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University reform debated as French students march

Thousands of students carrying banners and shouting slogans clashed with police here. They were protesting a controversial university reform law that was being debated by legislators.

In the National Assembly, the government defended the bill, saying it would expand the nation's intellectual elite. The bill eases university entrance requirements, but makes it more difficult to graduate. Students complained the law would cheapen the value of university degrees.

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