Research flaws exposed

September 16, 2005

Flaws in France's university research system have been exposed by an official inquiry.

From its examination of 45 establishments, the Cour des Comptes, the equivalent of Britain's National Audit Office, found that "the disparity between resources mobilised and measured achievements is due to weaknesses in the management of French public research", according to Le Figaro , which leaked the report last week.

Le Figaro said that the report identified five weak areas in the system: insufficient concentration of resources; rigid status and inadequate inspection of university teaching and research staff; insufficient evaluation of research teams; weak management; and insufficient registration of patents.

The Conference of University Presidents welcomed the report and stressed the need for strengthened university autonomy to carry out a wider research role.

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