France aims to attract British researchers with promise of EU funding
February 17, 2017

UK researchers who are concerned they will lose EU funding after Brexit are being encouraged to move to France under a plan to establish a British university outpost near Paris. French officials are offering British universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, an opportunity to retain EU subsidies by exporting academics, students and research projects to a new campus. The University of Paris-Seine, which includes the highly-regarded Essec Business School, is building a campus for 5,000 students at a cost of up to €400 million (£342 million) on the banks of the Oise river, to the north of Paris. The French university has announced that part of the site will be reserved for a British university to set up facilities there. The land would be free, although the university would have to meet the cost of buildings, such as laboratories and lecture theatres. Officials said that British academics had until Bastille Day, July 14, to book a place on the campus. Jean-Michel Blanquer, managing director of Essec, said that he had already had informal talks with British university officials who were worried about the impact of Brexit and stated that “we want to transform those worries into an opportunity.” This offer stems from the growing concern that Britain will no longer be able to benefit from EU funded research schemes, such as the €80 billion Horizon 2020 research budget once it has left the EU.

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