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Université Côte d'Azur 2020

On January 1, 2020, Université Côte d'Azur ComUE will give way to an integrated university bearing the same name. The new Université Côte d'Azur will be a full-fledged university, listed in all the international rankings. It will incorporate a number of major local players in higher education and research and increase its cooperation, through closer official ties, with other Associate Institutions, such as Public Scientific and Technical Institutions (EPST).


Publication : 11/03/2019
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A draft of the statutes will be presented to the Ministry at the very beginning of 2019. Their main objective is to formalize strong and lasting structural relations between all these players.

The University Côte d'Azur centralizes coordination in three main areas

  • Academic coordination between research and higher education institutions, to develop a dynamic bond between training and research, prevent fragmentation or the risk of competition and gain more international recognition.
  • Institutional coordination with the major public players, to enforce a coherent strategy at the regional level and to concentrate funding on clearly identified objectives.
  • Socio-economic coordination with all the public and private players, to jointly contribute to the university's development and establish its brand in the world at large.

The Université Côte d'Azur carries out its missions in keeping with the core values that form the university's strong foundation and therefore

• Guarantees freedom of academic expression.
• Implements policies respectful of ethics and integrity in all its fields of action.
• Ensures democratic representation within its governing bodies.
For example, the number of directly elected positions on the Executive Board of the Université Côte d'Azur will be higher than the proportion recommended in the ordinance of December 12, 2018. All the categories composing the university community will be represented by elected members.
• Is an inclusive university respecting diversity, promoting gender equality and defending fundamental rights and freedoms.
• Is committed to social and environmental responsibility.
• Promotes a humanistic culture and encourages critical thinking to further democratic values.

The Université Côte d'Azur upholds its commitments in the main missions carried out and the means implemented to achieve them

  • The Université Côte d'Azur trains students and professionals and ensures that their knowledge and skills are adapted to the world in which they operate.Special emphasis is placed on scientific and experimental approaches, learning capacities, critical and constructive thinking, creativity, collaborative behaviors and entrepreneurship. In order to fulfill this mission, the Université Côte d'Azur adopts the best educational methods. Guidance, academic programs, social promotion and professional integration are its primary concerns.
  • The scientific potential of The Université Côte d'Azur rests on the disciplinary excellence of its laboratories working in partnership with national research organizations. The university's scientific policy also encourages cross-disciplinary initiatives, which are the best way of solving some of the complex problems facing our societies. Innovation and commercialization are encouraged and recognized.
  • It is impossible to be a top international research university without a motivated, committed and recognized staff. The Université Côte d'Azur is particularly attentive to the wellbeing of all staff members, in compliance with local laws. It strives more particularly to implement a profit-sharing policy accessible to all, and develop a dynamic university life.

To meet the many challenges ahead, the Université Côte d'Azur is implementing an innovative organizational model

  • Several types of components and closely associated partners: on January 1, 2020, the Université Côte d'Azur will be established as a Public Scientific, Cultural and Professional Institution (EPSCP) with a special status. Its unique structure combines Academic Components with no legal personality, with Component Institutions that keep their own legal status, and Associate Institutions.

    Whether they are legally independent or not, all these components have their own governance, financial and human resources, and boards. They are represented in the central governing bodies of the University proportionally to their status. They each have their specific features and a large autonomy, but maintain strong connections to ensure consistent, university-wide policies. Particular attention is paid to the transition between the different academic levels (Bachelor / Master / PhD), the need to develop stronger connections between research and training, and how all this is tied with campus policies.

    National research organizations, such as the CNRS and Inria, both founding members of the ComUE, are closely involved in the running of the institution. They are represented in the central councils of the University.
    All the players of the new University participate in carrying out the University's strategy and activities in the fields of research, academic programs and innovation, international relations and regional affairs. They operate together in the University components that fall within their area of specialty, and are closely involved in decisions regarding large university-wide projects. 
  • The Graduate Schools of Research (EUR), keystones of the whole structure
    The Université Côte d'Azur includes several long-standing Academic Components with no legal personality:
    - 8 Graduate Schools of Research (DS4H, INCISE, NGLS, Lex@société, ELMI, CREATES, ODYSSEE, HEALTHY), combining training and research, ensure continuity between Masters, PhDs and laboratories.
     - 6 Institutes or Schools subject to Articles L713-9; 713-4; 721-1 of the Code of Education (Polytech Nice Sophia, Nice Côte d'Azur IUT, Nice IAE, ESPE, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dental Surgery) offer two- to eight-year professional degrees (technological university degrees, engineering degrees, grade-school, middle-school or high-school teaching degrees, medical or health professions, etc.). - Other components such as Innovation and Partnership Institutes (e.g. Mediterranean Institute for Risk, Environment and Sustainable Development) or Thematic Institutes with international visibility (Institute for Peace and Development Law, Institute for Modeling in Neurosciences and Cognition, etc.).

    The seven undergraduate schools, granting three-year degrees and organized by disciplinary field, function similarly to the Université Côte d'Azur components. An undergraduate Collegium coordinates the transversal actions shared by all fields (faculty refresher programs and student support).

    The EURs of the Université Côte d'Azur are the main drivers of the synergy between the University's Academic Components, Component Institutions, Associate Institutions and partners. The EURs are in charge of proposing a method to the University governing bodies for interconnecting the different academic levels, which respects the operational and cultural diversity of each discipline, and complies with the principle of autonomy granted to each component. The EURs include representatives of the Doctoral Schools in their councils, and work with them in defining a strong doctoral program. Drawing on the expertise of the research laboratories, the EURs promote excellence in their field while encouraging multidisciplinary approaches. They base training on research, and therefore also work in synergy with IDEX structures and other university-wide PIAs.
    EUR Directors are ex-officiomembers of the Institution's Steering Committee (see below). They help define the university's strategy and are fully responsible for translating it into coherent and concerted action. 
  • Representative and effective central authorities
    Université Côte d'Azur is managed by an Executive Board. At least half of its members are directly elected. Its composition follows the usual distribution between categories within EPSCPs, i.e. 60% faculty members and researchers, 20% administrative staff representatives and 20% students.
    The Executive Board follows recommendations made by the Academic Council, which comprises more than 75% of directly elected members. The Council is more particularly in charge of monitoring and evaluating research and academic programs. It is also the place to discuss recommendations and proposals on all actions related to the main missions of the institution, before submitting them to the Executive Board. The Council is all the more efficient in these transverse actions when the components with no legal personality prepare the work by conducting analyses, within their own collegiate governing bodies and in application of the principle of autonomy, on the different topics that concern them (proposals for changing the component's course offer and the methods for evaluating knowledge acquired and granting degrees for these courses, etc.).

    Finally, the Université Côte d'Azur is innovating by creating a Steering Committee. Its membership varies depending on the subjects to be addressed, and its objective is to ensure that the directors of the main entities involved, but also the directors of the main components of the Université Côte d'Azur formally participate in the governance of the institution. The Steering Committee is systematically composed of the Executive Bureau, i.e. the President and Statutory Vice-Presidents. Depending on the subject, the President convenes, in addition to the Executive Bureau:
    - The assembly of Component Institutions with legal personality and Associate Institutions (research organizations, more particularly), in addition to representatives of the regional authorities, thereby forming the Site Steering Committee.
    - The assembly of Academic Components with no legal personality (EUR, Polytech, undergraduate Collegium) and the Functional Vice-Presidents or the Mission Heads, thereby forming the Institution Steering Committee.
    The Steering Committee can also meet for a plenary session (Executive Bureau, Site Steering Committee and Institution Steering Committee).
    A system for weighting the votes is used to take into account the weight and the commitment of the various organizations and institutions involved in the project. The Steering Committee issues recommendations before certain issues are submitted to the Executive Board for validation.
    In addition, and in accordance with international standards, an International Strategic Committee issues a recommendation each year on the direction and the development of the institution.

This organization provides the Université Côte d'Azur with all the tools it needs to become one of the top research-intensive universities of the 21stcentury. Formed of components with increased responsibilities, placing excellence in research at the core of all of its activities, nurturing strong ties with the region, and associated with the major national players in the field of research, the Université Côte d'Azur aims to have a worldwide impact and rank among the best European universities.