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Extra cash promised for university staff costs

The French government has promised universities an extra €14.5 million to cover staff costs.

Universities have complained for months that since they were given responsibility for their own budgets in 2007 the higher education budget has not provided them with enough money to pay employees.

Despite universities’ autonomy from the state, their staff are public sector workers. The extra cash is to be used by universities with a comparatively larger proportion of older—and higher paid—staff members.

In a statement published on 19 October, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research said that research minister Laurent Wauquiez had released extra funds to tackle the problem following talks with his predecessor, Valérie Pécresse, who is now finance minister.

The Conference of University Presidents, which has been working with Wauquiez to develop a solution to the problem, said in its own statement that it was pleased with the decision.

However, it added that it wanted to reconvene talks with the minister as soon as possible to further discuss the higher education budget.