Tuesday, May 17

Presidential 2022. Does Emmanuel Macron really want to increase university registration fees?

Will college pay off if Emmanuel Macron is re-elected, as some presidential candidates have suggested? Since mid-January, the question of the increase in university fees has been agitating the campaign. In question: a sentence pronounced by the President of the Republic on the occasion of the closing of the Congress of the Conference of University Presidents, on January 13th.

That day, the Head of State gave a long speech, in which he notably returned to the “tremendous mess” represented by the high failure rate in the first year of the license and the increase in precariousness. student despite the revaluation of “scholarships based on social criteria for three consecutive years”. According to him, these two phenomena show “that beyond the question of means, we have a structural question” to settle.

« Provocation »

“We will not be able to stay permanently in a system where higher education has no price for almost all students”, then added Emmanuel Macron. In the opposition, many interpreted this sentence as a desire of the president-not-yet-candidate to increase university fees.

A quasi-free university?

In France, the university is not free since most students (those without grants) must pay registration fees. Since the 2019-2020 academic year, their amount is 170 euros for a bachelor’s degree, 243 euros for a master’s degree, 380 euros for a doctorate and 601 euros for an engineering degree.

The government has decided to freeze them in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 due to the health crisis. From the year 2022-2023, they will be indexed to inflation to increase the means of universities.

Fabien Roussel (PCF) criticized him for being “completely off the mark”, Yannick Jadot (EELV) accused him of being “the most anti-youth president of the Fifth Republic” and Alexis Corbière (LFI ) denounced “the establishment of a selection by money in higher education”. Valérie Pécresse, the right-wing candidate, denounced a “provocation”.

He referred to “vocational training”

Faced with the bronca aroused, Frédérique Vidal, the Minister of Higher Education, tried to clear the land on January 18 in front of the deputies. She assured that Emmanuel Macron had “not spoken for a second about increasing registration fees”.

The head of state justified himself on Monday during a trip to Creuse. “When you want to fight against student precariousness, you don’t increase university registration fees. This is also why, contrary to what I have read everywhere in the press, I never said that, ”he replied to a student who questioned him on the subject.

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“What I was talking about is rather training, in particular lifelong professional training, that universities will have to put in place and which are intended to be paid for”, he added. he adds. In other words, Emmanuel Macron is not in favor of an increase in university fees for initial training, but of an increase in the cost of continuing education at university.

And he is not the only one: in December, Valérie Pécresse said he wanted to “develop in universities paying continuing education at the university” and “make companies pay more”. This is not the only point on which the rivals meet. Both want to move towards more autonomy for universities. In his July 13 speech, Emmanuel Macron underlined the “difficulty of financing a model much more financed by public money than anywhere in the world”.

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Macron defends his record

On Monday, the president also defended his record on student precariousness. He recalled that his government had replaced student social security in 2018 (at a cost of just over 200 per year and not “just over 1,000 euros” as he indicated) by the CVEC (Contribution to student and campus life), amounting to approximately 90 euros.

He also mentioned the establishment of the “one-euro meal” in university restaurants during the health crisis. On the other hand, he did not mention the substantial increase in university fees for foreign students not coming from the European Economic Area, implemented at the start of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Reference-www.leprogres.fr

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