University

Faced with university presidents, Sylvie Retailleau sets priorities for her activities

Accept the “renewed method”. This is the ambition of Sylvia Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, who addressed university presidents on August 25 during the summer university evening organized by French universities.

The minister wants to give priority to multi-year planning. “I am deeply convinced that only a long-term vision can really make senseunderstanding and take full responsibility for implemented projects and at the same time increase the responsibility of all actors,” she said.

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He wants to emphasize the autonomy of universities as a priority. In this sense, the minister announced the first multi-year goal and it means contracts for 2023. “This renewed and strengthened trust in all actors should not be the result of a reduction in investments by the Ministry in monitoring, but on the contrary, a simplification of the financing, orientation and evaluation processes,” the minister also assured.

For the implementation of these contracts, the minister expects to increase the ESR budget, while the first elements of the PLF 2023 set an increase of 1.5 billion euros and should reach 90.8 billion euros in 2023. The national education budget should also increase: the project envisages a budget of 60.2 billion euros, which is 3.6 billion more than in 2022.

The minister also addressed the multi-year law on research programming (LPR), another key topic of the ESR, and especially its simplification. She also recalled the upcoming release of “the first texts that simplify some subjects of this law […] to be operational in 2023”.

This simplification concerns several aspects and in particular the process of “re-pyramidization”, which allows the transition from the status of a lecturer to the status of a university professor established by the LPR but also RIPEC is a remuneration system for teaching and research staff allocation of CPJ, junior professor chairs established by the Research Programming Act – a new method of recruitment allowing access to permanent employment in the corps of university professors and assimilated or research directors.

The European axis, in particular, will also be a priority strengthening European alliances. The government will continue to “support universities in their alliance strategies, by strengthening the articulation of research and innovation policies and by expanding all forms of innovative collaboration”, assured Sylvie Retailleau.

Sylvie Retailleau: “The living conditions and the equal success of students are a priority for me”

Since the beginning of her mandate, the minister has also insisted on the fundamental place that must be returned to students in government policy. The first cycle will be a “priority”, especially support for orientation from high school. The Ministry of Higher Education should therefore work closely with the Ministry of National Education and Youth, especially on the development of Parcoursup.

Student life and the fight against uncertainty will also be the basis of government projects. Success also depends on social policy and student support, while the insecurity of some of them has been underlined and intensified by the health crisis.

The minister confirmed her desire to “take the best care of students” and recalled the measures that have been introduced since the beginning of the 2022 school year. Emergency responses, which will need to be supplemented by broader reflection.

Therefore, a consultation on student life will begin in October with the actors of the territories, facilities and students. It will address the fundamental issue of scholarships based on social criteria, but also social assistance, health with a focus on students’ mental health, housing, the fight against sexist and sexual violence, food and access to sports and culture.

Finally, the ecological transition will have to take a fundamental place in the education and procedures of enterprises. “There is an urgent need to act,” said Sylvie Retailleau, who wishes “to raise awareness and train students in the green jobs of tomorrow“A symposium will thus be organized to identify the actions to be launched in the field of training based on the Jean Jouzel report. It will be held at the University of Bordeaux on October 20 and 21, 2022.

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