The University of Bordeaux participates at the G7 University summit

End June, Cyrielle Cassan, PhD student in Law, attended the G7 University summit in Udine, Italy.

  • 28/07/2017

The renowned G7 (Group of 7) regroups the major economies of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union is also represented. The G7 meets on an annual basis to discuss various political, economic, social and environmental issues.

In 2017, it was Italy’s turn to host the 43rd G7 meeting, as well as a variety of different G7 meetings, including the G7 Education. This group included the G7 University summit which was held in Udine on June 29th -30th. The theme of the event was “University Education for All”. Accompanying the University of Bordeaux’s president, Manuel Tunon de Lara, was Cyrielle Cassan. Read on for her afterthoughts of the event!

What was the objective of your participation at this event?

This event brought together the university community of the G7 countries. It was an extraordinary opportunity to exchange, at a global level, on the issues and challenges that will confront international higher education in the future.

The first day of the event was initially dedicated to round tables on specific subjects in order to identify the issues and challenges. Afterwards, time was spent reflecting on solutions that may be suggested by universities.

The second day, a plenary session, consisted of drafting the “G7 University Manifesto – Education for All”, a political message that proposes a concrete list of recommendations and actions to implement. 

What were the main themes? Which was your favorite and why? 

Debates were organized in roundtable format on four main topics:

  • University and economic development” focused on the fact that to encourage socio-economic development, both the quantity and the quality of degrees are important.
  • University, culture and society” underlined that a quality education is an essential ingredient to promote democratic participation within society.
  • Education and sustainability” brought to light the necessity to promote not only transdisciplinary collaborations but also to develop MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).
  • Finally, “Global Citizenship” discussed the importance of student mobility and the prevalence of the “gender gap”. Universities must fight against stereotypes and discriminations to ensure access to higher education, regardless of gender or origin.

I participated in the fourth Round Table on “Global Citizenship” - a theme that has always fascinated me throughout my academic and professional career so far. International openness is part of who I am: so far I have completed a student mobility experience at the University of Luxembourg, I was a pedagogic coordinator in Belarus and in September 2016, I integrated the International Office of the University of Bordeaux as a mobility assistant while at the same time, continuing my doctoral research in European Law. To talk about an “Erasmus Generation” today, definitely means something!

What did you learn from the event? 

The exchanges between the participants were very enriching. We were able to discuss the differences and disparities between education systems, the challenges more or less shared and most of all, the solutions that have already been adopted or planned. To bring together so many people of different nationalities and status (rectors, university presidents, professors, PhD students, students and higher education professionals), allowed for a debate rich in new ideas.