An Autonomous French University

Placed under the supervision of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the governance of the University of New Caledonia (UNC) relies on strong democratic participation from the university community.
The UNC follows the statutory changes that occur within the national framework. Thus, its statutes stem from Law No. 2013-660 of July 22, 2013 relating to higher education and research (ESR) known as the Fioraso Law. This law encourages the concept of site policy and is aimed at strengthening regional collaborations. The reform also advocates a return to more shared governance, a restructuring of the councils with two deliberative assemblies, a limitation of the majority for the election of members of the board of directors (‘Conseil d’administration’ – CA) and the introduction of parity.
The UNC has a unique constitutional legitimacy stemming from the Noumea Agreement which states that the University of New Caledonia “must meet the training and research needs specific to New Caledonia” (2nd § article 4.1 .1).

Decision-Making Bodies

The university is self-administering through the elected structures with which it is endowed. Led by a President (professor-researcher elected to the Board of Directors for a four-year term renewable once), its governance relies on several boards and commissions, four of which have deliberative powers. The president of the UNC is assisted by vice-presidents and is supported by a Directorate-General, the presidents of commissions, the directors of services and departments (administration) as well as a group of project managers from the different sectors of activity (student life, equality and fight against discrimination, digital teaching methods, etc.).

The main deliberative bodies for the University are the Board of Directors, the Academic Council, the Research Commission and the Commission for Education and University Life. Each of these is made up mostly of elected members from within the university community.

The President of the University

Dr Catherine Ris is Professor of Economics at the University of New Caledonia (UNC). She received her PhD from the University of Lyon (France) and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market at Maastricht University (Netherlands). She returned to UNC in 2014 after one year as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies, University of Auckland (New Zealand). Her major academic works are in development, labour economics and education economics. She has participated in several European and Pacific research networks including Targeted Socio-Economic Research, Transitions in Youth, PIPSA, PIURN and Oceania Development Network.