24 November 2023

Allow all students, wherever they are in the territory, to benefit from a moderate price catering offer: Parliament validated a device to this effect on Wednesday April 5, by a final vote of the Senate. The text from Senator Pierre-Antoine Levi (Centrist Union), adopted at first reading by the senators almost two years ago, had been modified by the deputies.

“There are flaws”, agreed its author, who nevertheless wanted the text to be adopted without further modification, with the aim that it be applicable from the start of the next school year. The vote was acquired by 267 votes for; 77 senators abstained. “Favorable” upon its adoption, the Minister for Higher Education, Sylvie Retailleau, noted that the bill “raises questions about its implementation”. “My services are currently fully mobilized to make it operational (…) and for it to come into force as soon as possible, and if possible at the start of the school year.she added.

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The text states that, “in each territory, students can benefit from a moderately priced catering offer near their place of study”. This offer can be offered in classic university restaurants, managed by the Crous (regional centers for university and school works), or, in the absence of a university restaurant, by structures, public or private, approved by this same network.

A measure at 250 million euros

In the “white areas”away from any moderately priced catering offer, students will be able to benefit from a ” financial aid “. This so that they can “to pay in whole or in part the price of a meal consumed or purchased” with a contracted body in their territory. This last point was introduced by the National Assembly, instead of Mr. Levi’s initial idea of ​​creating a “student meal ticket”.

The current price of a meal at the Crous for non-scholarship holders is 3.30 euros. The precise terms of the system adopted, the cost of which is estimated at 250 million euros, specified the senator, will have to be defined by decree. For its rapporteur, Jean Hingray (centrist), the text “simply responds to student precariousness and also to a principle of universality”.

“The blur still surrounds the device”regretted the socialist Sabine Van Heghe, fearing “inefficiency”, due to its complexity. Pierre Ouzoulias (from the CRCE group, mostly communist) insisted on the need to give the Crous network “the budgetary means to satisfy this new service”.

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The Crous network has some 800 points of sale on 700 sites. The territorial network does not cover certain places of study in medium-sized towns or in rural areas (relocated university branches, small schools, etc.). At the beginning of February, the Assembly had rejected by one vote a text from the Socialist deputies proposing access to meals at 1 euro for all students, a price now reserved for scholarship holders and precarious workers.

The World with AFP

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