Reconciling Republican ‘Egalité’ and Global Excellence Values in French Higher Education

  • Leon Cremonini
  • Paul Benneworth
  • Hugh Dauncey
  • Don F. Westerheijden
Part of the The Changing Academy – The Changing Academic Profession in International Comparative Perspective book series (CHAC, volume 6)


Building prestigious higher education is today one of the main drivers of public policy. Many governments have initiated policies to support or create élite universities in the belief that they will boost their system’s prestige in the world. Despite the assumption that all countries will make similar world-class university policy choices, a growing body of criticism points out that élite universities are in fact an ideal type drawn from a narrow pool, Anglo-American in nature, and currently dominant. By examining how a system with different public norms and values managed excellence policies, the chapter considers how the idea of ‘world-class university’ might be generalised. The chapter looks at excellence initiatives in France to explore (a) how world-class university policies are introduced in a system with values which contradict those embodied by today’s prevailing notion of global excellence and (b) whether these initiatives benefit the system as a whole.


High Education High Education System Private Benefit Foreign Student Public Benefit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon Cremonini
    • 1
  • Paul Benneworth
    • 1
  • Hugh Dauncey
    • 2
  • Don F. Westerheijden
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Higher Education Policy StudiesUniversity of TwenteTwenteThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of French StudiesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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