The Conference of University Presidents (Conférence des présidents d’université - CPU) was formed in 1971 and has a total of 129 members throughout France. Through its links with government bodies and schools CPU represents the majority of French higher education, research and innovation stakeholders. CPU plays a proactive role in advocating and negotiating with government authorities, higher education and research networks, economic and social partners, and national and international institutions. It responds to developments in the higher education and research world and proposes areas for change. Amid the radical changes taking place in the higher education and research sector, CPU’s role also involves supporting university presidents in their new responsibilities and promoting French academia and its values both at home and abroad.
CPU is run by an Executive Committee which is elected for two years, and comprises a Chair and two Vice-Chairs, all of whom are university presidents or heads of higher education and research establishments. CPU’s work is organised by subject committees, which deal with the various topics universities are concerned with, including training and employment prospects, research and innovation, resources and personnel, student and campus life, international and European relations, health issues, legal matters, academic consortia and local strategies, digital technology, green transition and energy transition.
CPU has also established a permanent office in Brussels, which it shares with the CLORA research bodies (Associated Research Bodies’ Club), and has introduced the position of parliamentary adviser to the French lower and upper Houses of Parliament. CPU’s permanent staff calls upon the expertise of all the university networks and professional associations when formulating the organisation’s policies. CPU’s presence in policy making is marked by major annual events, such as symposia, training seminars and debates on major current topics of interest to society or universities, events aimed at the general public or the academic community, and the international competition «My thesis in 180 seconds».
University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC) covers all major sciences: mathematics, chemistry, physics, electronics, computer science, mechanics, earth, marine and environmental sciences, life sciences and medicine. Located in the heart of Paris, most UPMC facilities are on Campus Jussieu. There are also three oceanography observatories on France’s coasts. UPMC’s medical faculty works with seven teaching hospitals and its five medical institutes include research, patient care and teaching programmes.
As the largest scientific and medical education centre in France, UPMC offers its 35,400 students a demanding and diverse curriculum. UPMC promotes study abroad programmes through its international bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes in partnership with universities worldwide. Producing approximately 11% of the national research publications, UPMC has more than 3,750 professor-researchers and researchers in close to 100 laboratories in partnership with the main French research organisations.
UPMC is currently in the process of merging with University of Paris-Sorbonne to become Sorbonne University, joining together the disciplines of arts, humanities, sciences, engineering and medicine to offer comprehensive education and research.