Coronavirus: Emmanuel Macron Wants to “Do Everything” to Reopen Universities

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Emmanuel Macron wants to reopen university in France as soon as possible

EDUCATION: The “tutorial and half-lecture” university courses could resume face-to-face in January if the health situation allows it.

The government “will do everything to be able to start a little earlier in January, to reopen tutorials and half-lecture halls” in university education across France assured Emmanuel Macron, this Friday during an interview with Brut.

“We will try, touch wood, if the results are there (in terms of Covid-19 contamination), to start the return to university earlier and no doubt that we will try to resume more TD (tutorials) in person, and lectures in reduced numbers in the lecture halls, if the figures are good, at the beginning of January,” he said.

Target priority audiences

At the same time, the Prime Minister received the university community on Thursday afternoon to discuss the reopening of universities, initially scheduled for early February. “The discussions we had with Jean Castex go in the same direction as what the president said. There is a real desire to start resuming lessons gradually from the beginning of January, if the health situation allows it, ”Gilles Roussel, president of the Conference of University Presidents (CPU), told AFP.

READ MORE: Confinement: The mental health of students undermined

Starting next week, “we will work with the Ministry of Higher Education on a plan to resume activity at the beginning of January, gradually, by first targeting priority audiences, that is to say, the most fragile students at risk of dropping out on a massive scale, new baccalaureate graduates, foreign students and students with disabilities, ”continued Gilles Roussel.

Antigenic tests when universities reopen?

“Psychological support measures to strengthen the teams working with students” and “the establishment of antigenic tests” in the university as soon as they reopen, were also mentioned, specified the president of the CPU.

Last week, Emmanuel Macron announced that universities could resume classes at the beginning of February with a physical presence of all students, if the number of daily contaminations by Covid-19 in France remained below 5,000. Face-to-face classes in universities and grandes écoles were suspended at the end of October.

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