Distance studies: soon 100 new connected campuses

Giving remote rural youth the opportunity to pursue distance learning is the philosophy of connected campuses. A device experienced since the start, that the Minister of Higher Education intends to expand. While traveling Thursday in Nice, Frédérique Vidal should, according to our information, announce an envelope of 25 million additional euros.

If the sum may seem derisory in light of the budget allocated to higher education (25.1 billion euros), it will still move from thirteen campuses connected to one hundred. "2000 additional students will benefit," said the minister's entourage. The call for projects should be launched by the end of the year. All cities can be candidates, says one.

"I did not want to get away from my family"

In Nevers, one of the pilot municipalities, the news is applauded. Nineteen students benefit from distance learning courses. Jules is registered in psychology in Clermont-Ferrand, Louise in AES (economic and social administration) in Besançon, Léa in a bachelor's degree in Lyon. "Here, so far, the only university course possible was the license of law offered by a branch of the university of Dijon," says Virginie Gonzalez, who has put in brackets his career as assistant principal to coordinate the project . From now on, thirty formations are possible.

Lea was not particularly interested in the law but, for want of an alternative, was registered there. After a license obtained last year, she wanted to branch off to a business school. "From a financial point of view, distance learning was a necessity for me. And then, I did not want to get away from my family or my spouse, "says the 21-year-old.

In a start-up incubator

If students on the connected campus did not need to leave their small town, they do not work alone at home in front of a computer. They benefit from a space of 140 m2, made available by the agglomeration in the heart of a start-up incubator. Rooms in which every week spend their tutors, professors in higher education. In return, the State undertakes to pay a grant of 50,000 euros to the community and 100 euros per student for three years.

So, no need to set foot in an amphitheater? Not really, since the 19 students Nivernais will have to move to pass their partial. For its part, the Ministry recalls that "in the long term, the aim is for these young people to be able to finish their studies at a higher education institution". In Nevers, we hope above all finally to reverse a trend peculiar to remote rural areas: according to INSEE, only 38.7% of 18-24 year olds in the Burgundy city are in school, compared to 52.4% nationally.

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