After Emmanuel Macron’s criticism, the angry response from universities

The divide has reopened between Emmanuel Macron and the university community. On September 4, the President of the Republic fired an arrow painfully received by university presidents, in whom the Head of State perceives poor managers, who are also little capable of developing the training and education offering. ensure the professional integration of students.

Facing YouTuber Hugo TraversEmmanuel Macron thus denounced a “form of collective waste”believing that, “with their budget, [les universités devraient] do much better ». In his eyes, there is “training courses that have not graduated for years” and others who remain “simply to preserve teaching positions”.

This is not the first time that the head of state has expressed his hostility towards the academic world. In June 2020, he accused teacher-researchers in the humanities and social sciences of promoting “ the ethnicization of the social question » to the point of risking “break the Republic in two”. Had followed a long period of suspicion with regard to research work in sociology, aimed at capturing traces of a “Islamo-leftism” causing “havoc” what former ministers Jean-Michel Blanquer (national education) and Frédérique Vidal (higher education and research) said they had detected.

” Alarm signal “

The heads of establishments were stung when they noted, on September 8, that their supervisory minister, Sylvie Retailleau, had aligned herself behind the presidential remarks, summoning universities to draw on their savings, “sleeping public money”which it estimates at one billion euros, to finance the measures in favor of the purchasing power of civil servants decided in July by the government.

“We must re-establish a certain number of truths”explains to World Guillaume Gellé, president of France Universités. “I want to sound the alarm. Universities are at the end of what they have been able to absorb. They need a new lease of life, and for the State to finance the measures it takes. The decision maker must be the payer”he erts.

If universities are forced to draw on their working capital, then the thermal renovation of university buildings will not take place, he warns, as will any large-scale educational investment. “What is missing in this budget speech is an ability to project into the future”deplores the president of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, who expresses ” the injury “ caused by these attacks at the time of “difficult return to school, marked by only one real priority, the precariousness of students”.

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