Feb 20, 2017 11:14 AM EST
Oxford University might be breaking its 700-year old tradition and establish a campus off Britain soil. Thanks to a tempting proposal given by French officials to the university.
The offer from the French came last week to guarantee a good relationship with the top UK universities after Britain signed to leave the European Union. The offer guaranteed continuous funding from the EU with the condition to build a satellite campus in France in 2018.
According to the report on Telegraph, France told Oxford that aside from receiving EU funding, campuses that will open in France will also receive legal French status. For their part, British universities have to bring their study programs and courses to France. They also need to create joint degrees as well as research laboratories.
If British universities, along with Oxford, agree to the proposal, construction of the campuses will begin in 2018.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, the dean of Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales and former director-general of France's Ministry of Education, said that they hope to lure top British universities to French soil with the offer. It is also a part of the plan to build an international campus at the Universite Paris Sienne.
He added that he and other top French academics are already discussing the plan with the French government and that they are already discussing it with the European Commission. Aside from Oxford, Blanquer said they have also met with officials from the University of Warwick.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Oxford University said the institution hasn't reached any decision yet adding that it remains "open to the world" no matter what changes may occur in the political landscape.
Alastair Buchan, head of Oxford University's Brexit strategy, said that Oxford needs to be absolutely sure that it remains open. He also added that every staff member and student who comes to the university belongs to the top league because they only recruit quality.
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