Heading for the University of Rennes

On 19th January 2022, the two universities and the five grandes écoles of Rennes announced the creation of the University of Rennes, an experimental public institution that will come into being on January 1st of 2023.
Laurent Chambaud, Christine Rivalan Guégo, Pascal Mognol, David Alis, Régis Gautier, M'Hamed Drissi et Pablo Diaz

A unique model from Rennes, respectful of identities

Committed to a structuring project of the Rennes site since 2017, the seven member institutions of the UniR project formalised their rapprochement last September in a territorial coordination agreement. This process is continuing today with the creation of an experimental public institution (EPE) which will be called the University of Rennes. Following a vote in the seven boards of directors, and subject to the final vote on the statutes by the institutions' bodies, the institutions are looking ahead to the future institution as follows :

  • The University of Rennes 1 turns into an EPE, its training and research components and its services become those of the University of Rennes
  • The École nationale supérieure de chimie de Rennes, the ENS Rennes and Sciences Po Rennes are positioned as component institutions within the EPE and will therefore retain their legal personality;
  • The University of Rennes 2, a driving force for interdisciplinarity on the site, wishes to become an associated university;
  • INSA Rennes opts to become an associated institution;
  • EHESP is considering becoming a component or associated institution of the EPE and will take a position by the end of the first quarter.

In addition, the national research organisations present on the Rennes site - CNRS, INRAE, Inria, Inserm - and the CHU of Rennes wish to be partners of the newly created establishment in order to fully contribute to its scientific strategy.

What is an experimental public establishment?

An experimental public establishment (EPE) is a form of higher education and research establishments pool permitted by Order No. 2018-1131 of 12 December 2018 on the experimentation of new forms of bringing together, gathering or merging higher education and research establishments.
An EPE makes it possible to experiment with new modes of organisation and operation, in order to carry out a shared project defined by the establishments it brings together, in compliance with the objectives and missions of the public service of higher education and research

[Translated from French to English]

The creation of the University of Rennes is the result of a collective effort undertaken since 2017 in the service of our communities and the region. It is a success for the Rennes site, its recognition and its attractiveness at the European and international level. This ambitious new model gives us all the keys for a transformation that will allow the better support of the major transitions in our region - health, environment, digital - by making the University of Rennes a "University of Transitions".
The new organisation will be designed on the scale of the site and will aim to further strengthen interdisciplinarity, synergies and opportunities around these three transitions in terms of training and research and collectively achieve the objectives of sustainable development.
We will thus strengthen our capacity to respond to major national and European calls for proposals. In particular, we will promote new integrated master's degree-engineering courses, as we have successfully begun to do together. The objective is also to intensify the training-research-innovation link, thus amplifying our impact in the service of science, the territory and society.

David Alis, head of the Université de Rennes 1

A common ambition to serve a territory

The constitution of this fully-fledged institution has a dual ambition:

  • in terms of training, to encourage synergies and complementarities between the various players on the site for the success of all students
  • in terms of research and innovation, to assert a high-level scientific signature around three major societal transitions: health, the environment and digital technology.

The future University of Rennes will make it possible to achieve the objectives pursued by the seven institutions together :

  • to define a unified strategy on the major issues of education, research and innovation
  • to strengthen the attractiveness, legibility and recognition of the Rennes site on a national, European and international scale
  • to capitalise on joint successes, facilitate them and perpetuate the results, in particular with regard to major national and European calls for projects;
  • to provide itself with increased resources for the benefit of staff and students.

Announced by the seven heads of institutions during a press conference, the creation of the University of Rennes was welcomed by Emmanuel Ethis, Rector of the Academic Region of Brittany and Chancellor of the Universities, Isabelle Pellerin, Vice-President of Higher Education, Research and Innovation of Rennes Métropole and Olivier David, Vice-President of Student Life, Higher Education and Research.

A project at the service of the whole community

The creation of an experimental public institution aims to create an attractive university on the Rennes area that is internationally recognised for the quality of its research and training, and to encourage synergies between the components, component institutions and associated institutions and organisations.

Thus, students will be able to benefit from innovative courses, new training, bridges between institutions and more opportunities through partnerships with companies, foreign universities, etc.

Sustainable development and social responsibility will be at the heart of the shared strategy. Common policies will be defined in terms of recruitment, professional training, well-being at work, gender equality and the fight against discrimination.

In terms of real estate, renovation programmes will be developed in order to improve the quality of life at work and study and to aim for carbon neutrality for sustainable and eco-responsible campuses.

Finally, the EPE will be based on the principle of university democracy and will involve staff and students in the governance and operation of the institution by guaranteeing their representation.