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Valérie Pécresse, the outgoing French Minister for Higher Education and Research, announced just before the end of her ministerial mandate the launch of a new higher education reform in France. The reform particularly addresses the licence – the French equivalent of the bachelor degree – and aims at making this qualification more relevant for both students and employers. The reform is to be gradually introduced, from September 2012 onwards, and builds on a plan launched by the French minister in 2007, to reduce the university drop-out rate in the first year of licence by 50%. The latter initiative was equipped with a total budget of EUR 730 million for five years.
Within the limits set by the recently granted autonomy of French higher education institutions, the reform package aims for the following:
July also brought the announcement of the winners of the first round of Initiatives d’excellence (IDEX) – the biggest strand of the French excellence initiative. Surprisingly, of the seven shortlisted dossiers (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, April 2011), only three were selected for funding under this round, namely Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL).
French Ministry of Higher Education and Research - licence (in French)