Unlocking universities’ full potential

21 / 09 / 2021

GenerationLibre draws a series of proposals to maximise the autonomy of French universities, in terms of governance, funding, hiring and teaching.


The French public university system is facing a double competition from both private schools and the so-called grandes écoles, as well as universities from abroad. In 2021, only four French institutions made it in the Top 100 of the Shanghai ranking. France is clearly losing ground.

Although successive reforms went the right way, universities are clearly still suffering from an autonomy curtailed by administrative supervision.

The lack of attractiveness of French public universities is too often analysed with the reductive angle of means allocated rather than the failings of its excessively centralised organisation.


GenerationLibre draws up a precise and overwhelming assessment: the French system suffers from a disinterest of French elites, a brain drain from students, lecturers and scholars, a lack of equal opportunities for the middle-class, and a decline in scientific production.

To give universities more legroom, GenerationLibre suggests to act on three levers : independant management (with a new, two-head governance), diversification of sources of funding (overhaul of registration fees, strenghtening of external sponsorships), true pedagogical and recruitment autonomy (students’ selection, hiring of teacher-researchers in the form of tenure track).

Check out HERE our note – A tuition fees’ revolution – Aiming for a fairer, better higher education system. (July 2020).


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