The Symposium held in the Aquitaine capital between the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU and the University of Bordeaux on November 19th and 20th has served to “move from intention to action” in the field of cooperation between the two academic institutions, according to Charo Sánchez, UPV/EHU European Projects Manager. As she declared at the end of the event, there was “some cooperation” with Bordeaux, but these two days have succeeded in “consolidating the joint work a little more”.

“Those who were interested in fostering ties are finally going to start enjoying them. Now, we are going to start working together on more specific topics and projects” she highlighted. In her opinion, the Symposium is a “starting point for action” in joint proposals between the Basque Country and Bordeaux, enabling us to “understand the supporting structures for cooperation, such as IdEx, Euskampus, the Bordeaux International Relations Office and the UPV/EHU International Projects Office”. “We all know each other, who’s who, where we are and how we can cooperate”, she outlined. This is why she doesn’t hesitate to affirm that “the Symposium will reap rewards”.

Jordi Curell, Director Higher Education and International Affairs, Erasmus+ at Directorate General Education and Culture, European Commission, expressed the same opinion during the event’s closing ceremony, outlining that cooperation is becoming increasingly integrated between the Basque Country and Bordeaux “it is crucial for the future”. “We are gradually moving towards the merging of universities” he said and “international cooperation is vital to improve the quality of research as well as the quality of education”.

The Rector of the UPV/EHU, Iñaki Goirizelaia, also valued the importance of the new era between both universities, pointing out that it is “a significant step” towards a “Eurocampus” between the Basque Country and Aquitaine, and from now on “we are going to continue moving in the right direction”. In this respect, he reminded us that “there are no similar projects” to the cross-border campus, whereby this alliance “is a benchmark in the European Union”. “We will be seen as a reference point in the future” he emphasised.

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