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New education ministers in France

Following the presidential elections held in France earlier this month, the country got not only a new president, but also a new government. As part of this process, Geneviève Fioraso—member of the French parliament and deputy mayor of Grenoble—was appointed as the new Minister for Higher Education and Research. Mrs. Fioraso is one of 17 women in the new French executive led by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. During the electoral campaign of François Hollande, Mrs. Fioraso was in charge of innovation. Madame Fioraso started her career in 1975 as an English and economics teacher. Since 2003, she has also served as the CEO of Minatec Entreprises—a public-private venture in the field of micro- and nanotechnologies. Her first measure as minister of higher education and research was to abolish the controversial “circulaire Guéant”, on the residence and employment rules for foreign students (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, December 2011).

In parallel to the appointment of Mrs. Fioraso, Vincent Peillon was nominated as the new Minister of Education. As a former member of the European Parliament, Mr. Peillon wrote, amongst other things, a report on the Union for the Mediterranean and strongly advocated for a Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programme.

The tenure of both ministers depends on the results of the parliamentary elections that will take place on 10 and 17 June, i.e. on the final composition and political colour(s) of the French National Assembly.

French Ministry for Higher Education and Research