French press review 31 October 2017


“The lottery is over,” reads Liberation’s front page. This is in reference to the government’s new plan for universities which was announced on Monday.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says that from next year a lottery for oversubscribed courses will be axed and universities will be allowed to give academic requirements for a course.

Critics say the lottery system is deeply unfair to young people who work hard and who miss out on a chance to study their preferred subject under this system.

A poll published last week suggested that two-thirds of French people back some form of academic selection for university places.

Monday’s funding announcement brings to nearly one billion euros the amount President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to spend on higher education over his term.

Libération carries an editorial on the same issue pointing out that it is a tightrope exercise.

Solar school

The paper also has a feature on a “solar school” in Sierra Leone. It reports on the initiative undertaken by the NGO Oxfam to instal solar panels in the most remote schools in the country.

It describes a solar farm project in Koidu in the district of Kono, on the border with Guinea. In 2014 Oxfam set up a pilot project for access to solar energy.

It has since financed the installation of photovoltaic panels in 12 schools, out of 700 in the district.

It cites the example of a school in Sewafe village which is not connected to the power grid. This school gets electricity thanks to 46 solar panels.

Le Monde carries a summary of the saga of the indictment relating to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

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