CUNY and University of Paris to Announce Plans To Expand Largest Public University Student Exchange Program

Plans to expand a student exchange program between The City University of New York and the University of Paris will be announced when officials of the two schools meet on Wednesday, May 20 at 12 noon, to sign an agreement to renew the program known as the New York/Paris Exchange.

The exchange program, instituted in 1982, is currently the largest program of its kind in the world between two public university systems.

Since its inception, more than 600 CUNY students have spent either a semester or a year studying at various campuses of the University of Paris, while a like number of visitors have studied at CUNY colleges. Faculty members from the two institutions also exchange positions every year.

The Parisian students come to CUNY to study in a variety of fields: science and engineering at City College, business at Baruch College, film and media studies at Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges, English, history, and art at Queens College, and journalism at Lehman College. For many CUNY students, the program represents an opportunity to study abroad at an affordable cost.

The ceremonies at which the agreement will be renewed will be held at the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Representing CUNY will be Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Louise Mirrer, Queens College President Allen Lee Sessoms, Hunter College President David A. Caputo, University Dean Anne Martin, and William Kelly, executive director of the exchange program.

Representing the University of Paris will be Jean-Louis Leutrat, President of the University of Paris III and President of MICEFA, the consortium of Parisian universities; John D. Edwards, Vice President of MICEFA, and Renaud Fabre, President of the University of Paris VIII. The host will be Charles Barriere, Cultural Attache of the French Embassy.

New initiatives to be discussed at the May 20 meeting will include the establishment of a new translation school to be housed at Queens College; ways of integrating the curricula of the two universities so that graduate students in particular fields can earn a joint degree from both institutions by studying for a semester or a year on the exchange program; and the inauguration of annual international conferences in New York and Paris in alternate years on subjects of mutual interest to French and American scholars.

The first of these conferences, titled, “The University and The City in the New Millenium,” is tentatively scheduled for next spring.