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Accolades for a New University

Efforts to establish a large, well-regarded research university in a suburb of Paris are beginning to pay off, Nature News reports. It adds that the Paris-Saclay University was officially founded this year and has already placed 14th on Shanghai Jiao Tong University's list of the top 20 global universities. 

But Nature News notes that getting to this point wasn't straightforward. Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy first announced plans for the university about a decade ago, which aimed to consolidate a collection of private and public research labs into a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-like university or a Silicon Valley-like hub. In 2017, it reported that the effort was faltering, as it lacked a cohesive strategy. At the time, the 20 different institutions that the university was trying to incorporate split to form Paris-Saclay University and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, it adds.

Now, Nature News notes that the campus includes some 300 labs, including not only university space, but also national facilities and private companies. "Critical mass is important, and the Université Paris-Saclay achieves this," David Price, chief of research strategy at University College London, tells it. "It is too soon to say whether it is a success, but I am sure it will be."