«Campus RUP will extend the reach, penetration and aura of the European Higher Education Area»

Dominique Aurelia, Vice President of the University of The Antilles, analyzes the uniqueness of the university alliance of the outermost regions

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THE UNIVERSITY of The Antilles is, together with that of French Guiana, a benchmark for the French university model of the Americas. It provides the Campus RUP Consortium with solid specificities in terms of mobility and research association. The Vice President in charge of International Relations, Professor Dominique Aurelia, is an expert in Caribbean literature. In her responses to the Europa Rup questionnaire, she highlights the importance of a common university project for the oceanic Europe that represents Campus RUP, both in internal key for each outermost region through new business and employment opportunities, as well as for the project of a a common Europe that, through invention and creativity in the development of its own regions, will obtain a bonus to European innovation: «It will extend the reach, penetration and aura of the European Higher Education Area», says Dominique Aurelia. Mrs. Aurelia is convinced that the establishment of a knowledge and innovation system as well built as Campus RUP «would be a surprising achievement for the Initiative of European Universities».

Dominique Aurelia
Dominique Aurelia.– © Université des Antilles.

What is the underlying reason for your University to participate in the Call for European Universities with a Consortium that unites the seven universities of the ORs? Why not join other consortiums?

Such a perspective has already been raised by the Université des Antilles, and we resolved, after a very thorough assessment, that the best option was to bet on what we believe can become a new focus of attention on our so-called «ultra-peripheries». We are very different and, nevertheless, we share many points in common in terms of geopolitics, economy and culture.

What strengths and opportunities does your university contribute to the Campus Rup project?

The University of The Antilles is, together with that of Guiana, the only French university in the Americas. As such, it is not only its uniqueness that it contributes, but also its solid specificities in terms of mobility and research partnership with the OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States), and the UWI (University of the West Indies), its association with the UC (Universities of the Caribbean, previously called UNICA), CORPUCA (Regional Conference of Rectors, Presidents and Directors of university institutions) and AUF (University Agency of La Francophonie), present in a hundred countries of all the Continents.

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Campus RUP foresees that 50% of university students will move between the outermost universities, within a period of three years. Are your institutions ready to face the technological, administrative and cultural change that is involved in building a virtual campus, recognizing credits and qualifications and understanding in English and in three other languages?In terms of physical mobility, will students have aids for their stays in other overseas universities?

The University of the Antilles is ready to face all the challenges that Campus RUP will present and is already working on them. In terms of physical mobility, our students benefit from grants from the CTM (Collectivité Territoriale de la Martinique), as well as from the Guadalupe Region and also from the Groupe Bernard Hayot Foundation.

Two postgraduate courses will be taught, a Master’s Degree in European Studies and another in Blue Economy. What will each one of them contribute to the graduates?

They can become a reference for postgraduate courses and research areas, and at the same time influence the economic and labor market of our regions to create new employment opportunities.

What will Campus RUP contribute to European Higher Education Area? How will it contribute to making the outermost singularity better understood in European capitals?

Campus RUP will innovate easily since the different partner Universities face the inherent challenges of their regions. Therefore, they will influence through invention and creativity in the development of their own regions, and with this they will contribute a plus to European innovation. It will extend the reach, penetration and aura of the European Higher Education Area. By exposing its singularities and its ability to innovate within its regions, it will help to better understand its necessary function, that of a common Europe that innovates from diversity.

Why should Campus Rup be chosen as one of the first projects of the European Universities Initiative?

Campus RUP is a cross-cutting project that has long-term implications in terms of RUPs having a crucial role in the development of their regions, but they also transfer and exchange their findings in regions facing similar problems. The establishment of such a well-thought-out knowledge and innovation system would be a surprising achievement for the European Universities Initiative.

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