President Macron hints at end of free university access

French President Emmanuel Macron has prompted fierce criticism after hinting that university access in France cannot “stay long-term” the way it is, “with no cost”, in order to compete internationally, writes Hannah Thompson for The Connexion. The [potential] funding would help improve facilities, standards and working materials in order to compete with paying universities worldwide such as in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Macron said: “We will not be able to stay long-term in a system where higher education has no cost for almost all students, where a third of students are considered as grant holders, and where we have so much student insecurity, and real difficulty in financing a model that is much more financed by public money than anywhere else in the world, in order to meet international competition … If we don’t solve these structural problems, we will be lying to ourselves. We need a systemic transformation of our universities.”

He was speaking on video at the university presidents’ event le Congrès de la Conférence des présidents d'universités on 13 January. Macron added that it was time to reform the system because as a result of its low costs, students sign up and then drop out very easily and frequently throughout the year.
Full report on The Connexion site