Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie

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The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (Francophone Universities Agency, AUF).

Since 1989, the Francophone Universities Agency is a vector for French-speaking institutions. As a partner to establishments for higher education and research who have chosen French as their teaching language, the AUF proposes several cooperation programmes, designed in particular to support research and education in French.

The AUF is now the link between a network of 693 establishments covering every continent, in 81 countries, 47 of which are members of the International Francophonie Organisation. France, Vietnam, Algeria and Canada are, respectively, the countries where the Agency has the largest number of members.

The institution’s main office is located at the Université de Montréal in Québec, Canada.

In 2007, the AUF’s initial budget amounted to EUR 40.5 million, 82% of which came from France (EUR 33.2 million), followed by Canada (EUR 2.6 million), Quebec (EUR 1.2 million), the French Community of Belgium (EUR 0.6 million) and Switzerland (EUR 0.09 million).

Programme expenditures account for 78.6 % (EUR 31.9 million), while 3.5% were dedicated to institutional expenses and 17.3% to administrative expenses.

The “Innovation through Information and Communications Technologies In Education” Program

The AUF wanted to build its capacity for competitiveness in this field, to keep its lead in technological innovation and to consolidate its leadership as an academic agency. The purpose of this programme is thus to find new ways of appropriating knowledge, using ICTs. The concrete initiatives are found in the field of new uses, new methods for creating and disseminating scientific and educational content, new professions (Transfer), large-scale standardisation and governance projects, and partnership creation.

In accordance with its ideals of solidarity, partnership and co-development, the AUF has established four operational objectives in order to foster the use of information and communication technologies in higher education and research :

  • building human capacity in training FOAD: Open Distance Training
  • bridging the digital divide by helping establish networks with southern universities
  • developing a policy for scientific content in French
  • promoting French-language presence and research on international committees (standardisation, normalisation and regulation)

The AUF web site is at

Through its 45 open and distance learning programmes, the AUF participates directly in the attainment of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and the UNESCO programme, Education for All. The AUF deploys a network of 29 French-speaking digital campuses and 11 information access centres bringing together over 15 000 subscribers, at the heart of member universities. Open and distance training

For the 5th consecutive year, the AUF offers a range of Open and distance trainings that can be financed by a student allowance granted to a limited number of short-listed applicants among the partner universities. This grant covers for great part of academic and tuition fees. For the year 2008-09 the AUF shall provide 535 student allowances to take one of the 54 degrees available at the distance.

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