How Effective Have Reform Policies Been in Redesigning the French Higher Education and Research System?

  • Catherine ParadeiseEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education book series (PSGHE)


Focusing on the French higher education and research (HER) system, this chapter explores the aims of the reforms introduced over the last 35 years and how much they have contributed to the forming of national elites. It accounts for the new organizational and governance tools introduced during the two reform phases (incremental phase and radical phase). These reforms attempt to overcome two divides: between the prestigious grandes écoles (elite colleges) and more accessible universities, and between teaching and research. This chapter explores the extent to which the aims of simplification, diversification, concentration, stratification, and territorialization of the HER system have been achieved through formal rule changes and incentives for ‘excellence’ with a view to aligning French HER with international norms.


French higher education and research system Incremental and radical reforms Implementation Stratification Behavior of stakeholders 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Paris-EstChamps-sur-MarneFrance

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