New mega university set to open in September

After decades of planning, a new generation of students and researchers will start their first full academic year in September 2015 at the University of Paris-Saclay, a huge ambitious project to bring together a group of 19 higher education institutions alongside a business cluster on the outskirts of the French capital. It has been dubbed the French Silicon Valley, writes Jean-Claude Thoenig for The

The rationale behind Paris-Saclay is to reach the same size and level of excellence as Harvard, MIT, Oxford and Cambridge. With its higher education institutions already attracting 15% of the potential research budget in France, Paris-Saclay should give birth to Europe’s top multi-disciplinary university, and bring a well-needed boost to France after years of shame caused by poor performance in global university rankings.

The ambitions to build an internationally visible flagship industry cluster and university have been supported at the highest levels, from the president to the ministries in charge of higher education and research. Without taking into account indirect costs and subsidies, the state has allocated more than €6 billion (US$6.8 billion) for buildings, innovation projects and transportation infrastructure.
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