By European Affairs

Richard Descoings, 53, headed the Paris Institute of Political Studies, better known as “Sciences Po” -- the university that has spawned many leading French politicians, businessmen, academics and media people. He was found dead in his hotel room with no apparent signs of crime in New York, where he was attending a UN conference of university heads.

Descoings was a prominent leader in reform efforts in France, as elsewhere in Europe, to modernize higher education in an era of globalization. Since taking over at Sciences Po in 1996, Descoings had attracted international attention for his work in shaking up the venerable institution, promoting “affirmative action-style” access for underprivileged French students and introducing reforms to modernize its teaching approach and make the prestigious school more competitive in attracting more foreign students.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to him as a man who had devoted his life to education.

  • World Radio Conference Outcomes

    By Patricia Paoletta, Washington DC

    The latest World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) wrapped up in late November after four long weeks of negotiations between 3400 delegates from around 165 Member States. All in all, the WRC resulted in positive outcomes for both 5G and Wi-Fi, and will benefit both the U.S. and Europe's communications agendas, particularly with respect to the decisions on spectrum to be allocated for the all-important 5G service. The effect will be to ensure the more rapid development of the next generation of mobile broadband in a manner consistent with U.S. planning and existing development.  Debates on 5G dominated the conference, but allocations for high-altitude platform stations (“HAPS”) sought by U.S. based firms were also favorable. As a result, plans to provide additional internet service to underserved areas may be accelerated.

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UMD Jean Monnet Research Project

Infrastructure Planning and Financing: Lessons from Europe and the United States

The University of Maryland has received a Jean Monnet grant from the EU to conduct a series of policy exchanges between Europe and the US on filling infrastructure needs and the utility of public/private partnerships as the financing mechanism. If interested in participating in or receiving more information about these exchanges, please contact Rye McKenzie (rmckenzi@umd.edu).

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New from the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

"Edge of a Precipice" by Nathan Crist

"Newpolitik" by Emily Hruban


Summer Course