France creates "mega-university" to compete with Harvard, MIT in global rankings

December 16, 2014

France plans to create a new university, Paris-Saclay, that it hopes will compete against the world’s top universities in prestigious global rankings. The so-called “mega-university,” with initial funding of €7.5 B for an endowment, buildings, and transport links, will bring together 19 institutions under one roof in order to challenge Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The initiative is intended to help address France’s absence from the top of world university rankings. “My goal is to be a top 10 institution,” said Dominque Vernay, the institution’s President. Vernay said that France’s notion of a “federal university” borrows heavily from the UK’s Oxbridge model. He is confident that based on its existing component parts, Paris-Saclay will immediately rank among the top 20 institutions in the world, with its goal of cracking the top 10 attainable within 10 years. It will benefit from Nobel Prize-winning researchers inherited from its founding partners, which include France's École Poytechnique, the HEC Paris business school, and the National Centre for Scientific Research. Vernay says that he will create a knowledge hub around Paris, similar to Silicon Valley or Boston. University World News | BBC News