was admitted to the École Normale Supérieure (Ulm-Sèvres) and then undertook her studies at the Sorbonne where she obtained her bachelors, masters, Agrégation d’anglais and State Doctorate. Her research focuses on the Age of Enlightenment in England. She has led - and still leads - some thirty Ph.D. theses. She was President of her university, Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 (1991-96), as well as founder and director of the Graduate School of English Studies (2000-07).
She represented the Conference of University Presidents to the Council of Europe, where she was the Chair of Higher Education and Research. In France, she was also Advisor on higher education to the Ministry of National Education. At UNESCO, she was General Rapporteur for both the 1998 and 2009 World Conferences on Higher Education. Currently Vice-President of the French National Commission for UNESCO, she chairs the Education Committee. She chaired the Board of Directors of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL, Hamburg, 2009-11), for which she is preparing "A New Humanism for the Twenty-First Century" to be published in 2013.