A Witch Hunt In French Universities

Posted in Governance and administration on February 24th, 2021 by steve

“At a time when French universities are struggling to deal with the epidemic, when students’ poverty should be a prime concern for the authorities, the French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal, announced on a TV channel that she intends to set up an inquiry into ‘islamo-leftism’ and postcolonialism in French universities …” (more)

[Thomas Perroud, Verfassungsblog, 24 February]


Struggling French students protest university closures

Posted in Governance and administration on January 20th, 2021 by steve

“French university students protested Wednesday on Paris’ Left Bank to demand to be allowed back to class and to call attention to suicides and financial troubles among students cut off from friends, professors and job opportunities amid the pandemic …” (more)

[Independent, 20 January]


Emerging from the Mist: French Universities and Global Rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on January 13th, 2021 by steve

“France’s higher education system can be described as sui generis and has been categorized as fragmented, stratified, and multitype. From the early twenty-first century, France has been rationalizing its higher education system, following disappointment in the lacklustre performance of its institutions in global university rankings …” (more)

[Ludovic Highman, International Higher Education Winter Issue No 105 (2021)]

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How France created a university to rival MIT

Posted in Governance and administration on September 2nd, 2020 by steve

“A huge modernist university campus is emerging amid farmland on a plateau south of the French capital. The University of Paris-Saclay, officially launched this year, merges some 20 higher-education and research institutions. It has a teaching and research staff of 9,000, catering to 48,000 students …” (more)

[Economist, 29 August]


French universities to reopen campuses in September, with masks ‘strongly recommended’

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on August 9th, 2020 by steve

“French universities will reopen for in-classroom teaching in September after nearly six months but students will be encouraged to wear face masks, the ministry of higher education announced on Thursday …” (more)

[AFP/The Local, 7 August]

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France to create 10,000 new university places after record numbers passed school exams

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 24th, 2020 by steve

“France’s minister for higher education says 10,000 new university places will be created to cope with the huge demand after record numbers of students passed the Bac exam this year, qualifying them for university entrance …” (more)

[RFI, 22 July]


Does Ireland have too many universities?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Global university rankings have been with us since Shanghai Jiao Tong University started its list of the world’s best universities back in 2003. The annual rankings have struck fear into the hearts of many a university president, and transformed perceptions of higher education around the world. Ireland is not the only European country to have been shocked to see its its institutions sliding downwards …” (more)

[Lara Marlowe, Irish Times, 10 March]

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Elsevier deal with France disappoints open-access advocates

Posted in Research on December 16th, 2019 by steve

“Publishing giant Elsevier has signed a national license deal with Couperin, France’s consortium of universities and research organizations, but critics say it doesn’t do enough to advance open access (OA) to scientific journal articles. Its terms are at odds with Plan S, a mandate to make publications immediately free to read starting in 2021, which France’s National Research Agency has backed …” (more)

[Tania Rabesandratana, Science, 13 December]

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French universities resist fee hike for international students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 26th, 2019 by steve

“Several universities in France say they will not impose an increase in tuition fees for students outside the European Union, in defiance of a government decision. The universities, which depend for much of their income on the government, say they were not given enough notice about the change in policy, which is supposed to take effect in September …” (more)

[RFI, 23 January]

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France’s New International Education Strategy

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 23rd, 2018 by steve

“On Monday, Campus France (which is roughly equivalent to Canada’s CBIE, if CBIE were an arms-length government agency) published its new Stratégie d’attractivité pour les étudiants internationaux. It’s an intriguing document for a couple of reasons so I thought I would talk a bit about it today …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 23 November]

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French universities to offer more courses in English to attract foreign students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 20th, 2018 by steve

“France wants to boost the number of foreign students at its universities by more than half over the next decade and will offer more courses taught in English to attract them. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, announcing the plan on Monday, said increasing the number of foreigners studying in the country would help build French influence overseas …” (more)

[CNA, 20 November]

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French universities brace for new wave of hazing with ‘la rentrée’

Posted in Life on September 4th, 2018 by steve

“University hazing rituals – once indelibly associated with Oxbridge drinking societies and US fraternity houses – are no longer exclusively an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon, with French universities increasingly having to crack down on the practice …” (more)

[France 24, 3 September]


French researchers pledge to go without Springer journals

Posted in Research on April 20th, 2018 by steve

“Close to 4,000 French researchers have pledged to forgo access to Springer journals in order to pressure the publisher into lowering prices. A consortium of French research organisations is currently without a contract with the publisher after the two sides failed to reach a deal on prices …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 17 April]

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French say ‘no deal’ to Springer as journal fight spreads

Posted in Research on April 9th, 2018 by steve

“French research institutions claim they are saving millions of euros in subscription costs after refusing to agree a new deal with the publisher Springer. The impasse is a sign of rising assertiveness towards big publishers across Europe, fuelled by anger over high costs and slow progress towards open access …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 9 April]

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French campuses on edge after Montpellier attack

Posted in Governance and administration on March 29th, 2018 by steve

“An attack by masked men – allegedly including academics – on protesting students has inflamed tensions on French campuses as the government tries to push through controversial reforms that would introduce elements of selection to higher education in the country …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 29 March]


The Reform of French University Admissions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 14th, 2018 by steve

“After months of extensive consultations, the French Minister of Higher Education and Research, Frederique Vidal, disclosed her bill for a reform of the French public universities admission system on October 30. The reform was rushed due to the turmoil of the random enrollment of 3000 bacheliers at 169 university programs …” (more)

[Stephanie Mignot-Gerard, Inside Higher Ed, 13 March]


Funding ‘ill-defined’ plan for Irish College in Paris raised concern

Posted in Governance and administration on December 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A row over sending 20 young Irish people on work experience to assist with the refurbishment of the Irish College in Paris spanned more than two years, with appeals made to both Garret FitzGerald and Charles Haughey to help smooth the project …” (more)

[Elaine Edwards, Irish Times, 29 December]


How could Macron’s ‘European universities’ work?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 17th, 2017 by steve

“Setting out his grand vision to reinvigorate the European Union at the end of last month, Emmanuel Macron made clear he had big plans for the continent’s universities. By 2024, the French president said, Europe should have ‘at least 20’ of what he called ‘European universities’, offering students the chance to ‘study abroad and take classes in at least two different languages’ …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 15 October]

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French government proposes big science-spending boost

Posted in Research on September 30th, 2017 by steve

“French research funding is set for a heartening increase in the country’s first budget under President Emmanuel Macron, if draft 2018 plans released on 27 September are voted into law. The research portfolio of France’s ministry of higher education, research and innovation would rise by more than 6%, to €8.4 billion (US$9.9 billion) in 2018 …” (more)

[Barbara Casassus, Nature, 29 September]


Being an international student in France: What you need to know

Posted in Life on June 21st, 2017 by steve

“From how to make local friends to working out the grading system, British student Jessie Williams, who has just spent a year at university in France spells out what international students should expect: both the good and the bad …” (more)

[The Local, 20 June]

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