The student revolt of May and June, 1968 in France may be explained by the fact that the growth of the student body and the drastic change in its social composition made the main organization of principles of the liberal university system inherited from the nineteenth century more and more dysfunctional, especially after the early sixties. This dysfunctionality, which also characterizes a majority of the continental universities, was probably particularly strong in France. The situation of the French student of the sixties may be described as one of social marginality, and this is a direct consequence of the rapid growth of the number of students in all countries in the last few decades. But its effects are largely accentuated in "liberal" university systems, especially when, like most of the present continental systems, they are associated with a low degree of diversification of the academic institutions.
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