Presidents of Paris' inner-city universities say they lack the resources they urgently need to renovate faculty buildings to comply with legal safety standards.
In spite of emergency finance for university security announced by Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister, in September, they accuse the Government of reneging on its commitments under the 1999 University of the Third Millennium (U3M) programme, which has only one more year to run.
The eight Paris universities were due to receive nearly e350 million (Pounds 237 million) under the 2000-06 state-region contract through which U3M should operate. But Jean-Francois Dhainaut, president of Paris 5 and chairman of the Coll ge des Universites Parisiennes, said: "While 80 per cent of the commitments have been authorised, only 20 per cent of the funds have been paid."
Mr Dhainaut said that aid had been concentrated on two projects - removal of asbestos at the Jussieu campus (home to universities of Paris 6 and 7) and construction of a new university site on the Left Bank that will house Paris 7 - that were either not part of the renovation plan or far more expensive than expected.
The hazards that need to be tackled include dilapidation, overcrowding, asbestos and fire risk.