Emmanuel Macron announced a major restructuring of French research
President Emmanuel Macron revealed his plans for a comprehensive overhaul of the national research sector via a Twitter post. This addresses three main axes of this restructuring: Transforming national research organizations into program agencies, introducing a new law on autonomy for universities and establishing a Presidential Science Council.
National research organizations will soon become program agencies
The first important change mentioned by the President concerns national research organizations. Although the details remain unclear at this time, the idea of “true program agencies” suggests simplification, focus on long-term goals and perhaps also increased autonomy from government. This could lead to a major development in the way research priorities are set and funded in France.
The second law of university autonomy
The second point of the presidential tweet concerns a new phase of the independence of French universities. Since the issuance of the Universities Autonomy Law in 2007, higher education institutions in France have gained greater independence in managing their budgets and staff. However, this system is regularly criticized, particularly for its supposed lack of funding. It will be interesting to see how the government envisions this “Second Law of University Autonomy”.
Establishment of the Presidential Scientific Council
Finally, Emmanuel Macron wants to create a “presidential scientific council.” This new body could resemble similar organizations in other countries, where they typically advise the president and guide national science policy. However, details regarding the precise role, composition and powers of this council remain to be clarified.
Emmanuel Macron’s announcement therefore launches a huge project on structuring research in France. There is no doubt that the details of this major project will be hotly debated in the coming months by those working in the field of higher education and research in France.
– Making our national research organizations true programmatic agencies.
– Writing the second law for university independence.
– Establishment of the Presidential Scientific Council.
Today we begin work on reorganizing our research. pic.twitter.com/6XBtqvn7YW
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) December 7, 2023
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