Education: In France, Quality vs. Egalite

A plan for university reform challenges an elitist system

Springtime in Paris this year has carried more than a whiff of the May days of 15 years ago. University students, occasionally joined by professors in ermine-trimmed robes, have taken to the streets; at times the air has been filled with hurtling rocks and police tear gas. At issue: the Socialist government's proposals to reform higher education. President François Mitterrand included the overhaul of French universities in his campaign platform two years ago. Now his Education Minister, Alain Savary, has introduced a plan to open up higher...

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