Edition 171 - July 2015

France: Green light for student-oriented initiatives

On 6 July, the conclusions on the nation-wide consultation for the proposed National Plan for Student Life (reported on in ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, edition April 2015) were personally delivered to Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. The French Minister of Education, Higher Education and Research welcomed the report and gave the green light to the Plan, which includes the launching of an online student portal this coming September. This portal is conceived as a one-stop-shop for all student-related information, regarding administrative procedures, scholarships, student housing, student jobs, etc. Another proposed project in the Plan is that of a European student card which would facilitate the recognition of students (both French and from other nationalities, if the European Commission gets on board with the project) throughout the European Union. 

On the same day, Vallaud-Belkacem announced that tuition fees for public higher education institutions would remain unchanged this academic year, despite concerns that they would rise. The annual fees of EUR 184 for a licence (Bachelor’s degree); EUR 256 for a Master’s; EUR 391 for a doctorate, and EUR 610 for an engineering degree remain some of the lowest in Europe. 

As well as welcoming the freeze on tuition fees, student groups such as the Fédération des Associations Générales D'Etudiants (FAGE) and the National Union of Students in France (UNEF) noted that although the Plan for Student Life addresses many important issues, it leaves many others unresolved, such as the need for more and better grants. 

Conclusions on the consultation (report – in French)

Press release (in French)

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