Oxford University denies plans of building Paris campus

Image credit: Zinneke via Wikimedia Commons

Oxford University has denied the existence of any plans to build a new campus in Paris, after reports appeared in The Telegraph this week suggesting the university was attempting to secure EU funding following Brexit.

In a statement to Cherwell,  Stephen Rouse, Head of News and Information, said: “The University has received several constructive and helpful proposals from European colleagues since the Brexit vote. We are not, however, pursuing the model of a campus overseas.”

On Monday, The Telegraph reported that a meeting was held last week between Oxford University staff and French officials, where the opportunity was proposed for the University to build a new campus in Paris, which, following Brexit, would continue to receive funding from the European Union. They said the campus would be built in 2018.

It is suggested that staff at the University believe that, if they want to remain near the top of the league tables, they will need to have access to Europe, even after the trigger of Article 50.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, former head of the French department for education, and currently Dean of 'École supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales' said to The Telegraph "The idea is symbolic, to say after Brexit: ‘we want to build bridges and that academic life is not totally dependent on political problems". He also said that he is currently in communication with several other Universities in the UK about opening a campus in France.

Academics have warned MPs that Brexit could be disastrous for higher education if UK Universities do not receive further research funding from the European Union.

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