The "University of Paris 2019" project with the IDEX label

Built by the Universities of Paris Descartes and Paris Diderot and by the Paris Institute of Earth Physics, the "Université Paris 2019" project has now been awarded the Initiative for Excellence (IDEX) label. The evaluation of the international jury, confirmed by the decision of the Prime Minister, thus confirms the place of the future University of Paris on the map of French academic excellence. The aim of the IDEX programme is to create world-class research universities in France.
Ported by the EUMC USPC, the "University of Paris 2019" project provides for the creation, on 1 January 2019, of the University of Paris, resulting from the merger of the universities Paris Descartes and Paris Diderot and the integration of the Institute of Earth Physics of Paris. With its 58,000 students, 7,500 staff and its academic and territorial partners, the University of Paris is set to be one of the top four French universities. By the breadth of its disciplinary spectrum and the excellence of its research, it has the potential to enter, from its creation, into the Top 50 worldwide in the Shanghai ranking.
This success is the culmination of months of collective reflection and development. The label provides for a four-year probationary period at the end of which the project will be re-evaluated.
For Christine Clerici, Frédéric Dardel and Marc Chaussidon "The importance of the work we have to do is commensurate with the ambitions we have set ourselves.
It is now up to the players to confirm this labeling by implementing the actions and principles of the IDEX dossier and by formally creating the University of Paris. The Prime Minister has decided to take the following decisions:
1. The IDEX "Sorbonne University" is confirmed and will receive annual funding without any time limit. 
The Jury took note of the merger of the Pierre and Marie Curie and Paris-Sorbonne Universities, which took place on 1 January 2018, and proposed the definitive confirmation of IDEX Sorbonne University, which it considered to have achieved the objective it had set itself and to meet the criteria of the call for projects. He made recommendations for strengthening the potential and visibility of the new institution, which is already a world-class training and research centre. 
The devolution agreement between the State and Sorbonne University will be established in the coming weeks. It will allow the continuation of the support to the Labex and IDEFI integrated in the project. 
2. The IDEXs of Paris-Saclay and P.S.L. will be extended for a maximum of 30 months in order to achieve their objective and create a major research university of international standards. These projects are therefore naturally funded.
The extension is intended to support those IDEXs that are "close to the goal" but have not yet fully achieved their objective of creating an internationally recognized intensive research university, either because their achievements and level of integration are still too limited or because their project has evolved recently and therefore could not yet be implemented in practice and produce its full impact. 
The Paris-Saclay and P.S.L. IDEXs appeared to the jury to be on track for final confirmation. However, it considered that the positive developments at these two sites should be confirmed and result in the creation of a sufficiently integrated university with the means to implement a unified training and research strategy. 
Thus the promoters of these two projects will benefit from a probationary period of a maximum of thirty months, which should enable them to "transform the trial" by effectively and irreversibly creating the major research university they are calling for. 
In view of the great maturity of the projects and in order to simplify procedures, the jury will use a simplified procedure to check that the conditions laid down for the final award of the label and the related grant are met. 
These conditions, which are common to both projects, are as follows:
  • demonstrate the existence of a more unified strategy of its own; 
  • The adoption of rules of governance which provide, as part of the powers of the President of the University :
- the right to audit and amend the draft budget estimates of all the founding institutions ; 
- a right of veto on proposals for the recruitment of teacher-researchers, teachers and researchers from the founding institutions;
- the signing of all diplomas, without exception. 
This verification will take place within a period of 30 months, to be agreed with each of the project promoters. 
3. The new IDEX project "University of Paris" is selected for a probationary period of four years.
The jury considered that the new project was supported by the Universities of Paris-Descartes and Paris-Diderot, as well as by the Institut de physique du globe de Paris (I.P.G.P.):
  • was the outline of a major research university - with scientific strengths of the highest order in the field of health, associated with teams of the highest calibre, particularly in mathematics, physics, earth sciences, engineering and the human and social sciences;
  • that the necessary conditions for its implementation were in place, in particular with the creation as of January 2019 of a single, highly integrated institution with effective governance. It therefore proposed that it be labelled as an IDEX for a probationary period of four years, at the end of which it will be evaluated again with a view to its possible confirmation. The Steering Committee has followed this proposal, with recommendations that will be included in the aid allocation agreement drawn up by the A.N.R.. 
The amount of the grant allocated to the project will be rapidly communicated to the promoters.
4. In spite of significant progress and the remarkable scientific potential of the Toulouse site, the IDEX "UNITI" project could not be retained.
The jury took note of the progress made by the Toulouse project leaders in a difficult context, of their desire to build a university recognised as such internationally and of the emergence of a new dynamic aimed at taking advantage of the strong scientific potential and numerous assets of the site. 
However, it considered that these were insufficient to achieve the objective that the UNITI project had set itself, owing to the lack of real commitment by all the actors to a genuine process of transformation that would meet the objectives of the IDEX action. 
Beyond this decision, the State reaffirms its willingness to support the actors of the Toulouse site in the construction of an ambitious project that matches its recognized potential and is capable of bringing together the scientific forces of the site. To this end, the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation will bring together the UNITI project leaders in the coming days.
5. The State will support the dynamic created by the IDEXs and, more broadly, by all projects by putting in place new tools. 
As the transformation of the French higher education and research landscape continues, notably through the IDEX and Isite programmes, the Government is supporting higher education institutions by renewing the legal and financial frameworks to take account of the changes under way. 
Thus, the bill "for a State at the service of a society of confidence" adopted by the Senate on 14 March last authorises, in its article 28, the Government to take by ordinance "the measures falling within the scope of the law intended to experiment new forms of rapprochement, regrouping or merger of higher education and research establishments". Subject to final adoption and promulgation, this text will allow, on an experimental basis, over a maximum period of ten years, new modes of integration, bringing together several institutions, some of which may retain their legal personality during all or part of the experiment. 
In addition, the Government intends to propose to higher education institutions an in-depth renovation of the modalities for allocating resources, in particular through a management dialogue in a configuration adapted to each site. The State and higher education institutions should be able to maintain a genuine strategic dialogue on a regular basis. Proposals will be made to this end in the coming weeks. 
Lastly, the Government recalls that the current reform of access to higher education provides higher education institutions with the necessary means to build a common or coordinated educational project around the undergraduate level, in order to better welcome students and support them towards success. 
The demands made on the players, of which the international jury is the guarantor, are today commensurate with the trust placed in them and the new freedoms and responsibilities entrusted to them. The March session of the jury and the work carried out in parallel by the Government constitute, in this respect, a decisive stage in the process of modernizing the French higher education and research landscape.


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