Jean-Monnet University: support of €2.1 million from Saint-Etienne Métropole

Established over three years, the new agreement linking Saint-Etienne Métropole to the Jean-Monnet University (UJM) of Saint-Etienne, carries three strategic axes concentrated around a single objective: to increase the number of students in the territory to 40,000 in 2035, and to establish Saint-Etienne as a stronghold in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and beyond. ‘Higher Education.

Currently, the student population amounts to 28,500, spread over five campuses, including the major within the UJM (70%) which had 17,000 students in 2014.

By contributing €2.1 million (i.e. €700,000 per year between 2022 and 2024) to the university’s development plan with an overall budget of €14.3 million, the city of Saint-Etienne wishes to push even further the cursor.

I am aware of how lucky we are to have a diversity of multidisciplinary schools in the territory. This is a chance for our youth and for those who would not necessarily have the means to manage the costs associated with their studies if they had to go and study elsewhere. It is because there is everything you need here that we have decided to devote a non-negligible part of our investment budget to the university”, abounds Gaël Perdriau, president of Saint-Etienne Métropole. “A strong university is a strong metropolis and vice versa”added during the presentation of the project, Stéphane Riou, vice-president of Jean-Monnet University alongside Florent Pigeon, president of UJM and Christophe Faverjon, vice-president of SEM in charge of Education superior.

The development of the UJM relates on the one hand to the fact of establishing the institution at the national and international level by promoting aid for research projects “high potential” in the fields of AI (Artificial Intelligence) surface photonics, sports and health by supporting advances in cancer, particularly through the Présage Institute and more generally the Santé Innovation campus.

This support also includes the transformation of the UJM via the creation of graduate schools (or specialized schools) like the school of economics, announced in autumn 2021 and which will be launched at the start of the 2022 academic year.

The Arts Institute (Arts, research, territories, knowledge), two schools specializing in sport, health performance and AI surface photonics, will be developed as well as the Lab of campus, dedicated to democratizing scientific culture among the general public. An action in addition to that of the university for all, which will be relaunched in September 2022. “We are pushing these ultra-specialized training courses because we are convinced that they will provide access to the jobs of tomorrow”.

Finally, the last and third axis intends to strengthen the attractiveness of the territory through the multiplication of international collaborations (conferences for example), exchanges between teachers and researchers, and support for student mobility as well as to reduce the divide digital. “It’s a real subject. The students of Saint-Etienne are still too under-equipped in equipment”, enlightened the president of the UJM. New mechanisms to facilitate the arrival of new international researchers and their families (today about thirty are welcomed) on the territory will be created.

A university still too under-funded by the State

The budget of the Jean-Monnet University of Saint-Etienne is made up for its operation of €112 million in allocations for public provision expenses paid by the State, €25 million in own resources (through revenue from the alternation, for example).

The part reserved for investment amounts to between 3 and 4 M€ for this academic year 2022-2023. An unknown still remains in the equation: the amount allocated to Jean-Monnet University under the next State-Region Plan Contract, the last of which ended at the end of 2020.

An original format

This agreement is not the first forged between Jean-Monnet University and Saint-Etienne Métropole. The latter already contributes €15 million to the university budget, but this agreement remains original in its format, explained the elected officials, by the collaborative work carried out to establish it, the precision of its methods and its durability in the weather.

The latter are also asking the State to strengthen its support for the University of Saint-Etienne. “Our budget remains stable, but we expect even more commitment from the State. Today, there is a shortfall of at least €2,000 per student, i.e. €40 million in total annual funding. This is not not normal. We wish to be treated like other universities, and that this deficiency is corrected”.

The average expenditure for a higher education student from Saint-Etienne is €5,520 when the national average is €11,530 (higher education education expenditure 2019) according to the report available on the website of the Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research.

Noemie Coquet

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Jean-Monnet University: support of €2.1 million from Saint-Etienne Métropole

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