France's Research and Higher Education Facilities (Pôles de Recherche et d'Enseignement Supérieur - PRES) are state-run clusters of universities, specialized schools, and research organizations. The cluster structure enables members of the cluster to combine their activities and resources.
The first mission of each PRES is to promote the institutions in the cluster. Because French institutions are often smaller than their international competitors, the PRES constitute a way to enter the international scientific competition.
Created in 2007 (under the Research Programme and Orientation Act) Toulouse University brings together most public institutions of higher education and research in Toulouse and the Midi-Pyrénées region.
The system is composed of 4 universities and 17 schools of engineering or other specialized subjects.
The goal of the Université de Toulouse is to raise the reputation and visibility of the Midi-Pyrénées region’s academic institutions at the European and international levels.
The missions of the university system are to encourage inter-institutional action and initiatives in teaching, research, doctoral study, commercialization of research findings, European and international cooperation, student life, science communication, and information and communication technology.