Staff Reporter

PUDUCHERRY: Pondicherry University has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Grenoble Universities, a consortium of four universities and institutes in Grenoble, France, for exchange of students and faculty and joint research.

The agreement will enable postgraduate and research students of Pondicherry University to have a short stay at Grenoble Universities as an extension of their course. The students will not be charged any tuition fee but will have to give a share to the National Health Service scheme and take care of their accommodation and other expenses.

The number of students and the departments that will be involved in the exchange programme are being worked out, said S. Kuppuswami, Vice-Chancellor (in charge), Pondicherry University.

The first batch of students from Grenoble will be in Pondicherry University in July 2008, and the university here will send its batch in September, according to Patrick Chezaud, president of Grenoble Universities.

The agreement, which will enable both the universities to exchange documentations and pedagogical tools and publish research papers, is valid for five years, renewable as per the procedure in force, after the assessment by both the universities. The universities will strive to get funding from regional, national and European agencies for various programmes.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university would utilise the strength of Grenoble in nano-technology, biotechnology and mathematics. Besides, the collaboration would help students pursuing French in the university. The French university would like to work with Pondicherry University in Indian literature, especially Tamil literature, science and Indian Cinema, Mr. Patrick Chezaud said.

He said the French Government was keen on attracting more Indian students to French universities. "We also want more students from France to come over here and study. About 300 students from France are here and we want to double the number in two years."