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Operation Campus ready for take-off

As announced in last month’s edition of the ACA Newsletter - Education Europe, the remaining four winners under “Operation Campus”, the French government strategy to make the country’s universities internationally competitive, were chosen on 11 July. Valérie Pécresse, Minister of Higher Education and Research, decided - in line with the evaluation committee’s suggestion - to select the projects proposed by the universities of Aix-Marseille, Paris-Aubervilliers, and Saclay. A fourth portion of the Operation Campus funds will be reserved for an inner-Parisian project, which should receive final approval by the end of July. Whereas in the first selection round it looked as if the universities of Paris would go away empty-handed, it is clear now that three campuses in or around the Ile-de-France region will benefit from the total budget of EUR 5 billion. The operational phase of “Operation Campus” will start in early 2009. Where wood is chopped, splinters must fall. Valérie Pécresse thus held out financial support for seven “promising” projects that had missed the final selection by very little. These “campus prometteurs” are Lille, Nancy-Metz, Paris Est (Créteil, Marne-la-Vallée), Université Européenne de Bretagne, Nantes, Nice- Sofia Antipolis and Clermont-Ferrand. French Ministry of Education