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French law for higher education passed

In our last ACA Newsletter-Education Europe, we presented the Minister for Research and Higher Education, Valérie Pécresse’s proposal to introduce a new law aimed at granting more autonomy to French universities. On August 1, the government succeeded in passing the bill. Adopted by the French parliament, the reform opens university funding and human resources to business. The changes in France’s higher education system over the next five years will be:

  • to grant universities more autonomy to decide on their budget and staff, allowing universities to create foundations to collect money and put in place their own recruitment processes
  • to give universities more competence in opening their administration to external staff, allowing representatives of the business world to take part in university governance
  • to strengthen the state's  legal control.

The Minister Valérie Pecresse is breaking with the French impasse to reform education. At the same time Prime Minister François Fillon has announced a 5% increase in the budget for higher education and research. But not everybody is happy with this new bill. A group of 25 trade unions and associations expressed their discontent with the reform saying that it would "lead to the unequal development of universities due to the race for funding and the disengagement of the State.”