Fifty years after the student revolt of May 1968, Futuribles is devoting a dossier in this issue to the outlook for higher education in France. To round off these considerations on the operation of the French university system, Pierre Papon reviews Christine Musselin’s 2017 book La Grande Course des universités, which enables a spotlight to be shone on the specific case of the university reform undertaken in the last two decades. In so doing, he outlines the main stages of that reform, against a background of heightened competition between establishments, researchers etc., rationalization of costs, creation or transformation of structures, and incentivizing of better performance in international league tables. This is instructive reading about the mechanics of these reforms, though it remains to be seen whether the transformations under way will meet the hopes placed in them. Christine Musselin suggests there are grounds for doubt on that score, as the efforts made to promote and stimulate a real dynamic of scientific collaboration have so far been insufficient.