France's version of Harvard, a future top 10 university?

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Snufkin
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France is apparently spending £6 billion on creating a new mega-university outside of Paris with the aim of being a top 10 university. It sounds like an interesting idea although I would have preferred they reform the ancient Université de Paris... I'm not convinced that Paris-Saclay is the best choice of name. Would you consider studying there?
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username931319
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Would have preferred the nationale universitie also.

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Okorange
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Would've preferred University of Paris. I think its such a shame that they ruined the history of so many institutions in 1970... Now even a reformed University of Paris cannot claim to be continuously operating..
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Josb
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(Original post by Snufkin)
France is apparently spending £6 billion on creating a new mega-university outside of Paris with the aim of being a top 10 university. It sounds like an interesting idea although I would have preferred they reform the ancient Université de Paris... I'm not convinced that Paris-Saclay is the best choice of name. Would you consider studying there?
(Original post by Okorange)
Would've preferred University of Paris. I think its such a shame that they ruined the history of so many institutions in 1970... Now even a reformed University of Paris cannot claim to be continuously operating..
LOL.
They don't have the money and they talk about competing Harvard? :lol:
The "giant-silicon-bull****" they're talking about still doesn't have a proper public transport system. The one scheduled will only open in 2025.:rolleyes:

It's very French. The elites have been outraged by the wave of international rankings since 2003 that put the French 'elite' institutions so low in the leagues, whilst we had been told for decades that our system was the best of the world. Now they want to place their cherished Grandes Ecoles (HEC and Polytechnique principally) in the top, but - rather than reforming the outdated system of extremely selective prep schools+Grandes Ecoles for them and non-selective unis for the rest - they are just merging these tiny institutions with a university of the south of Paris to get its recognition based on research (the Grandes Ecoles don't do research). However, each school will retain their privileges, including the right to teach in English (French unis can't teach in English; English language students must write their thesis... in French), and to select their students (French unis have to accept everybody).
This is why this mega-merging won't be called 'university'.

I remember that Sarkozy said that French Schools will 'soon be like Cambridge and Harvard'. :lol:
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AdamCee
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(Original post by Snufkin)
France is apparently spending £6 billion on creating a new mega-university outside of Paris with the aim of being a top 10 university. It sounds like an interesting idea although I would have preferred they reform the ancient Université de Paris... I'm not convinced that Paris-Saclay is the best choice of name. Would you consider studying there?
Think it's a great idea, not very... Traditional of them but from an education point of view seems great

I would consider studying there, but I don't speak French and it's not a language I'm looking to learn haha

But if I had, definitely
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the bear
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Saclay bleu !!

The Chinese are the ones to watch in the next twenty years tho'
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IWantToBeThere
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(Original post by Josb)
LOL.
They don't have the money and they talk about competing Harvard? :lol:
The "giant-silicon-bull****" they're talking about still doesn't have a proper public transport system. The one scheduled will only open in 2025.:rolleyes:

It's very French. The elites have been outraged by the wave of international rankings since 2003 that put the French 'elite' institutions so low in the leagues, whilst we had been told for decades that our system was the best of the world. Now they want to place their cherished Grandes Ecoles (HEC and Polytechnique principally) in the top, but - rather than reforming the outdated system of extremely selective prep schools+Grandes Ecoles for them and non-selective unis for the rest - they are just merging these tiny institutions with a university of the south of Paris to get its recognition based on research (the Grandes Ecoles don't do research). However, each school will retain their privileges, including the right to teach in English (French unis can't teach in English; English language students must write their thesis... in French), and to select their students (French unis have to accept everybody).
This is why this mega-merging won't be called 'university'.

I remember that Sarkozy said that French Schools will 'soon be like Cambridge and Harvard'. :lol:
:confused:
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Josb
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(Original post by IWantToBeThere)
:confused:
Research is done within universities and research bodies such as the CNRS, not in the Grandes Ecoles. This is why they want to merge with the university of Paris XI (which have Nobel and Fields laureates): to be higher in international rankings.
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IWantToBeThere
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(Original post by Josb)
Research is done within universities and research bodies such as the CNRS, not in the Grandes Ecoles. This is why they want to merge with the university of Paris XI (which have Nobel and Fields laureates): to be higher in international rankings.
So you say, for example, Ecole Polytechnique doesn't have any labs of its own?
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Tcannon
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Paris-Saclay is a semi finished university. It is just a cluster of Grandes Ecoles (Polytechnique, ENS Cachan and HEC) with local university. The French government tends to merge various small niche organisations into a new entity, pooled its facilities and declare it an excellent university without accounting for funding and structure. Each department head still protects his fiefdom (research institute).

To reach international excellence, the new organisation needs top academics (in my subject current impact factor of some profs is still mid tier even at Grandes Ecoles), funding (state and particularly endowment lags behind Harvard), strong students from outside France to diversify its student body (most institutions still rely on domestic grad students from a small pool). Paris-Saclay needs to reach out, structures need to be reorganised for a transformational change. There are a few good post grad courses and I would seriously consider them. Compared to British or Dutch unis, French unis don't reach out to international applicants much. Incidentally, tuition fee at Grandes Ecoles makes studies expensive.

The Chinese are already well represented in QS world ranking and have improved their unis. Add to Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan's top unis. Some of them are higher ranked than most French unis.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Josb)
LOL.
They don't have the money and they talk about competing Harvard? :lol:
The "giant-silicon-bull****" they're talking about still doesn't have a proper public transport system. The one scheduled will only open in 2025.:rolleyes:

It's very French. The elites have been outraged by the wave of international rankings since 2003 that put the French 'elite' institutions so low in the leagues, whilst we had been told for decades that our system was the best of the world. Now they want to place their cherished Grandes Ecoles (HEC and Polytechnique principally) in the top, but - rather than reforming the outdated system of extremely selective prep schools+Grandes Ecoles for them and non-selective unis for the rest - they are just merging these tiny institutions with a university of the south of Paris to get its recognition based on research (the Grandes Ecoles don't do research). However, each school will retain their privileges, including the right to teach in English (French unis can't teach in English; English language students must write their thesis... in French), and to select their students (French unis have to accept everybody).
This is why this mega-merging won't be called 'university'.

I remember that Sarkozy said that French Schools will 'soon be like Cambridge and Harvard'. :lol:
You mean that any TSRian with no qualifications can study any degree/masters?
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Josb
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(Original post by IWantToBeThere)
So you say, for example, Ecole Polytechnique doesn't have any labs of its own?
They have labs, but 95% of the staff belong to other institutions.
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Josb
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(Original post by Juichiro)
You mean that any TSRian with no qualifications can study any degree/masters?
You still need 10/20 at the baccalaureate (equivalent to CCC).
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Josb)
You still need 10/20 at the baccalaureate (equivalent to CCC).
Well, then say that it is open to everybody? It obviously is not. You can only get in with a minimum of a levels.
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Josb
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Well, then say that it is open to everybody? It obviously is not. You can only get in with a minimum of a levels.
Everybody gets these grades. It's incredibly easy. I remember that during my 1st year, some classmates couldn't read.:rolleyes:
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IWantToBeThere
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(Original post by Tcannon)
Paris-Saclay is a semi finished university. It is just a cluster of Grandes Ecoles (Polytechnique, ENS Cachan and HEC) with local university. The French government tends to merge various small niche organisations into a new entity, pooled its facilities and declare it an excellent university without accounting for funding and structure. Each department head still protects his fiefdom (research institute).

To reach international excellence, the new organisation needs top academics (in my subject current impact factor of some profs is still mid tier even at Grandes Ecoles), funding (state and particularly endowment lags behind Harvard), strong students from outside France to diversify its student body (most institutions still rely on domestic grad students from a small pool). Paris-Saclay needs to reach out, structures need to be reorganised for a transformational change. There are a few good post grad courses and I would seriously consider them. Compared to British or Dutch unis, French unis don't reach out to international applicants much. Incidentally, tuition fee at Grandes Ecoles makes studies expensive.

The Chinese are already well represented in QS world ranking and have improved their unis. Add to Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan's top unis. Some of them are higher ranked than most French unis.
If by reaching out you mean offering degree programs in English, that might be true, but you know that tuition fees of British and Dutch universities are very expensive for international students, right?
If I'm not mistaken, in UK the tuition fees are about three times more expensive and in the Netherlands they are 10 times more expensive for internationals in comparison to EU students.
[And btw in the Netherlands, PhD's are considered a job and all PhD students receive a salary. I'm don't know what percentage of international students receive financial support during their PhD's in the UK but I assume those who receive are in a minority]
I think German universities are the most welcoming to internationals, since they offer many programs in English and there are no tuition fees.
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IWantToBeThere
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PS. I also think French Ecoles are cheaper for international students than British and Dutch universities.
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tengentoppa
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Most French universities are pretty mediocre. Anyone in France who wants to succeed will either go to Sciences-Po or the Grandes Ecoles.
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Josb
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(Original post by IWantToBeThere)
PS. I also think French Ecoles are cheaper for international students than British and Dutch universities.
The Grandes Ecoles can be distinguished between business schools, that are expensive (€8K-17K, often in Paris), and Engineering Schools, mostly free.
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Josb
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(Original post by tengentoppa)
Most French universities are pretty mediocre. Anyone in France who wants to succeed will either go to Sciences-Po or the Grandes Ecoles.
Except for Law and Medecine.
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