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EDUCATION

French universities refuse to charge international students 16 times more

French university chiefs have said they will not charge non-EU students higher fees next year, when a new measure which means international students could pay up to 16 times more will come into force. *French language learner article.*

French universities refuse to charge international students 16 times more
Photo: Pierre Andrieu, AFP
*This is a French language learner article. The words in bold are translated into French at the bottom of the article.
 
At least four French universities have said that they will not apply a new measure which means non-EU students could pay much higher fees than other students from the start of the next school year.
 
This week, the universities of Clermont-Ferrand, Toulouse, Lyon and Rennes announced that they will not charge international students more.
 
“We can find the means elsewhere,” said Jim Walker, vice-president of the Lyon university Lyon 2 told FranceInfo.
 
“We've already heard from students who are worried about the future of their studies. Of course, no one is disputing the fact that we need more money. However, it seems a little paradoxical to apply this new measure precisely to the students we're trying to attract”.
 
When the measure was announced in November, student unions and university chiefs were up in arms, saying the new system was unfair.

“This new measure is closer to the Anglo-Saxon model which historically attracts a different population in its universities than ours,” Mathias Bernard, president of Clermont Auvergne (UCA) university told Le Figaro. “Most of our students come from the Francophone parts of the world [mainly in Africa] and those students are really going to be threatened by this”.

Universities that choose not to apply the hike won't be flouting the law. French universities are allowed to waive fees for up to 10 percent of their students.
 
 
 
French university fees for non-EU students set to rocket
 
 
 
At the moment in France a degree costs €170 per year while a masters costs €243 and a PhD costs €380 but once the change is introduced these fees will rise to €2,770 for a degree and €3,770 for the two higher qualifications.
 
For students outside of the EU, which would include Brits after Brexit, the fees are set to shoot up by as much as 16 times the current cost, up from €170 to €2,770 per year, a jump of 16 times the current fees, from autumn 2019.
 
That means, with Britain set to leave the EU in March 2019, British students who want to attend a university in France could be paying thousands of euros every year to do so.
 
French vocab to learn
 
Universities — universités
 
Students — étudiants

Fees — frais

Studies — études

Unions — syndicat

Law — loi

Degree — diplôme (general), diplôme or license (university level)

Qualifications — diplôme
 
 
 

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EDUCATION

Schools to close as French teachers strike over Covid rules

Around three-quarters of French teachers plan to go on strike onThursday to protest the government's shifting rules on Covid testing for students, forcing the closure of half the country's primary schools, a union said Tuesday.

Schools to close as French teachers strike over Covid rules
Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

The strike led by the Snuipp-FSU union, the largest among primary school teachers, comes after the latest of several changes on testing and isolation requirements for potential Covid cases announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex late Monday.

After seeing long lines of parents outside pharmacies and labs in recent days to test children in classes where a case was detected, Castex said home tests could now be used to determine if a student could return to school.

But teachers say class disruptions have become unmanageable with the spread of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.

“Students cannot learn properly because attendance varies wildly, and a hybrid of in-house and distance learning is impossible to put in place,” the Snuipp-FSU said, adding that absent teachers are not being replaced.

It is also demanding the government provide facemasks for staff, including the more protective FFP2 masks, and CO2 monitors to check if classrooms are sufficiently ventilated.

“Not only does the current protocol not protect students, staff or their families, it has completely disorganised schools,” the union said, claiming that classes have effectively been turned into “daycare centres.”

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has said the government is doing everything possible to avoid outright school closures that could cause havoc for parents and jeopardise learning for thousands, especially those in low-income families.

“I know there is a lot of fatigue, of anxiety… but you don’t go on strike against a virus,” Blanquer told BFM television on Tuesday.

As of Monday some 10,000 classes had been shut nationwide because of Covid cases, representing around two percent of all primary school classes, Blanquer said.

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