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Engineering schools cry foul at government interference

The government’s decision to block the reappointment of the director of the Centrale Nantes grande école is an affront to institutional autonomy, France’s engineering schools have said.

In a statement on 13 September, the Cdefi association of French engineering schools said that the government had “gone against the Centrale Nantes board’s decision, taken in full view of the facts and with a large majority" in halting Arnaud Poitou’s reappointment.

The government announced its intention to block Poitou from serving a second five-year term on 1 September. Frédérique Vidal, the minister for research and higher education, said this was because Poitou’s proposed strategy for the school relied heavily on a planned partnership with the University of Nantes, which was cancelled in July.

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