Student life, a rising cost, falling aid

€ 247. This is the average increase in the cost of student living over the last school year, according to the 17e annual survey of the student union Unef. A figure calculated from nearly 20 indicators ranging from school fees to housing, including food, medical care and equipment.

This year, the union points to the revealing effect of the health crisis on the extent of student insecurity. With the temporary disappearance of small jobs, associations and food aid centers have seen their queues fill up with young people. L’Unef also protests against the announced end, at the start of the school year, “One euro meal for all students”, introduced last January to fight against the food insecurity of young people.

Declining direct aid

At the same time, the union notes that students have seen their aid drop by 40 € per year since the start of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term in 2017. His government has invested six times less in direct aid to students than under François Hollande, who had notably increased the number of scholarship holders, and three times less than Nicolas Sarkozy, whose five-year term had been marked by the establishment of a tenth month of the scholarship.

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Figures qualified by Laurent Lafon, UDI senator and rapporteur for an information mission on the conditions of student life during the Covid. “We must not forget that the university welcomed 30,000 more students at the start of the 2020 academic year than in previous years. It is the equivalent of a faculty like Nanterre, reminds the parliamentarian. In truth, the financial effort was quantitative, to create places in the universities, and not qualitative, to improve the accompaniment and the financial aid of the students. “

Decrease in APL and lack of Crous housing

In detail, the biggest expense this year remains housing. A student spends an average of 550 € in his rent (with large disparities depending on the metropolis) or 7% more than in 2017. In this context, the Unef denounces the reform of the APL last January having generated, according to the union , “An average drop in APL of € 63 per month for scholarship holders”, as well as the stagnation in the number of Crous housing despite the increase in the number of students.

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According to the study, “Today only about 6.25% of students have access to social pricing housing”. In 2017, the government announced a plan to build 60,000 Crous housing units by the end of the five-year term. ” We are very far from that “, confirms Laurent Lafon, since only a third has been issued for the moment.

For the senator, the fight against precariousness should not go through the generalization of emergency measures or the increase of global aid,but by a “Work with local communities to better identify precarious young people and support them in a more individualized way”.


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