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Paris: French-American Education Conference

Paris: French-American Education Conference

Published on February 15, 2012
Education Conference Gathers French, American Leaders at Assemblée Nationale.

On the same day that members of Congress gathered to dialogue about France’s practices in nuclear waste management, French and American counterparts gathered in the Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly), France’s lower parliamentary body, for a roundtable discussion covering bilateral cooperation in education and social affairs.

Titled "France and the United States: How to Strengthen Community, Educational and University Cooperation," the February 7 conference sought to collect the expertise of leaders in business, education, non-profits and government at all levels. Presiding at the day’s events were Messrs Henri de Raincourt, Minister of State, and Charles Rivkin, Ambassador of the United States to France.

With a turnout of over 200 participants, the event unfolded through a three-part series of themed discussions. The first addressed local cooperation as a potential motor for local development. Methods include sister cities initiatives as well as future opportunities through public-private partnerships and other economy-focused projects. The debate was moderated by Steven Erlanger, Editor-in-Chief of the New York Times bureau in Paris.

The second roundtable tackled the issue of educational exchanges. Debaters approached the theme from angles as diverse as langue learning programs, cultural interchange, conferences for teachers of foreign languages, and how to pay for such programs. The session was moderated by Marie-Estelle Pech, journalist at the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, and included the participation of members of the diplomatic services of France and the U.S., as well as a broad range of figures from the educational and education non-profit sectors.

The day concluded with a final panel discussion, this time concentrated on university exchanges. Invited guests discussed how to deepen the attractiveness of French schools in the U.S. and the ideal coordination among the fields of teaching, research and innovation. Seeking "transatlantic responses" between the two countries, participants maintained a lively conversation on related issues like tuition cost, research funding and others. Moderated the talk was Jean-Claude Lewandowski, Editor-in-Chief of Les Echos, France’s foremost economics daily.

For a related article on the recent bilateral meeting of the Congressional French Caucus, please click here.

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