Global rankings offer boost to French unis

Global rankings offer boost to French unis
France's newer universities are perorming well, when compared to counterparts across the globe. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP
Recent global university rankings have not made pleasant reading for French higher education chiefs, but the latest league table released this week suggests France has some of the best “new” universities in the world.

For once a global ranking of universities will be greeted positively in France.

The Times Higher Education magazine released a league table this week of the 100 best ‘new’ universities in the world which featured six French institutions.

The league table, which only considers universities formed in the last 50 years, also featured two French institutions in the top 10 – the University of Paris-Sud, (8th) and University of Pierre and Marie Curie (9th).

The four other French universities to make the top 100 were University of Paris Diderot – Paris 7 (17th) University of Montpellier (26th), University of Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (54th) and the University of Paris-Dauphine (86th)

The rankings will be a boost to France’s higher education, which has suffered in recent global rankings which looked at reputation of the world’s universities among academics.

Phil Baty from Times Higher Education told The Local: “This is positive news for France. These rankings simply look at performance of the younger universities, which often lose out in rankings because they don’t have the same reputation and history of places like Harvard or Oxford.

“France remains one of the exceptional students within this forward-looking list…but France has no room for complacency. The list of 100 universities under 50-years-old is filled with bright young dynamic institutions from nations whose governments are investing heavily in the creation of first-rate universities.

“Many emerging economies are likely to offer serious competition against the best institutions in France,” he added.

However the strong showing by France was also put down to structural reforms made in the 1970s, which allowed older institutions to be reformed under new names, which allowed them to be included in the Top 100 universities under 50-years-old.

For the third year in a row, the list was headed by South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology. 

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