The University of Toulouse 1-Capitole is transformed into an experimental public establishment

“The University of Toulouse 1-Capitole in its current institutional form lives its last days. She will leave to an experimental public establishment”, summarizes Hugues Kenfack, the president of the university at the opening of his solemn return speech, Thursday, September 22.

Objective of this grouping: “to build a international humanist university on the banks of the Garonne” and “become an incubator of excellence with at the center of our concerns, the challenge of responding to all social and societal challenges, whether local, national or international.”

To meet this ambition, the university will become Toulouse Capitole University, a experimental public establishment, statute created by the ordinance of December 12, 2018 which allows higher education establishments to come together and experiment with new modes of organization in order to promote cooperation and multidisciplinarity. It will take place alongside the new experimental Comue which is also due to open on January 1, 2023.

This new establishment will include, in addition to the university, the law school which will become a law school, Toulouse School of Economics which will take on the status of large establishment when the EPE is created, Toulouse school of management as well as the faculty of administration and communication, the faculty of computer science, the IUT of Rodez as well as Sciences po Toulouse. Discussions are underway with the law school and the architecture school so that they can integrate the EPE in the medium term.

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One of the pillars of the future EPE is to create an international multidisciplinary research center. It will welcome foreign researchers, with a strong impact on societal challenges, such as health or the environment. This year, six teacher-researchers from UT1-Capitole and Toulouse School of Economics were laureates of the Institut universitaire de France (IUF) which rewards excellence in research.

Among the themes developed over the next five years on the university site, a research program on “profane beliefs in technology and artificial intelligence” led by Sandra Laporte, professor of management sciences at Toulouse School of Management and laureate of the IUF.

“We want to focus more specifically on healthcare applications which make it possible to quantify health indicators, eating behaviors or physical exercises”, specifies Sandra Laporte. The objective is also to understand how these applications can have a positive impact on users and encourage them to improve their lifestyle and their health.

Other research theme developed at the university: study the effectiveness of environmental law in terms of societal impact, a subject led by Julien Bétaille, lecturer in public law, specializing in environmental law, also winner of a junior chair from the IUF. This project, which is based on the empirical method, aims to “promote interdisciplinarity with economics, political science, possibly management science, but also life sciences”.

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The future EPE also aims to strengthen the international partnerships and cooperation and promote the sharing of knowledge with foreign researchers. Toulouse 1-Capitole University currently has more than 200 partnerships with European universities and establishments outside Europesuch as Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in the United States, or Félix-Houphouët-Boigny University, based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

On a European scale, UT1-Capitole is a member of I’Engage.eu alliance (The European university engaged in societal change) which brings together nine European universities in the fields of business, economics and social sciences. In 2023, the Toulouse EPE will welcome doctoral students and researchers from the universities of the alliance to work around the themes of organizational and societal justice, mental health and well-being, and gender equality.

“We will join forces across different disciplines and institutions to develop very concrete research projects aiming in particular to develop equality in Europe”, underlines Marion Fortin, vice-president of European and international relations of UT1-Capitole.

To support the development of ECE, a digital university will also be created within the establishment which wants to be inclusive and united. In particular, it will allow easier access to education for students living far from university sites and for people with reduced mobility. It will offer “training that can be personalized and adapted to the individual background of each student”, explains Stéphane Sanchez, lecturer in computer science, in charge of the project.

The EPE will also equip itself with a partnership foundation to diversify its resources and strengthen cooperation with local authorities (in particular the Occitanie region and Toulouse Métropole) and companies. “At the service of ECE, it will aim to find ways to develop innovationsupport for students and help in recruiting the best teachers”, specifies Hugues Kenfack who calls on “all companies to participate”.

TIRIS: winner of the ExcellenceS call for projects

After chaotic years marked by the loss of the Idex label (initiative of excellence), the Toulouse university community sees in 2022 its labeled academic and institutional project by the State as part of the call for ExcellenceS projects.

The project, entitled TIRIS for “Toulouse initiative research’s impact of society”, brings together several universities and engineering schools (UT1-Capitole, UT2-Jean Jaurès, UT3-Paul Sabatier, the Federal University of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse INP, Insa Toulouse and Isae-Supaero) as well as research organisations: CNRS, Inserm, Inrae, IRD, Onera and Météo-France.

It aims to mobilize the academic and scientific community around three issues : health and well-being, global changes and their societal impacts and sustainable transitions in terms of mobility, energy and industries.

TIRIS will benefit from an envelope of 38 million euros. The objective is to promote transdisciplinarity and develop the attractiveness of the Toulouse site with a view to creating a major research university (GUR).

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The University of Toulouse 1-Capitole is transformed into an experimental public establishment


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