Macron urges faster action to build university networks

The French government, in a memo to other European Union member states, is urging faster, coordinated action to build networks of universities across Europe, writes Richard L Hudson for Science/Business.

A memo outlining French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals was distributed recently to ‘sherpas’, or aides, of the 27 other European Union leaders. According to the memo, the Élysée Palace wants EU research and education funding to support the “emergence by 2024 of around 20 ‘European universities’ that will be based on networks of four to six institutions, in at least three member states”.

The memo does not define a specific budget, but suggests that to reach the objectives each network should get at least €5 million (US$5.9 million) to €6 million over five years – so, at least €100 million in total. It suggests a pilot project as early as September 2018. The aim is to strengthen the ‘triangle’ of innovation, research and education in Europe, and to encourage more European integration in higher education – though, under one possible scenario, the networks could also be open to UK, US or other non-EU universities.
Full report on the Science/Business site