Wednesday, April 14

Universities: leaders and students disappointed by the lack of a timetable for a reopening


No deadline has been announced or even suggested for a partial face-to-face resumption of all students, during the two-hour meeting organized by Jean Castex and Frédérique Vidal with the university community, Friday January 15. The day before, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Higher Education had announced that only first-year students would be allowed to return to follow their tutorials (TD) in half-gauge, from Monday, January 25.

The representatives of the conferences of establishments and of the student organizations all show their disappointment, at the end of this meeting during which they unanimously pleaded, in vain, for a partial return of all the levels of training. The conference of university presidents notably argued that “To save the second semester, it is absolutely necessary that all the students can come back now because if it is in April, it will be too late”, reports its vice-president Guillaume Gellé, who regrets “A small step forward”.

“Jean Castex said he was aware of the situation of the students, but he did not take a step further, regrets in turn Christian Robledo, president of the alliance of research and training universities. He felt that the health situation does not allow it and that the reopening in the first years was already an important step. ”

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“If the gauge was set at 20 % or 25%, this would correspond to a return one day a week, that is to say the recommendations which are at work for teleworking ”, observes Guillaume Gellé, recalling that the president of the scientific council, Jean-François Delfraissy, had himself formulated this hypothesis with the government “So that the consequences of this crisis do not become even more serious than the disease itself”. “One could imagine that the students come back for forty-five minutes every two days to rebuild a social bond which no longer exists at all and so that they are no longer cloistered in their 9 m²”, also suggests Jacques Smith, national representative of the UNI union.

“Need a horizon”

Concerning first-year students, the interpretation of the half-gauge should be done according to the reception capacities, and will therefore be of variable geometry on the territory according to the university buildings. In Reims, Guillaume Gellé is preparing to receive tutorial groups in their entirety in rooms intended to accommodate twice as many people. “We did not discuss this kind of details with the Prime Minister, because this falls within the autonomy of the establishments”, he assures, determined not to limit the workforce to 50%.

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