UQ and France

Strong collaborative ties

UQ has strong student exchange and research engagement with leading French institutions including the French National Centre for Scientific Research, the National Institute of Agricultural Research, and French mega university Paris-Saclay on projects with global reach, including coral reef conservation and brain science.

Fast facts


French students enrolled at UQ


France-UQ co-publications


academic staff born in France


research project collaborations


alumni in France


agreements with 14 official partners

Fast facts show full-year 2017 data.



UQ has partnered with France-based researchers on more than 980 co-publications in the past 5 years. The top research areas include genetics and heredity, biochemistry and molecular biology, ecology, environmental sciences, and cell biology. Our top co-publishing partners were the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and National Health and Medical Research Institute (Inserm).

Research collaborations

In the past 5 years, UQ has collaborated with 21 French institutions on 32 research projects, backed by more than A$21.5 million (14 million EUR) in funding and covering topics such as safer general anaesthesia, treating spinal cord injuries, and novel therapeutic strategies for motor neurone disease. Key collaborators include the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and CentraleSupélec.

Research funding

12 French organisations, including the Human Frontier Science Program Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Veolia, Total and Airbus, have contributed more than A$2.1 million (1.4 million EUR) towards 19 research projects in the past 5 years. Projects investigate a range of topics including understanding the brain and why blood pressure is sensitive to dietary potassium.

Collaboration in action

Paris-Saclay takes research to new heights

French mega university, University of Paris-Saclay, has partnered with UQ to build on aerospace research links. The agreement extends UQ's well-established ties with Europe’s largest fundamental science agency, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). It is enhanced by an association with Airbus Defence and Space, which has helped target fundamental research programs towards critical issues faced by the aerospace industry. UQ's partnership with Paris-Saclay – the first of its kind in Australia – is working on critical technologies for humankind’s continuing exploration of the solar system, and for the development of a global rapid transport network

Paving the way for space travel

UQ also joined forces with Paris-Saclay for its first joint research symposium with an international partner, building on existing research ties with the UQ Centre for Hypersonics. The Franco-Australian Symposium on Hypersonics and High Enthalpy Flows, which ran in September 2016, brought researchers together to identify the best path to address future aerospace challenges. Since the Symposium, the collaboration has expanded to staff and student mobility, grant funding, higher degree dissertations, and more than 90 co-publications. The partnership has also successfully built industry linkages and attracted financial support from French-based Airbus Defence and Space for joint activities.

Saving the world's coral reefs

UQ Global Change Institute (GCI) Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg has a long history of collaboration with French research institutions regarding the impact of climate change on coral reefs and marine biodiversity. He is a key researcher at the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies – a collaboration with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) – and partnered with CNRS, Sorbonne University (Paris), and the French Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations on the Oceans 2015 Initiative, which gave policy makers information on what future oceans will look like ahead of the November 2015 climate change negotiations in Paris.

Understanding the brain

UQ's Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) and the Institute of Neuroscience Systems (Marseille) are partners in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function, which is making significant advances in unravelling the mysteries of the brain and how it interacts with the world. Integrating the work of neuroscientists, physicists and engineers, the Centre's research crosses four interconnected themes: brain systems, neural circuits, cells and synapses, and models and technologies. QBI Professor Joseph Lynch is also part of international research into safer general anaesthesia, a project that involves the Pasteur Institute, a French non-profit private foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms, diseases, and vaccines.


Making money out of saving the environment

Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation (CMLR) ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Antony van der Ent holds a joint postdoctoral position between UQ and the University of Lorraine, France. At CMLR, he leads a research initiative on phytomining. The French-German film production company ARTE produced a full-length documentary about the research undertaken by his team that was broadcast globally in January 2017. UQ and the University of Lorraine have been collaborating intensively for more than seven years through SMI and the Soil and Environment Laboratory (UL) as part of the LabEx RESSOURCES21 programme.

French students at UQ

France is among the top 25 countries of origin for UQ students and French students make up the 3rd largest cohort of Europeans studying at UQ. In the past 5 years, 212 French students have been enrolled in UQ degrees. PhD studies, Study Abroad, the Master of Engineering ScienceBusiness, and Science are popular program choices.

Video: French PhD student Cecile Richard explains her research method that involves planting wheat in clear pots so the plants with better root system can be selected.

Celebrating French culture


UQ students can study French through the School of Languages and Cultures, which offers around 25 French courses. Students benefit from the expertise of an award-winning teaching team recognised with 2 significant citations for outstanding contributions to student learning. French at UQ isn't just a series of language courses, it’s also an opportunity to pursue interests in literary and cultural studies, cinema, intercultural communication, translation, and second language acquisition.

The Institute of Modern Languages (IML) at UQ also offers French courses for the wider community.

Video: What to expect while studying French at UQ.

Student mobility

Student exchange

France is in the top 5 most popular exchange destinations for UQ students. We have student exchange agreements with 9 universities in France, including CentraleSupélec and Sciences Po. Under these agreements, 148 UQ students studied in France and 149 French students studied at UQ in the past 5 years.

Master of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology has a double-degree agreement with the Écoles Centrales in France through membership in Top Industrial Managers for Europe (TIME), a network of more than 50 engineering and technical institutes. Students graduate with an engineering degree from Écoles Centrales and a Master of Engineering from UQ.

Master of Global Management

The Master of Global Management is designed to prepare graduates for an international business career. The 2-year postgraduate double degree is run in conjunction with one of France's leading business schools - students can spend their second year in Paris at the École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (ESSEC) Business School.


More than 740 UQ alumni live in France. Alumni with significant links to France include:

Former President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Europe (Bachelor of Commerce 1986; Doctor of Business honoris causa 2014)
Graduate On-Board Software Engineer, Airbus Defence and Space (Bachelor of Engineering 2013)
Anna Segall
Director of International Standards and Legal Affairs at UNESCO (Bachelor of Arts 1983, Bachelor of Laws 1985)