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University presidents call for transparency over appointments

France’s Conference of University Presidents has called for a “transparent, democratic and fair” procedure for appointing university leaders to be set out as part of university reform in the country.

In a statement published on 8 January the university leaders criticise the “opacity” that surrounds appointments at the top level of higher education and accuse the government of interfering.

Their complaint relates specifically to a failed attempt to appoint a director at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique in Rennes. According to the CPU, ministers have obstructed the appointment process even though the school had followed all the rules. These actions are described as “absolutely abnormal” by the group.

The presidents say the revised higher education bill that is to be put to parliament over the next few months presents an opportunity to set the rules out clearly.