Feb 07 2009

French Universities are on a Permanent Strike

Category: Newsjonnyj @ 12:04 pm

The French system of universities is public, with teachings and research of high quality. It has always enjoyed independence, liberty and recognition. But, within the past few months, the government has decided, brutally and without any concertation, to end this system and replace it by some sort of marketplace model of research where arbitrary decisions and instability prevail.

  • The previous statute of the academics has ended and their teaching duties are now decided on face value.
  • Permanent positions are being cut dramatically and being replaced by temporary, insecure and dependent positions.
  • PhD students can now be fired without any justification during the first six months of their PhD, and are now made available to private industries without any recognition of their rights.
  • The training of teachers is in distress.
  • Universities are autonomous (but in fact, they compete with each other under a reinforced government control) and without sufficient funding, they will soon have to put in place tuition fees and put themselves under the influence of local funding sources.
  • The CNRS is suppressed and changed into a funding agency managed by technocrats.
  • Academic researches are evaluated by inadequate and inept “quantitative means” rejected by all scholar societies.

We, academics and researches from all around the world, assert that these decisions are bureaucratic, financially motivated and dangerous. Similar decisions were or are imposed in other institutions of many countries. As such, we support the French academics in their fight. If, the education and the research of the country of the Encyclopédie, of Voltaire and Rousseau, and of the Declaration of Human Rights, are now reduced to market laws and under the influence of the political powers, then it is the freedom of the whole world that is under threat.

The powers that are imposing this new deal are organizing themselves. To defend our common values, we need to organize ourselves better and in greater number. Therefore, we call for all academics of all political sides, of all beliefs and of all creeds to join to oppose these changes that no humanist scientists of any time ever supported.


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