“There will be no more distance learning courses at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne”

In an interview with France 3 Champagne-Ardenne on September 22, the President of the University of Reims (URCA) talks about ways to deal with soaring energy prices without disrupting student learning.

Autumn is here and with the drop in temperatures, an XXL energy bill is expected this year. LOn Monday, September 19, the University of Strasbourg announced an energy sobriety plan, which it justified by the sharp increase in gas and electricity prices. And one of the emblematic measures of this plan is the closure of university buildings for another two weeks this winter. Other universities are wondering. What about Champagne-Ardenne?

Faced with austerity obligations and the obligation to provide good working conditions for students, the University of Reims seems no longer ready to close its doors. The President of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne Guillaume Gellé delivered his projects to France 3 Champagne Ardenne on September 22.

France 3 Champagne-Ardenne: is an extended closure and distance learning courses planned as in Strasbourg?

Guillaume Gellé: at the university, we consulted the working conditions with the directors of the components, the directors of our research units, with our OSH committee. We have just launched a consultation with all staff and all students to make suggestions.

They will lead to energy savings and these first exchanges actually show that it is not a good solution to consider returning students to remote work in any case for several reasons. It is already the case that we are deporting the issue of taking energy, but from a global perspective, the energy that would not be consumed at the university would be consumed at home. So this is not a solution and neither will distance learning.

URCA is 119 buildings, you will have to heat and light them, so what kind of management do you have today?

That’s why we launched this suggestion box. This is to see if other avenues reach us, but we think that by really broadly developing green gestures within the university community, students and university staff, we can get that famous 10% we need to achieve in the sobriety plan, which state will ask us for 2024.

There have already been experiments, especially in universities, that have shown that if everyone tries to turn off the light, for example, the disappearance of computer workstations, better control of night lighting, we can achieve this. performance.

Therefore, we first turn to these solutions, and then there is also a way of organizing the university that will allow us to have additional freedom, that is, for example, when we have classes on Saturdays, it is far from the whole university, to look at how we can group our classes in the same building so that we can have longer breaks in other buildings but the students can work in satisfactory conditions.

In short, won’t the quality and comfort of your students’ work suffer from the measures you take?

No, that’s not the point at all. We are really working on a sobriety plan that will maintain the quality of training and admission of students, but also research activities, and this is extremely important, this is the second mission of universities.

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