This is one of the “emergencies” that Elizabeth Bourne included last week in purchasing power. The Prime Minister asked the Minister of Higher Education, Sylvie Ritaio, and the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, to “pay special attention to the students”. Young people “who have experienced the Covid crisis”, we insist in Matignon.
Among the measures the government is working on is to extend the U-ticket to €1 for scholarship students. According to our information, the system, which was due to expire on August 31, should continue to apply for the 2022-2023 academic year. “I don’t see how to finish this procedure,” says a senior official.
The announcement of the extension may come before a government seminar scheduled for the end of June. “If he could have succeeded before, he would have been very good,” admits someone close to the file, recalling the “urgent necessity” dictated by Elizabeth Bourne, as the former CEO was heavily criticized for his late actions in relation to students.
The €1 U ticket system was put in place at the beginning of the 2020 academic year for scholarship students before being rolled out to all students, and then, last July, it was extended to scholarship holders only.
Points for foreign students
Other measures, which are still being studied, are expected to compensate for inflation, under the future purchasing power law or amending the finance law.
Regarding scholarships, the publication outlining the eligibility criteria for students for the next academic year was published in March, while it is usually published in July. It already provides for new recipients, such as future special education teachers on contract who have passed an employment competition and who are doing an internship during the second year of their master’s degree, or those who are enrolled in a “talent preparation”. International students more than 3,500 km from their homes also benefit from “extra charging points” to cover transportation costs that are considered very high.
Freezing CROUS rents or food inspection are also considered among the purchasing power measures.
“A real student case”
“There are also quick measures to be taken in the field of health,” adds Guillaume Gillet, 2nd Issue of France Universities, the Rectors’ Association, which estimates that on campus, “50% of students are anxious and some of them are very fragile or even depressed.” For the rest, “We can no longer see students queuing to go to the soup kitchen or to solidarity grocery stores, you need to put a real student on to study with dignity,” he pleads.
Overhaul of the scholarship system
Besides emergency measures, many student organizations are waiting for the scholarship reform promised by Emmanuel Macron. Sylvie Ritayo, in her handover letter, mentioned the importance of “a true recognition of student life in the missions of universities and a contract of commitment to young people including also a comprehensive reform of the scholarship system, APL and many other points”.
The first student organization, Fage, is calling for an ambitious reform. According to its president, Paul Mayo, “level scholarships should not operate” (to combat threshold effects), but rather “absorb assistance such as supplemental health insurance” (which students have little access to), energy screening or pay scholarships over a period of time. Twelve months instead of ten.
On the part of L’Alternative, a federation of local associations and unions, its national secretary, Naim Shelley, also said he supported “comprehensive scholarship reform”, provided that it would lead to “student income” and “a gradual increase in amounts up to the poverty line, even if It meant doing it in stages.”
The guilds are watching like milk on fire the place to be given to CROUS in the future reform. “It would be a red line,” says a subject matter expert.