French President Pledges to Increase Ethnic Diversity at Top Universities

“President Nicolas Sarkozy of France pledged today to increase ethnic diversity at elite universities in a speech at the École Polytechnique, one of the country’s most exclusive grandes écoles, or elite schools, the select cadre of institutions that has produced generations of French political, business, and intellectual leaders. Mr. Sarkozy expressed frustration with ‘the slow pace of promoting diversity in France’ and promised ‘to put more ethnic minorities on TV screens, in political parties, and in elite schools,’ the Associated Press reported. Among other measures outlined in his speech, Mr. Sarkozy proposed that, ‘by 2010, 30 percent of places in the preparatory classes for grandes écoles should go to scholarship children, from an average of around 20 percent now …” (more)

[Aisha Labi, Chronicle, December 17]

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