28 December, 2012

The beginning of 2013 will be difficult for the Angers university

One of the most delicate issues Angers city will have to deal in 2013 is the difficult situation of its university. After the closure of Technicolor, formerly Thomson, a flagship company of the town located there in the sixties, the university is another symbol of the weakness of Angers. That one, formerly called the "Western Athens" has still an important number of students. Almost 20 000 Angers inhabitants are students when the overall population of Angers is 150 000 persons.

The problem is financial. Recently the university chairman, Jean-Paul Saint-André complained that the allocation given by the state was not sufficient to finance the expenses. In 2010, out of a total of 136 millions €, 125 millions were dedicated to operating expenses (wages included) and 11 to capital expenditures. In 2012, the endowment of the state (among others resources) was 110 millions € when 115 millions were needed. "We have already reduced expenses and save up money", notices Mr Saint-André, aware of "the economic situation of the country".

The chairman has pointed out that the university board could decide a temporary administrative closure. The trade unions of the university employees warned that "the winter could be hot". Those two sides could easily convince the students to demonstrate in the streets. The Angers university looks victim of its success : from 15 500 students ten years ago, it counts up now about 20 000 students, an increase of 30%. About 28% of them are in literature, languages and social studies, 15% in law and economy, then medecine and sciences (11% each).

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