Presentation of an article about recent transformations of the French system of higher education and research.
With Jean Chambaz and Christine Clerici, SIRIS Academic contributed an article to the volume edited by Nian Cai Liu, Yan Wu, & Qi Wang, World-Class Universities - Global Trends and Institutional Models, Brill, 2021.
The French system of higher education and research has long been structured around a tripartite system in which the most prestigious institutions for education and research were specialised schools on the one hand and national research organizations on the other.
Over the last fifteen years, the pressure of globalization has led the French state to question this model and to launch a process of reforms, which encourages the emergence of world-class research-intensive universities by integrating and/or merging existing institutions. This has led to the creation of four world-class universities in Paris: Sorbonne University, Université de Paris, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres and Université Paris Saclay.
This article briefly recounts the history of the French system of higher education and research, the reasons for which it was not competitive and the way in which it has evolved over the last 15 years.