Europa Rup
Mar 24 · 7 min read
© J. M. André, Université de Guyane, 2019.

Léalo en Español.

THE UNIVERSITY OF FRENCH GUIANA is a compendium of the outermost regions difference in the European Union. It is rooted in the border region of Europe in South America. It is the only francophone university in the sub-continent, a young institution, founded in 2015, which already transfers knowledge to the local economy and produces exchanges with American universities whose creation dates back to colonial times. It is focused on the study of the Amazon: its biological diversity, its natural resources, the Amerindian cultures and health in the tropical environment. It provides a direct observatory of the largest jungle in the world. It is close to Kourou, the only spaceport in the EU. It deploys cutting-edge research and technology programs focused on clean energy, sustainable use of forest resources or treatment of tropical diseases, and builds a strategic bridge of cooperation and mobility with the universities of the Americas. The University of Guiana is one of the strengths of the Campus Rup alliance — formed by seven universities from the outermost regions of the EU — to be chosen as one of the first 16 projects of the European Universities Initiative that the Commission has launched in 2019 of the Erasmus + program. Brussels has set the goal that in 2024 there will be at least 24 European universities driven by consortiums of local higher education institutions.

The physical and virtual mobility between outermost regions is one of the fundamental features of the Campus Rup project. 120 university students from Guiana — graduate and post-graduate students, doctoral students, professors, researchers, administration staff and services — will stay in the Azores, the Canary Islands and Madeira, between 2019 and 2022. Another 1,760 will study at any of the seven universities through the virtual Campus that the alliance is committed to develop, if it is chosen as one of the pilot projects of the European Universities Initiative.

One of every three students of the University of Guiana will have followed academic degrees or credits in any of the other six universities of the Campus Rup, within three years, according to the project that the alliance has submitted to the Commission (page 21).

The Troubiran campus in Cayenne will host 120 university students from Madeira, Azores, La Laguna and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the same period (page 29). Half of the 100,000 university students of the outermost regions alliance will move physically or virtually among the seven universities of the Campus Rup, within a period of three years.

French Guiana, with 274,000 inhabitants (Eurostat 2017), is the break with more top graduates working in science and technology, among the active population of the region. 17.1% of the Guianese in the labor market are university students dedicated professionally to R & D. The average in the EU28 is 21.2% (Eurostat).

It is also the outermost region that best uses the human resources available for science and innovation. The population of 25 to 64 years of age with university qualification in French Guiana is 19.3%, far from the 29.6% of the Canary Islands, the rup with more university graduates per 100 people of the same age group.

However, the occupation rate of Guianese university students in science and technology is 9% of the total population, while in the Canary Islands, with many more graduates in full maturity, only 8.4% of the population manages to assert his university degree working in science and technology.

The University of Guiana attaches the greatest importance to cooperation with American universities. His Vice President for International Relations, Dider Béreau, is Executive Secretary of the Conference of Rectors of the Universities of Latin America. The institution is aware of what makes it different and attractive: the only francophone university in South America, installed in the only European region in the Americas mainland; region of high strategic value for France and the EU as a space port, green lung of the planet, biodiversity reserve and laboratory of new technologies applied to clean energy and adaptation to climate change.

When the European Commission asked the Campus Rup partners about the objectives and activities of each institution, the University of Guiana responded: “Playing a leading role in cooperation in the” American “macro-region, in terms of higher education and scientific activity on topics of common interest “on this side of the world (page 41 of the project).

Currently, the university has about 5,500 students enrolled in the different Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees. Eurostat has only published data updated to 2017, when the University of Guiana — of public ownership of the French State — had two years of activity and had about 4,000 students.

Under the Presidency of Antoine Primerose, the University of Guiana sees itself as a “human-sized institution” that “accompanies students throughout their academic careers, offering them ongoing support.” It wants to be perceived as an institution with roots in the region, whose educational and research offer responds to the socio-economic challenges of French Guiana: “tropical health, biodiversity, optimal use of natural resources, innovative technologies adapted to the Amazonian context, interculturalism, multilingualism, social inclusion, …” (page 41).

The university develops research projects focused on four fields: the dynamics of biodiversity in the Amazon and the optimal use of its resources; health and ecology of health in the tropical environment; the dynamics of the Amazonian societies in their environment, and the innovative technologies in the Amazonian environment, especially, renewable energy.

Within the Campus Rup project, the University of Guiane leads the analysis tasks of the legal and economic context of the alliance. The campus, which is shared with the other outermost regions, says the Guianese governing team, will boost mobility among its universities, making them attractive for students from other parts of the European Union (page 41 of the project).

University of Guiana

Year of creation

2015. Previously, the region had a university college, the University Pole of Guayana.


State public, under the administrative supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.


Troubiran Campus, Cayenne.


Antoine Primerose.


31 programs, including 19 at the undergraduate level and 12 at the post-graduate level. Four faculties: Arts, Letters and Languages; Health Sciences; Science and Technology; Legal and Economics Sciences.


More than 100,000 documents.


“To be recognized internationally by its students and quality training programs. To be perceived as an innovative university in research and creation. Become a participatory university that allows all members of the community to flourish, develop their potential and affirm themselves in a dynamic, stimulating and diversified living environment. To be observed as a responsible university, committed to sustainable development and that manages its resources in a responsible manner.”


“Open to the world and animated by a culture of demand, the University of Guayana contributes to the development of society through the formation of its youth, advancing and sharing knowledge in a dynamic environment of research and creation.”


“Curiosity: questioning, developing critical thinking and judgment. Mobilize to face social challenges, respecting the diversity of people, societies, knowledge and ways of thinking. Commitment to citizens and roots in the territory. Creativity and innovation: an innovative university in its work, its pedagogy and in tune with its time. Openness: international cooperation between actors of the university community and scientific disciplines. A university open to all socio-economic actors and a springboard for employment.”

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