“The conditions for the preparation and adoption of the research programming bill are unworthy of the reform we need”

Tribune. Worried about the future of French higher education and research, we, members of the scientific community, judge the content as the conditions for preparing and adopting the research programming bill unworthy of the reform which French public education and research desperately needs.

The measures adopted seriously undermine the republican principles on which the French university was built and profoundly degrade the conditions for the production, dissemination and teaching of scientific knowledge. For months, we have been denouncing the project of increased contractualization of recruitments via the creation of “CDI scientific missions” and “chairs of junior professors”, which will reinforce the precarious situation in which young researchers already find themselves, and development of funding through calls for projects, which will weaken the material conditions for scientific research.

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Chronic underfunding

We have also shown the greatest disbelief as to the budgetary programming, insufficient to put an end to the chronic underfunding of French higher education and research, and insincere, because it depends on the political priorities of the next governments.

Added to this is the frontal attack carried by two last-minute senatorial amendments kept by the joint joint commission (CMP) against the national statute of teacher-researchers and university franchises.

In contradiction with the minister’s promises, the Prime Minister removed, with the agreement of the government, the requirement for qualification by the National Council of Universities (CNU) of mistresses and lecturers to access the body of professors of universities and allowed, on an experimental basis, to locally recruit lecturers not qualified by the CNU. The national status of teacher-researchers, of which the CNU is today the guarantor, nevertheless constitutes a pledge of their independence, of the quality and the unity of the public service of higher education and research, and a guard – crazy against localism and its excesses.

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The second amendment, aggravated by the CMP, creates an offense of obstruction sanctioning the fact of entering the university to “disturb the tranquility or good order of the establishment”, which poses a threat to the exercise of freedoms fundamental expression and manifestation in the university context. These two provisions, unrelated to a budget programming law, are fundamentally serious. They were also adopted without consultation or real parliamentary debate by some senators at a late hour of the night. The National Assembly itself was denied any possibility of discussing these measures and proposing amendments, the government having not given its agreement.

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