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University Reform: The Status of Young Researchers

René-Luc Bénichou

On July 9, 2007 Valérie Pécresse, the Minister of Higher Education and Research, began work on the status of young researchers and teaching research fellows.

The reform of higher education conducted by the new government will be carried out over a five-year period. The core of the reform is outlined in a bill designed to give universities newfound autonomy, but five other areas are also targeted for reform: student living conditions; university staff careers; the conditions under which university teaching and research missions are conducted; the status of young researchers and teaching research fellows; success in the bachelor's degree.

The reform of young researchers' status is organized around two areas of focus: first, to ensure that their working conditions provide them with the necessary independence and support, and secondly, to ensure better recognition of young researchers' merits so as to open new career perspectives for them. The High Council on Research and Technology has been asked to submit a report on the subject. Deliberation will also be enhanced by a report on the doctoral schools, which is to be published soon by the National Education and Research Inspectorate General.

Further information is available on the "nouvelle université" website brought online last July 4 by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research to help the public comprehend and monitor each stage of university reform.