French universities: Outlook and resistance
An interview with Yves Lichtenberger
The decentralization of French Universities has forced individual faculties to cede control to the university management, and has met with opposition from teaching staff, says Yves Lichtenberger. The new culture of assessment has been particularly resisted by humanities departments, which object to being judged on the criteria of the physical sciences. Yet critics have suggested that this sense of having to defend a broad cultural education against business is somewhat exaggerated and unrealistic. Is it not the case that while centralized but remote state control favoured opaque compromises, local control challenges long laid-down university habits?