Rice University in the US has announced a satellite campus in France which will act as its European research hub.
The Texas-based institution will open the Rice University Paris Center in an historic 16th-century building in the heart of the French capital city.
In addition to offering research opportunities to students and faculty, the centre will allow small groups of students to take short courses lasting one to three weeks.
“The ambitions of our university and the needs of the future leaders we are educating require global engagement and perspective,” said Rice University president David Leebron.
It is expected that the location will be fully operational in January 2023. The launch ceremony scheduled on June 29 will welcome Houston mayor Sylvester Turner together with a delegation of Greater Houston Partnership business leaders.
“The opening of this dedicated overseas facility represents the next step in the long-standing plan we have been pursuing to internationalise Rice and the Rice experience in every dimension,” Leebron added.
As well as welcoming more international students to the Houston campus, Rice’s internationalisation agenda has aimed to foster international travel for students and faculty and to build strong relationships with “the best” universities around the world.
“The Paris location offers an incredible range of opportunities, in fields ranging from art and architecture to international business and global relations and politics,” the leader of the private institution continued.
“The Paris location offers an incredible range of opportunities”
Provost and incoming president Reginald DesRoches noted that the institution is eager to extend its commitment to “pathbreaking research, unsurpassed teaching, but also to the betterment of our world”.
“The opening of the Rice University Paris Center demonstrates that commitment,” DesRoches – who will take up the role of president in July – said.
Rice researchers will gain greater access to French and other European partners, and a revolving group of faculty researchers and select graduate students will use the centre during the academic year.
Current vice president for global and digital strategy Caroline Levander will oversee the centre in her new role as vice president global.
Located in Le Marais district, the centre in a 500-year-old hôtel particulier will have space for around 125 students.
“For our purposes, this building is an ideal educational space conveniently situated in one of the most historically significant areas of Paris,” Levander said.
“It looks and feels like a private university campus in the heart of a European capital city, and it reflects how Rice plans to expand its international impact in the coming years.”