledge, with a personalized cursus that allows students to adapt the rhythm of their studies
  • Connected learning (based on real-world experiences): providing study programs developed in strong collaboration with research, the socio-economic sector and that integrate societal issues
  • Student empowerment: providing students with a key role in their learning via a project management approach, with personalized reviews and supported by an digital education environment

These programs, “International Challenge” and NewDEAL, show the University of Bordeaux’s commitment to innovation and quality not just in international education, but in education as a whole and right from the start, as of undergraduate level.

The teachers interviewed for the booklet, “International learning and teaching experiences” come from different disciplines and backgrounds yet they all share a common interest and passion for the international classroom. A diversity of approaches and contexts are explored showing that there is no “one size fits all” for learning and teaching and this is also a key aspect of the NewDEAL program.

International learning and teaching experiences

Download the booklet and find out more!

International Challenge