The Ontario/Rhône-Alpes Student Exchange Program
Philippe Zeller, Ambassador of France to Canada, hosted a reception for the 20th anniversary tour of the Ontario/Rhône-Alpes Student Exchange Program (ORA) with delegates from all 12 Rhône-Alpes universities and grandes écoles, as well as the ORA program director, Carleton University and University of Ottawa senior administrators, international liaison officers and student mobility staff, on Monday October 17, 2011.
The ORA program, supported by 28 member institutions (13 in Rhône-Alpes, 15 in Ontario), by the Province and by the Region, constitutes an example of successful Franco-Canadian university cooperation by offering students from our two countries the opportunity for academic, scientific, cultural and linguistic enrichment.
Since 2002, the University of Ottawa has sent 51 students to France under the ORA program and has hosted 73 French students in return.
The strengthening of cooperation between French and Canadian institutions of higher learning and research represents, in this respect, one of the major areas of focus of this Embassy, and the mobility of youth between the two countries a shared goal.
This was one of the important messages conveyed to the Ambassador Philippe Zeller by the Right Honourable David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada and the former president of the University of Waterloo, when he presented his credentials to him a few weeks ago.
It seems useful to highlight here a convergence of views between that of ORA, which is broadening a student exchange program to include young researchers, and the vision of the Embassy of France, which has worked for many years to incorporate, within Anglophone Canadian universities, the principle of the joint PhD program or cotutelle, allowing postgraduate students in both our countries to see the international dimension of their work become a reality through the completion of a joint PhD degree.
It is important to see in the growing interest for this arrangement from member universities in the ORA consortium, a line of thinking that seems very relevant to the future development of the program.
For more information on the ORA program or other region-to-region academic partnerships: