Patronage money: butter in spinach for higher education

Sciences Po has announced the launch of a € 100 million exercise, "the largest in its history". Sorbonne University and the University of Strasbourg have also done or are preparing to do the same in recent times. A highly developed process in the United States that will make it possible to finance new projects, additional scholarships ...


Sciences Po has announced the launch of a € 100 million exercise, "the largest in its history". Sorbonne University and the University of Strasbourg have also done or are preparing to do the same in recent times. A highly developed process in the United States that will make it possible to finance new projects, additional scholarships ...

Sorbonne University in June, Sciences Po this week, the University of Strasbourg in November ... More and more higher education institutions are launching large fundraising campaigns: a salutary "complementary" funding. "Our goal is to do faster and better than we already do with money from public authorities," says AFP Barthélémy Jobert, president of the Sorbonne University Foundation. "Training and research are expensive. The state will never give enough money. "

"Fund the operation of the university"

In June, the foundation launched a campaign for businesses and individuals - including former students - to raise 100 million euros in five years, presented as the largest in continental Europe. Monday, Sciences Po also said it wanted to raise 100 million by 2022. The University of Strasbourg, which was the first French university to launch such a campaign (22.5 million harvested in 2010-2014), starts a new operation in November, again for five years, with an objective higher than 20 million 2010. These campaigns are launched by the foundations, created by several institutions after the Pécresse law of 2007 on university autonomy.

"We can draw inspiration from American universities, which have very organized fundraising structures, this university model, which is home to autonomous faculties, is without a doubt an organization of the future, and a modern university must be interdisciplinary."

- Pierre Betelaud (@PBetelaud) June 13, 2018

The foundation of the University of Cergy-Pontoise, in the Paris region, raises each year around a million euros, mainly from companies (the university dates from only 1991 and must still develop its network of old) . An amount that is "complementary" to its annual budget (140 to 150 million euros), says Christel Beriot, who runs the foundation. "Public money is used to finance the running of the university. The patrons do not come to replace the public power but finance new projects, additional scholarships etc. She says. The speech is the same among representatives of other foundations. "It's not a system of communicating vessels , " says Barthélémy Jobert. "Patronage reinforces a university but does not diminish the public endowments, it is not a question of begging to fill a gap," says Jean Gagneux, of the foundation of Strasbourg.

US universities raise funds forever

"The French consider that the university must be financed by public finances, it is a culture different from the Anglo-Saxon world," notes Christel Bériot. If American universities have a system far removed from the European model and have raised private funds forever, the British universities embarked on fundraising just 20 years ago. They "showed that we could find a lot of money, with a beneficial effect for the image of universities" through communication campaigns around these projects, said Mr. Jobert. The latest Cambridge campaign, launched in late 2015, aims to raise 2 billion pounds (2.28 billion euros). Funding of chairs (research carried out for a few years on a specific theme, in connection with the donor company), scientific equipment, even renovations of buildings or scientific collections (the zoological collection of Pierre-et-Marie-Curie for example) ... Corporate sponsorship money is allocated according to the projects of each institution.

Individual donations are most often dedicated to funding scholarships for students, based on social and excellence criteria, in addition to Crous scholarships. In Strasbourg, calls for projects are launched within the university, the CNRS and university hospitals. "We have a very long-term vision , " which provides training and research excellence in 20 years, even if stagnation or decline in public money, says Jean Gagneux. With the law Pécresse, "some thought that the money from sponsorship would flow and allow the state to disengage," sighs Christophe Bonnet, union Sgen-CFDT. "This is far from being the case, sums remain marginal compared to university budgets. But we risk with this system to support the idea that the state can disengage little by little without harming the public service of higher education, "he regrets.

ref: ouestfr