Students Protest Throughout France
Student protests at several universities throughout France have caused the universities to postpone the final exams for many students. The student protests were most notable in Paris, Rennes, Nanterre and Marseilles. In a few locations, student protesters clashed with the police as the police tried to remove them from completely blocking off the various campuses where the protest were occurring.
Although the protests by the students are causing a lot of headaches, and many students just want to take their finals and be done, university officials are assuring the students and the authorities that all exams will be scheduled. All students who want to take the finals will be able to do so.
The protests among students has been occurring to a more limited extent throughout the year. Sit in actions have taken place in a number of locations. The reason that the students are protesting is due to new admission requirement announced by the French government.
Right now, any student in France who obtains their high school diploma is eligible to attend a French university. Those who attend university are only charged a small amount for the entire degree course.
French universities are severely overcrowded due to the fact that the high school graduation rate is 80 percent. These students are going to college, and the government is footing most of the bill, but a large percentage are dropping out before they complete a substantial part of the degree program.
The government plans to introduce selective admission to French universities. The number of university spaces will be limited to reduce class size. Only those students with the best grades will be able to attend.
By implementing the selective admission requirements, the government hopes that it will save money as a result of not having to spend money for the fees of those who will not complete the program.
Critics of the government's agenda claim that the true intent is to end free university education in France. However, the government has not mentioned that this is the goal of the program.
In 1968, large student protests throughout France helped to destabilize the government and led to the resignation of President De Gaulle. The current protests are nowhere near that scale, and President Macron's position appears to be in no jeopardy.
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