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Image: Jaques Paquier [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Higher education may only figure as a culture-wars battleground in the presidential election

While school teachers have been on strike in France, higher education and research are only tangentially on the agenda in the build-up to the French presidential election.

A fortnight ago, educators took to the streets in France in protest at the government’s Covid testing and isolation protocols, which they said were severely disrupting classes. This further raised schooling up the agenda for presidential hopefuls ahead of the first round of voting, scheduled for 10 April. Whether the same will happen for higher education and research remains to be seen. Certainly, the current government’s controversial research planning act (LPPR), as well as the past projects of Emmanuel Macron’s right-wing Republican challenger, Valérie Pécresse, who was higher education minister under former president Nicolas Sarkozy, make that possible.

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