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+7.8% For Higher Ed and Research Budget

René-Luc Bénichou

The 2008 budget for higher education and research should reach nearly €28 billion, increasing by 7.8 percent compared to 2007.

The €1.8 billion raise is distributed as follows:

- supporting university autonomy (+ €381 million),
- furthering students' success (+ €173 million),
- improving researchers' environment (+ €143 million),
- encouraging project-based research (+ €190 million),
- stimulating corporate research (+ €443 million),
- consolidating staff situation (+ €470 million).

Among the new measures, it is to be noticed that support payments for PhD projects will give right to tax reductions (for companies as well as for individuals).

Still about young researchers, at the beginning of the 2008 academic year, 90 percent of the 12,000 government funded PhD students will have teaching duties at university or consulting assignments for companies, and will earn a salary equal to 1.5 time the amount of the guaranteed minimum wage.

Last, the government plans to confirm the 100 extra postdoctoral positions opened in 2007, and to increase the number of postdoctoral fellows in research and higher education clusters.