‘Ominous time’ for French students after support funds are slashed

Student leaders warn cuts to support funds will increase financial pressure on those at university

December 24, 2015
Young male student in graduation cap and gown

Students in France may face added financial hardship after state support funds were cut, students leaders have warned.

Alice Clément, vice-chair (social affairs) at France’s national student body, the Fédération des Associations Générales Étudiantes (Fage), which represents regional student associations, said that budget cuts approved at the end of 2015 are likely to hit students in the next few years.

Cuts to France’s higher education budget are among those savings signed off by parliament recently, said Ms Clément.

Public subsidies for student life, dedicated to the establishments that manage support systems for students, also decreased in the latest budget round, she added.

“This puts an extra pressure on students by increasing student rents or meal prices provided by these establishments,” added Ms Clément in a blog for the European Students’ Union website.

The government and parliamentarians had also “attacked” housing support schemes for students and young workers this autumn, Ms Clément added.

“Now, in order to save money, the government is trying to modify the criteria used to calculate these aids for young workers, although the majority of them have an insecure job,” Ms Clement said.

“Students are facing a difficult period, which is ominous for the next [few] years because we can see that the government is questioning a lot [about our] higher education systems, [and] making choices that go against education’s democratisation objective,” she added.


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