On May 20, Sylvie Retailleau was appointed Minister of Higher Education and Research. He holds government office for the first time. But who is the new ESR Minister?
Like her predecessor, Frédérique Vidal, she is a science-researcher. She first studied in preparatory classes near Nice, where she comes from. She then joined the EEA (Electronics, Electrical and Automation) Department of ENS Cachan at the University of Paris-Saclay. She graduated in the aggregation of physical sciences, and in 1992 received a doctorate in science from the University of Paris-Sud. The university of which she has been president since 2020.
President of the two-tier and competitive university
Since 2020, UPS has had the first, selective route, which consists of demanding two-level licenses, and the second, the Paris-Saclay University School, open to all graduates. Licenses open to all were also handed in in the supplements of the university in the suburbs of Paris, while the students of the first path of excellence remained on the Saclay plateau.
The will was expected: to ensure as soon as possible that the facility developed in the international rankings by selecting students. It is equally good to imagine that this project is also a test that could lead to future legislation and highlight the struggle for a university of excellence and intensive research.
Project initiated by Sylvie Retailleau in full compliance with the Research Programming Act. In addition, during a hearing in the Senate on 28 April 2022, she declared that the LPR was a “good start” for reinvestment, but that “the pace and duration must definitely be reconsidered” and that measures should be “strengthened” to allow France to “catch up.”
Did he see worse?
His vision for the ESR is fully in line with the reforms undertaken by previous governments. It is urgent for her to “consolidate business education at all levels, from licensing. But we also need to develop our training to develop curiosity, risk perception and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing labor market. ”
For her, this means creating “ecosystems” of university sites close to industrial and commercial sites. This would make it possible to “respond to the huge skills challenge”.
In short: to create a two-speed university that adapts to the “labor market” by directly educating students instead of teaching them to respond to companies’ skills requirements.
As for the Renaissance promises regarding the ESR, the program remains vague, but the will remains confirmed: to continue the line of the last minister by creating and strengthening the LPPR. Sylvie Retailleau is an ideal choice for this purpose.
A shadow of student uncertainty
As for student uncertainty, Emmanuel Macron indicated that he wanted to embark “immediately” on the scholarship reform, which was supposed to have been the subject of the previous five-year period, but never succeeded.
“I want to overhaul the scholarship system and the APL because there are a lot of young people who, when they can no longer live with their parents, do not receive proper help,” he said. It is a difficult task, clearly insufficient, but still necessary, which Mrs Retailleau should be able to handle.
However, according to Saclay in combat students, this is far from the priority of our new minister. The students invited the university president on the occasion of the “Week of Innovative Regions in Europe” on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. In their forum you can read especially “What to say about student uncertainty, which devalues from the beginning The APL decided by the government? “.
Speeches and rhetoric are ubiquitous in the new government’s communication when it comes to education in general and the ESR in particular.
No exchange rate change
In short, we do not take the same, but start again. The course does not change and Sylvie Retailleau could sign the death sentence of the ESR over the next 5 years, as we have known him. As the organizations and unions, students and teachers would like: a public ESR, equipped with the means to match the mission to be carried out, free of charge, with the same offer throughout the territory, without the Excellency Research and Training Center. A university that serves the common good, not the interest of capital in the international race for technological innovation.
In addition, the master’s choice project for the master’s degree is still in preparation and Sylvie Retailleau will certainly be responsible for completing this project. Students can prepare for a busy social return.