“I give you achievements and challenges, dear Sylvie” : it is with these words that Frédérique Vidal concluded his speech, on the night of 20 May, during his inauguration with Sylvie Retailleau, in the courtyard of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. The two Nice scientists – the one leaving is a biochemist, the new physicist – also have in common having headed two major universities before being appointed ministers: the University of the Côte d’Azur and the University of Paris-Saclay.
Any ” acquired “ could, however, become “challenges” for the new tenant of the Boncourt pavilion, whose first task will be to simplify the research programming law, whose implementation, heavily framed by the ministry in particular for the attribution of bonuses and advances, is considered meticulous by university presidents who aspire to more autonomy. As for the budgetary trajectory of the law – 25 billion euros in ten years, a disappointment for the university community – it seems uncertain from 2023, according to a senatorial fact-finding mission, which will deliver its conclusions in early July.
At the end of the Council of Ministers, Tuesday 14 June, MI Retailleau took the floor briefly to “a waypoint” on the Higher Education Attribution Platform. “Parcourup works. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t perform even better.”she observed, promising to work “continuous improvements”. On the same day, in front of the elected representatives of an advisory committee that brings together all the actors in higher education, he presented the two axes of his policy: students and research.
Student representative organizations were the first to be received after their appointment. “The minister gave us three priorities”, reports Naïm Shili, national secretary of Alternative, a federation of unions and student associations: the reform of the scholarship system based on social criteria; one “Parcourup adjustment”, the result of joint work with the Ministry of National Education to improve the transition between secondary and higher education; and admission to the master’s degree, in order to “to reinforce the transparency of the selection and the harmonization of calendars, without necessarily going through a common platform”, as Frédérique Vidal had imagined.
A consultation should be opened at the end of June on the subject of stock exchange reform, salutes Paul Mayaux, president of FAGE. “It remains to be seen what the minister means when she mentions an employment contract for fellows”, he watches. Sylvie Retailleau didn’t give details, but told herself “linked to the fact that there are rights and duties”, says Naim Shili. For elected students, making aid conditional on immediate success in the first year of leave would be too much, completely obscuring the low level of student oversight and support in most undergraduate courses.
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