Prince sees a lesson in France

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The Independent Online
THE PRINCE of Wales launched a new assault on education standards yesterday, in effect calling for the creation of a French-style intellectual elite.

On a visit to Paris, he said that Britain could learn lessons from the grandes ecoles, the super-universities of France such as the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, which pick out and train the government and business high- flyers of the future.

The Prince praised the strength of British postgraduate courses but appeared to suggest that some sections of university education did not come up to scratch.

He met students from the grandes ecoles who had gone on to study at the highest level in Britain under the Jean Monnet Award Scheme, which is run by the Foreign Office with private- sector backing.

He told them that he had long admired the highly selective and ruthlessly competitive institutions which outrank ordinary universities in France, and virtually guarantee graduates top jobs in government and industry.

Ways in which the Royal Household is 'going green' are expected to be highlighted by the Prince today during a speech at a World Wide Fund for Nature seminar in London.