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Diplomas Awarded to 14th Class of Master’s Students of University of Zagreb and University of Orléans

On Monday, 9 October 2023 in Hall A1 of the South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL) a diploma award ceremony was held for students who finished their master’s degree programme in the field of bioindustry, conducted jointly by the University of Zagreb and the University of Orléans.

The fourteenth class of students, who completed the said programme, had their diplomas conferred on them by the Rector of the University of Zagreb, Prof. Stjepan Lakušić, PhD. The ceremony was attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the Republic of Croatia HE Fabien Guillaume Edmond Fieschi, the UNIZG Vice-rector for Innovation, Technology Transfer and Cooperation with Economic Sector Prof. Tomislav Josip Mlinarić, PhD, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, UNIZG, Prof. Mirko Planinić, PhD, the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, UNIZG, Prof. Branka Levaj, PhD, the course coordinator at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Assoc. Prof. Igor Stuparević, PhD, and the course coordinator at the Faculty of Science, Prof. Višnja Besendorfer, PhD. The graduates and ceremony guests were also greeted virtually by the University of Orléans course coordinator, Prof. Jozef Hamacek, PhD.

Congratulating the graduates, Rector Lakušić highlighted the continuous interest the study programme has attracted for years among the students attending the UNIZG Faculty of Science and Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, and especially pointed out the excellent cooperation with the University of Orléans and the Embassy of France. "Today, first and foremost, I want to congratulate you on your choosing this master’s programme, on your curiosity and courage, and your willingness to study in two different countries and work closely with professors from two universities," said Rector Lakušić.

Following Rector Lakušić’s speech, Prof. Jozef Hamacek, PhD, joined virtually from the University of Orléans, and expressed his hope that the graduates’ experience of studying in France was positive and that it will contribute to the development of their professional careers. "Apart from the knowledge you acquired during this study, I hope you had a good time at the University of Orléans, enjoyed the French culture, and met colleagues from our University with whom you will remain in contact."

The fresh graduates were then addressed by the Ambassador of the French Republic to the Republic of Croatia, HE Fabien Guillaume Edmond Fieschi. "Dear students, as you receive your diplomas, I would like to warmly congratulate you on this success, which is the grand culmination of your many years of hard work. You have now become alumni, part of the network of former students who, if they wish – and I strongly encourage you to do so – can stay in contact with France and share their experience with the younger generation. The diploma that was awarded to you today is unique because it marks the completion of the joint French-Croatian study programme and I am convinced that it will open up numerous professional opportunities and ease your entry into the labour market“, said Ambassador Fieschi. Filip Španić addressed the audience on behalf of the new graduates.

The cooperation between the University of Zagreb and the University of Orléans on the joint master’s degree programme in the field of bioindustry is based on the Cooperation Agreement signed by the institutions’ respective heads back in November 2007. The Agreement makes it possible for the UNIZG master’s students of molecular biology (Faculty of Science) and molecular biotechnology (Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology) to take courses offered at the University of Orléans, as well as do internships at French firms and scientific institutions, thus fulfilling the prerequisites for obtaining a French master’s degree from the University of Orléans in the field of bioindustry (Diplôme de Master du domaine Sciences et Technologie, mention Sciences du Vivant, spécialité techniques bio-industrielles).

The programme is developed in accordance with the Bologna process, and it is distinctive in that the second year of study consists of classes taught by professors from both the University of Zagreb and the University of Orléans, which are conducted in French, English, and Croatian. Along with the University of Zagreb and the University of Orléans, the implementation of the programme is supported by the Embassy of the French Republic in the Republic of Croatia.

The practical component of this study programme the study visit at the French partner University of Orléans for the master thesis laboratory research is co-financed through the EU Erasmus+ mobility programme, as it has been for years. The activities conducted fall under the traineeship category within project KA131 and are financed from the grants awarded by the European Commission, with the Central International Relations Office of the University of Zagreb providing implementation and advisory support.