French colleges launch joint institute

Two of France's most prestigious grandes écoles are joining forces to create a new institute to develop higher education and research in economics and finance.

The HEC School of Management and the Ecole Polytechnique launched the Institut d'Economie et Finance - Paris (Insefi), which they hope will be an international centre of excellence focusing on the practical needs of business and industry.

It will open this autumn with students undertaking the first year of a general masters programme in English. This will serve as the basis of all economics and finance research masters courses in the two schools. About 40 students will take the common programme. They will specialise during the second year in studies organised with other partners, including the universities of Paris 6 and 10, Paristech and the future Ecole d'Economie de Paris.

In the long term, the institute will also cater for about 50 PhD students.

The schools plan to recruit about 20 additional teachers and researchers.

Yannick d'Escatha, chairman of the Ecole Polytechnique governing board, said the schools would develop a centre of excellence "visible and attractive at an international level that will appeal to the best teachers, researchers and students from abroad".

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