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Trinity and École Normale Supérieure renew exchange agreement

Last week the College renewed the agreement with the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, continuing the decades-long relationship that has enabled dozens of students to undertake a graduate course at France’s foremost graduate school.

The exchange agreement enables one Trinity student to undertake a two-year Master’s course in Paris, and two ENS students to take one-year courses at Trinity. Full costs (fees and maintenance) are covered for students of both institutions for the duration of their studies at ENS and Trinity respectively.

Professor Barnard said: ‘It is a great honour for the College to have an agreement with such a prestigious French institution. Our students benefit very much from the opportunities offered by studying at ENS.’

Eloise Groves, who started at ENS in 2021, said the evolution from Trinity undergraduate to Master’s student at the Parisian institution had been ‘a journey of academic and cultural discovery.’

‘The two-year exchange is a marvellous opportunity to conduct profound research while also attending classes from a broad range of disciplines. The city embraces curious minds and I have blossomed here both intellectually and personally in ways I could not have anticipated.

I am incredibly grateful to Trinity and the ENS for such an irradiant experience, and could not recommend the exchange enough.’

From left back row: Madame Hélène Duchêne, Professor Jean Khalfa and Dame Sally Davies. Front Professor Frédéric Worms and Professor Catherine Barnard.

The agreement, signed by Senior Tutor Professor Catherine Barnard and the ENS Director Professor Frédéric Worms, took place after Trinity Professor in French Studies, Professor Jean Khalfa, received the prestigious insignia of the Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques from the French Ambassador to the UK, Madame Hélène Duchêne.

From left: Professor Worms, ENS Director, Professor Emmanuel Dormy, a mathematician at ENS and a former Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity, and Cédric Guillerme, Head of International Relations at ENS.

The honour comes from the French Minister of National Education and Youth on behalf of the Prime Minister of France in recognition of Professor Khalfa’s teaching and research in French and Francophone studies.

Professor Professor Khalfa and the French Ambassador to the UK, Madame Helene Duchêne.

Accepting the award, Professor Khalfa described his own student days at ENS, his diplomatic appointments and engagement with academic institutions and civil society actors in South Africa in the transition to democracy, post-Apartheid, his teaching and research in the history of thought, and more recently his research on Frantz Fanon, which cast new light on the Martinique psychiatrist and political thinker’s perspectives.

Professor Khalfa said:

I was thrilled to receive this honour, from the Ambassador herself and in Trinity.

As Fellow for International Exchanges I am delighted by the renewal of our exchange programme with the ENS, which is unique in Cambridge.

Our students benefit tremendously from our exchanges with top institutions worldwide either by going there or by getting to know the incoming students. Having studied at the ENS I know from experience how good it is.

I felt particularly honoured by the presence of its Director, Professor Worms, who came to Trinity for the award ceremony and could sign the exchange renewal in person.

After the event, guests visited the Wren Library to view the collection of livres d’artistes, curated by Dr Khalfa, which include original works by Miró, Léger, Masson, Matisse, Braque, Picasso, Lam and Hockney. A highlight of this exceptional collection is a very rare livre de dialogue between Stephane Mallarmé and Édouard Manet, Le Corbeau.  Pictured below are Professor Khalfa and Madame Duchêne viewing this book.

Photos: Professor Galia Yanoshevsky

Read more about Professor Khalfa’s reasearch and the livres des artistes collection. 

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