French students press for grants

France's national student union says its members are ready to strike unless the government changes the funding system for students by June.

UNEF-IF president Pouria Amirshahi told the daily newspaper Liberation students could wait no longer for a grants system that would give them a choice between financial autonomy and staying at home with their parents.

Any such shake-up would mean altering the tax deductions offered to parents with offspring in higher education.

The creation of a special student status was promised by French president Jacques Chirac in his 1995 election campaign and taken up by Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin. Commitments to reform by two previous conservative education ministers never saw the light of day.

Education minister Claude All gre promised a parliamentary debate on reform before the summer break. The reform would include financial aid to students, transport reductions and rent allowances as well as better access to libraries and sport.

But Mr Amirshahi said: "If Claude All gre does not touch the tax set-up he won't touch anything at all. But I'd be surprised if a party which has lobbied for years for the reduction of inequalities in higher education through tax reform doesn't do it."

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Elly Walton illustration (16 July 2015)

Whether in jest or not, sexist language shows an insensitivity to gender issues at odds with academic values, argues Dorothy Bishop

  • Two men looking surprised in an office

Report says projects fail when scholars obsessed with “shiny things” ignore business needs

  • Tony Little, Eton College headmaster, 2007

Tony Little points to ‘increasing gap’ between teaching standards at sixth form and university

Sir Keith Burnett considers the challenges of introducing a teaching excellence framework