Aix-Marseille University

The largest multidisciplinary French-speaking university, Aix-Marseille University (AMU) welcomes 80,000 students and nearly 8,000 staff on 5 large campuses of international standards. Owning 90% of its assets, the university is present in 9 cities in 4 departments of the Southern Region.
Its A*Midex University Foundation, which carries the IDEX on a long-term basis, contributes to the development of a world-class interdisciplinary higher education and research centre. Known as an “intensive research university”, it is home to 122 research structures linked to major national research organisations.

Created on 1 January 2012, Aix-Marseille University (AMU) can legitimately consider, at the end of an initial period 2012-2017 largely devoted to the structuring of the single university, that it has taken up the major challenge it had set itself: to successfully merge the three universities in the area and give birth to a large world-class university.

AMU is thus an intensive research university, which has forged partnerships all over the world, which has affirmed its territorial anchorage and integration and which ranks among the very first French universities in the Shanghai ranking. AMU is a multidisciplinary university structured around five disciplinary sectors divided into 18 components (faculties, schools, institutes) and one multidisciplinary sector (including ESPE and IUT) :

  • Arts, Letters, Languages and Human Sciences
  • Law and Political Science
  • Economics and Management
  • Health
  • Science and Technology

It is present in four departments and nine cities. It has a real estate portfolio spread over 58 sites representing more than 830,000 m². AMU was a winner of the Campus Operation, which, in conjunction with the CPER (State-Regional Plan Contract), enables it to rehabilitate and modernise its campuses in order to aim for the best international standards. AMU is now a recognised and identified partner, which has been able to impose its identity and assert itself as a key player in its region, in whose development and influence it plays an active role.

From 2012, AMU has developed and structured a streamlined and clear training offer. From 2012, AMU has developed and structured a streamlined and clear training offer. This work has been deepened within the framework of the master plan for the training offer that it developed in 2016 and 2017, the result of internal consultation but also of exchanges with socio-economic partners and communities. In terms of research and innovation, AMU has developed a strategy co-constructed at the site level in conjunction with the main research organisations (CNRS, Inserm, IRD, CEA, etc.) and structured around its numerous research units and federations and its five intersectoral and interdisciplinary research centres (PR2I):

  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Humanities
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Advanced Science & Technology

The excellence of the site’s research has been recognised in particular by its success in several national (labex, equipex, Instituts convergences, RHU, EUR…) or European calls for projects of the H2020 type (AMU is thus the third French institution raising funds under this programme). The labeling of the A*Midex project, carried by Aix-Marseille University and its partners (AMU, CNRS, Inserm, IRD, CEA, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Institut d’Etudes Politiques d’Aix-en-Provence and Ecole Central de Marseille), has also had a tremendous structuring and stimulating effect on the institution. It has created a real dynamic around the five priority themes and the strategic objectives identified from 2012:

  • Excellence in training and research
  • Partnerships with the socio-economic world
  • Internationalization of the site’s areas of excellence
  • Ambitious human resources policy
  • Attractiveness of the site

A*Midex thus functions as an accelerator, through calls for projects or proactive actions, so that Aix-Marseille University and its partners can quickly achieve their ambitions. The perpetuation of A*Midex in 2016 reflects both the recognition of the work accomplished by AMU and the opportunity to have a formidable tool to support the university’s strategy.

At the end of a period that has seen the energies of our entire university community mobilised to build a new institution, it is on the strength of this collective dynamic that AMU is now projecting itself into its future by carrying out a project that is both ambitious and unifying for the period 2018-2022. Thus, while the first five-year contract for 2012-2017 was naturally aimed at installing and structuring the merged university. The 2018-2022 contract will be placed under the triple seal of innovation for all of the university’s fields of activity, strengthening the link between training and research and the quality approach as the guiding threads to always aim for excellence, notably with the support of A*Midex.

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