Bringing universities to the centre of the French higher education system? Almost but not yet …
European Journal of Higher Education
329 - 345 p.
academic professions, Universities, grandes écoles, elites, France, facultés
This paper retraces the evolution of the relationships between higher education institutions, the state and the academic profession in France since the French Revolution on the one hand and the parallel evolution of the societal expectations for their roles and missions, on the other. It in particular highlights the divide between the universities and the grandes écoles, in charge of training the French economic, political, and administrative elites. Five phases are distinguished: the suppression of French universities during the French Revolution; the Republic of the Facultés from the end of the third Republic to 1968: the 1968 act and the rebirth of universities; the empowerment of universities and their extended missions during the last decade of the twentieth century; the recent reforms aimed at differentiating the French higher education system and bringing universities at its centre.