The University of Bordeaux (50,000 students, 2,818 faculty members, 2,763 administrative staﬀ)
results from the extensive fusion process of three major universities recently completed (January
2014). This process began in 2008 and involved a federation of public organizations of R & D & I
and Higher Education, created in March 2007, to carry out a higher education and research strategy for the Bordeaux area, deploy its attractiveness and international competitiveness, and promote the integration of graduates.
The resulting fusion result, called “New University of Bordeaux” by the majority of these federation members, is one of two major operational variations of a strategic development plan “to a new model of university” expressed in 2008 and associated with a comprehensive plan for urban
renewal of the campus, around two main priorities:
(1) reorganize the R & D & I and training oﬀer of Bordeaux area around strong and visible
international thematic poles,
(2) strengthen the role of the University in the economic development planning of the territory.
Another structuring project is IdEx Bordeaux, the development strategy through the excellence of
the University of Bordeaux, held within the framework of the national program “Investissements de
Future” which has an investment capacity of over 120 million euros along four years to strengthen
R & D in Bordeaux area. This strategy is built on a set of areas of excellence in R & D & I at the
crossroads of internationally recognized skills of its research laboratories (materials, neurosciences, archeology, medical imaging, lasers, environment, ICT, etc.) and other Aquitaine development priorities: aerospace, laser, health and ICT, vine and wine, forest, etc..
Local, national and international contexts pose strong challenges and incentives used by the
University committed to a dynamics of excellence and deep meditation on internationalization and
have played a role of an accelerator in the merging process; a merger carried out as a project for two years which will be discussed later on in this presentation.
This merger was accompanied also by a deep transformation of the University: in terms of political
organization, with the establishment of a renovated and innovative governance and in terms of the
administrative organization with the creation of seven major Poles, thematic and not
compartmentalized. The aim of this new organization is to be able to address global challenges that require cross-cutting responses. A simpme illustrative example, through the operational
implementation of the concept of “comprehensive internationalization” by RIPI Pole (International
Relations Innovation Partnerships in French) as an organizational response to major international
Generally speaking, we propose a feedback after six months of implementation of the
organizational fusion and related challenges.