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Covid-19: the return to university, a challenge for the executive



As the Delta variant progresses, clouds accumulate above the start of the academic year. The limitations on reception capacities were lifted on 1er July and the objective remains that of a recovery “100% face-to-face”. But, as the Minister of Higher Education recognized on July 9, “The crisis is not behind us”. The risk of epidemic resumption constitutes a “Challenge” which requires“Arm the establishments” and D’“Anticipate all scenarios”.

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“The establishments will be able to freely organize their lessons in person or remotely throughout the next year, according to their educational strategy. The ministry recommends however to maintain as much as possible the lessons present, in particular for the tutorials ”, can we read in his press kit.

Vaccination, a sine qua non

To avoid having another dotted academic year, the government has just launched a campaign to convince students to get vaccinated. According to Public Health France, 71% of students are engaged in the vaccination process… or plan to do so, against around 50% for all 18-24 year olds. Insufficient momentum, insists Frédérique Vidal. To speed up, mobile teams will be deployed in establishments to facilitate vaccination, as has already been tested. ” with success “ at CY Cergy Paris university (Val-d’Oise).

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“If the vaccination is not there in the first weeks after the start of the school year, we will take the necessary measures”, including the reintroduction of gauges, warned the minister. At this stage, she refuses to comment on the advisability of reserving access to institutions to vaccinated students as decided by some American universities.

The question of international students

The health situation also questions the reception of international students. Those coming from orange countries (active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions, without diffusion of worrying variants) will be able to come to France – the studies are considered for them as a compelling reason – by carrying out a PCR test on arrival and getting vaccinated if they have not yet completed their vaccination cycle. Students from countries classified as “red” cannot, for the moment, go to their host institution in France.

To take into account the difficulties encountered by students since the appearance of the Covid, the Minister also announced the maintenance of several systems. The hiring of 80 psychologists in university health services will be made sustainable. Tutoring (3.6 million hours since January) will be renewed. Likewise, scholarship students will continue to benefit from a € 1 restaurant U ticket.

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