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France to get €7.5 billion “mega” university to focus on postgraduate courses
Lucy Miller

A massive university with space for 70,000 students and ambitions to be one of the best higher education institutions in the world is set to open in Paris.

 

paris-285168_1280The Université Paris-Saclay, which is currently under construction on a site south of the French capital, is hoping to reach the top ten lists of world universities within a decade.

 

Paris-Saclay’s President, Dominque Vernay, also envisions it reaching a top three spot in Europe and rivalling Oxford and Cambridge for prestige within the same amount of time.

 

The university is set to focus on postgraduate education, and has a strongly international outlook. It is hoping to recruit a “diversified student population, willing to reach the highest degree of knowledge to be able to access to the jobs of tomorrow.”

 

The campus will be twice the size of renowned US institution UC Berekely, in California, and will have 10,000 researchers, 300 laboratories and enough places for 6,000 PhD students.

 

Its websites states that “A doctorate is the highest qualification in higher education, and is the flagship diploma of large international universities such as Université Paris-Saclay.”

 

Doctoral degrees at Paris-Saclay will take three years to complete, and although the institution hopes to become “a significant driving force in the development of industry, particularly in hi-tech and medium hi-tech fields” programmes will be available in numerous disciplines – including humanities, life sciences, law, business and management.    

 

It is hoping to foster “the initiation and continuation” of careers in research for its graduates, and will also have a “strong commitment to economic and social development”, according to its website.

 

The university has initial funding of €7.5 billion (or £5.9 billion), according to the BBC, and will bring together 19 separate institutions on one site.