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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

The growth of our scientific and academic exchanges demonstrates the vibrancy of our current relations.

As regards science, in 2003 both countries put in place a mechanism designed to strengthen our relations (programme of actions 50% co-financed by the Australian Research Council — 700 scientific cooperation projects per year). Health, the environment, water management and resources, energy and transport are the priorities of the system which is supported by the Forum for European–Australian Science and Technology Cooperation (FEAST). In the biomedical sector, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the University of Melbourne have signed a cooperation agreement. The Hubert Curien Partnership (PHC), which supported major cooperation programmes by supplying grants to researchers to travel abroad, ended in 2012, producing good results. It was replaced by a new programme: French Australia Scientific Innovation Cooperation Grants (FASIC). An AFD/AUSAID partnership agreement on cooperation in Africa, particularly as regards research on agriculture and climate risks, was signed on 5 July 2011.

Academic cooperation plays an important role in our relationship. In 2013, 1,500 young French people went to study in Australia. There are 320 cooperation agreements between French and Australian universities which enable hundreds of students to take part in exchange programmes. These agreements cover all areas of study. Business, arts and humanities and human science studies are particularly popular. Several dual degrees at bachelor and post-graduate levels have also been created between French and Australian universities. An agreement on mutual recognition of diplomas was signed with Australia in October 2009. It enables students to continue their studies in the partner country and provides a formal framework relevant to students and institutions. “Australia Day” organized by Campus France in January 2012 helped to strengthen and foster partnerships between higher education institutions in France and Australia. The signing on 16 March 2011 of a tripartite agreement also enabled the launch of a branch of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS – Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences) at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra to facilitate collaboration between French and Australian experts in Pacific studies. In November 2014 an agreement on a dual arts degree was signed between Sciences Po and the University of Sydney.

A traineeship programme in French companies has been in place since 2010. It offers Australian students work placements within French companies which have set up in Australia. The traineeship offers six months in Australia and six months in France at the headquarters or another of the company’s sites.

French is the second most widely-studied foreign language in Australia. The Alliance Française network has 31 centres in Australia, providing French lessons to about 10,000 students. Australia has several educational institutions approved by the French national education ministry: in Canberra, Telopea Park French-Australian secondary school and Red Hill French-Australian Preschool; in Sydney, The International French School of Sydney and in Melbourne a primary school.

France is one of Australia’s main cultural partners. Cooperation is undertaken via partnerships and largely funded by Australian operators. French artists regularly attend festivals in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The 26th edition of the Alliance Française French Film Festival was held from 3 March to 21 April and attended by 157,484 visitors (an increase of 20% compared to 2015) in the six largest cities in Australia. The 2015 edition took place from 3 March to 21 April. Australian museums have hosted major French exhibitions: in 2010, the exhibition on post-impressionnism from the Musée d’Orsay at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra attracted almost 500,000 visitors, while Picasso and Matisse exhibitions, held in Sydney and Brisbane respectively until March 2012, were hugely popular.

mise à jour : 22.09.15



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