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Research labs get lion’s share of budget boost

The French government’s proposed 2018 budget promises a €500-million top-up for research, but higher education leaders are not satisfied with the settlement for universities.

The government’s spending plan for 2018, which was presented by economy ministers Bruno Le Maire, Gérald Darmanin and Benjamin Griveaux, at a press conference on 27 September, allocates €27.4 billion to the interministerial research and higher education budget. This is €707m more than the 2017 budget when corrected for inflation, according to the government.

This is in line with research minister Frédérique Vidal’s promise last month to boost higher education and research funding by €700m. Vidal did not give a breakdown of how the extra money would be spent, but commentators expected the bulk of it to go to universities to help them meet costs incurred by rising undergraduate numbers and pension commitments.

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