The University of Lille is in an “unsustainable financial situation” ahead of the start of the academic year.

During the institution’s Wednesday conference held on Wednesday, its president Régis Bordet called on the state to address its financial difficulties.

Mixed back to school at the University of Lille. Although the institution was ranked 379th in the latest Shanghai ranking of the world’s 1000 best universities, it is facing considerable economic difficulties.

The current context of crisis and retreating inflation, which have serious consequences especially on energy prices, is undermining the university’s finances. During the traditional back-to-school conference, its chairman Régis Bordet did not forget to raise this topic.

“The financial situation of the university is unsustainable”

“Where we could rejoice in certain achievements, unfortunately we cannot, so many daily problems occupy our minds,” he said on Wednesday. According to him, 28 million euros are missing from the college’s coffers.

The president estimates additional costs for energy at 15 million euros, as well as additional costs for revaluation of the index point. “The university’s financial situation is unsustainable,” he said. And to cope, he appeals to the state.

“We cannot bear the entire budget shock by ourselves […] That is the meaning of the compensation requirement, both in terms of energy and index point. And then there is the specificity of Lille, because we noticed that our subsidy for public service charges is lower than that of a comparable facility, in this case Aix-Marseille”.

The university also says that it has initiated a structural consolidation of finances, is considering reducing heating and is working on a multi-year action plan that “in the context of the sharp rise in energy and raw material prices” aims to reduce costs and also limit the impact on the environment.

“Deteriorating” buildings

Another item discussed during the back-to-school conference was the renovation of the dilapidated buildings of the university, whose heritage extends to 655,000 square meters spread over several large and small campuses.

The guest of the BFM Grand Lille on September 7, Régis Bordet already mentioned this topic: “Heritage is in certain sectors, especially in the “Scientific City”, in a really degraded state. Every night we pull our asses a little because they are afraid that the bad weather will still more damage”.

The expected amount of reconstruction costs is estimated at 300 million euros, of which 225 million euros are only for the most destroyed buildings. The inflationary context and the development of standards, which also increase prices, do not allow the university to invest as it is in the given area.

Solidarity measures

Students are also victims of the shocks of the current economic context. While every second student is on scholarship in this academic year 2022-2023, the university has introduced several measures to help them.

These include the delivery of a check worth 250 euros to those who are economically weakest, a “digital boost” that will help 345 students to receive digital equipment through the donation of a check worth 400 euros, or the opening of three new solidarity food stores.

In 2021, the monthly cost of student life in Lille was estimated by the National Union of Students of France (Unef) at €948.74. In its survey from 2022, the Union estimates an increase in the price of student life by 6.47% throughout the state.

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