inventory at the beginning of the school year

After making the selection for entering the university and entering the master’s studies, many students find themselves without an assignment when the start of the new school year is already in Lyon. These “without fas” are mobilizing to find a place in the benches of the university, which is already saturated.

This year, “sans-facs” took the lead a bit. On September 2, before the start of the academic year, the sans-facs committee organized a demonstration in the courtyard of the University of Lyon 2. Banners, slogans chanted through a megaphone, joint breakfasts and visits by elected representatives from Lyon interrupted the mobilization, repeated on September 16.

The non-college students, supported by the Student Solidarity union and UNEF Tackle (a section of UNEF), requested acceptance by the university presidency to submit about thirty files to him.

“The goal of the campaign without obstacles is to enroll students rejected at the university, but also to demand exemption from registration fees for foreign students outside the EU who cannot afford to pay this amount (€2,770 per year of license and €3,770 for a master’s degree, note by editor. )”, writes the committee in a press release.

Choosing a university penalizes Lyon students

In recent years, there have been many of these back-to-school mobilizations, in Lyon as elsewhere. In 2021, two students went on hunger strike outside the University of Lyon 2. Then the offices of the president of Lyon 2 were occupied for several days to request the registration of about fifteen unregistered students.

Several reforms are responsible for this phenomenon. Stronger selection when entering bachelor’s or master’s studies partially explains why students find themselves on the threshold of universities. The situation was worsened by the increase in the number of students. France experienced a peak in birth rates around 2000, a peak that was not followed by the opening of more university places.

In 2016, the first reform introduced a choice between the third year of a bachelor’s degree and the first year of a master’s degree, leaving several thousand students without affection each time they return to France. In exchange for this decision, the “right to study” was introduced in 2017 (then amended by decree in 2021). In practice, however, this does not apply to everyone.

The “Parcours Sup” platform was launched in 2018. This creates even tougher competition among students to enter the license and leaves candidates on the sidelines.

In France, 94,187 candidates did not get a job in mid-July 2022, when the next phase offering new places to students had just started at the end of June. The number of unassigned candidates who surrendered or who had none after this second phase is not yet known.

“We are legitimate to have these places because we have confirmed our L3 or our matriculation”

The absence of assignments, and thus a vision of their academic and professional future, has left many students in dire straits. Sana, a law student at Lyon 2, could not enter the master’s degree in social law. Nevertheless, she accepted a position on a professional law degree, which does not correspond to her professional project:

“I was sick for 5 months. I reached a level of anxiety I had never experienced before. It gets worse when I see the other side doing nothing to fix the problem. We are told to wait or go for a professional license. »

On the part of the University of Lyon 2, we regret the lack of funds that prevent them from accepting more students in certain sectors. One of their solutions, it is believed, is therefore to redirect certain students:

“We are trying to find alternatives for them that will remain in the same professional field. We understand that a student who wants to do law will not accept a degree in political science. »

At the start of each school year for four years, students who are said to be “college free” find themselves without a university role. In Lyon, about thirty of them are mobilizing to get a place in Lyon 2. ©MA/Rue89Lyon

While waiting for a place in the master’s degree, Sana consoles herself with the other students of the commission without fascism. She had never mobilized with a union or student organization before.

“We didn’t know each other and we all came together for the same reason. We stand together and we will not give up. We know we have these places legit because we have verified our years. »

Also read on Rue89Lyon:

Find a place at the college: possible appeal to the rectorate of Lyon

At his side in the fight is 26-year-old Rayane, who earned a degree in political science from Lyon 2 and also failed to find a place on a master’s degree in political science or sociology.

“I submitted 10 applications to Lyon, Rennes and Saint-Étienne and I was rejected. In June, I appealed to the rector’s office and to this day I have not received a positive answer. I’m a bit demoralized, I don’t know what to do. They tell me that maybe I can find a place elsewhere, but looking for an apartment in another city at the last minute is complicated. »

The grant holder will be forced to give up this aid if they lose their student status. Like Rayane, many students also try to approach the rector’s office, which is supposed to guarantee them a place at university, especially at their home university. In 2021, 1,400 students appealed in the region. Two sectors in particular are under tension: law and psychology.

University of Lyon 2: the epicenter of the mobilization of students without a university

In Lyon, the mobilization of the homeless is concentrated at the University of Lyon 2, because unions and student organizations are more active there. The presidency is also seen as more sensitive to student mobilization and is known for its historical left-wing roots.

Since the first sans-facs mobilization on September 2, the number of files has grown. They now have over forty to apply for registration or fee waivers for international students from outside the European Union (see below).

They are not the only ones waiting for a seat. The University of Lyon 2 received 179 requests from the Rectorate, which sent them calls from the students who seized it. This was joined by students who turned directly to the deans and heads of courses without going through the rector’s office.

“We are trying to find solutions for the files reported to us by the sans-facs commission, but we cannot make them a priority. We want to maintain equal access to the university, and those who did not go through the student organizations also have rights. »

Some data on faculty saturation in Lyon

To realize the strong choices students face, the numbers speak for themselves.

The University of Lyon 2 received 123,842 requests for 5,501 places in the first year of licenses (with the understanding that a student can make multiple requests within the same university). The most popular sectors are political science (12,773 applicants for 270 places), cognitive sciences, pedagogical sciences and psychology (30,231 applicants for 460 places).

On the master’s side, there are 23,684 applications for 3,723 places. Among the busy sectors we find private law (1384 applications for 60 places) and commercial law (1398 applications for 80 places). Political science also faces many demands: 793 applications for 100 places. Finally comes psychology (804 applications for 40 places) and clinical psychology, psychopathology and health psychology (768 applications for 30 places).

As for Lyon 3 University, 39,000 applications were submitted for 3,500 places in the 1st year of master’s studies.

International students from outside the EU apply for an exemption from Lyon 2

Added to the problem of non-affiliated students is the problem of foreign students from outside the European Union who have an affinity but were unpleasantly surprised to see their tuition fees explode.

The “Welcome to France” reform could be introduced from the start of the 2019 academic year, but was applied earlier depending on which universities had room to manoeuvre. It stipulates that these students will pay 2,770 euros for a year of bachelor’s studies or 3,770 euros for a year of master’s studies. This is the case of Mohammed Asnad, License 2 Political Science.

“I am a Comorian. I was enrolled at the University of Reunion Island where there were no such fees. I made a hasty decision to come to Lyon and when I signed up for Lyon 2, I found out that I had to pay 2,770 euros. I cannot withdraw this amount because I have not yet found a job in addition to my studies and my parents can only help me occasionally. »

Since September 2, those without a profession have mobilized with student unions to win a place at the University of Lyon 2. ©MA/Rue89Lyon
Since September 2, those without fas have mobilized with student unions to get a place at the University of Lyon 2 or an exemption for non-EU foreign students. ©MA/Rue89Lyon

At the University of Lyon 3, it was decided to completely exempt students from these fees for the years 2022-2023. In Lyon 2, the fees applied for this start of the school year with a possible exception:

“Our university is doing the best it can. A table and conditions were created so that students could be exempted. Previously, this exemption was paid by the state, now it is done from the university’s budget, “explains the University of Lyon 2.

The struggle of the homeless continues in Lyon

The sans-facs committee is still dissatisfied and condemns the fact that the Bureau has not found a solution for thirty files. Sana says she fears she will be “taken away”, despite weekly meetings between the committee and the Lyon 2 administration on the subject.

On Wednesday, September 21, a special committee was held on the topic of Students without assignments, with the participation of the presidency and representatives of several student organizations. On this occasion, the sans-facs committee also organized a mobilization.

A few days earlier, the sans-facs of Lyon received the support of two Rhône MPs from Nupes: Gabriel Amardo (Villeurbanne) and Hubert Julien-Laferrière (2nd arrondissement of Lyon). Both made a short encouraging video on their social networks. If they fail to push the walls of the universities to accommodate those who do not have colleges, they may want to push more resources in the university within the walls of the National Assembly.

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