Carine Bernault, the new president of the University of Nantes - J. Urbach / 20 Minutes

  • In a context of health crisis, the university elected its new president on Wednesday.
  • "My first concern is that classes resume as usual," says Carine Bernault.

"There is nothing worse than a campus without a student!" This is however what the University of Nantes is experiencing, the doors of which have been closed since March 16, due to the coronavirus epidemic. Elected Wednesday at the head of the establishment of 38,000 students, Carine Bernault wants to believe that the situation will not be the same at the start of the school year, while uncertainty hangs over the methods for resuming classes, hitherto organized remotely as exams.

"We are working on a normal school year," says the 47-year-old law professor, who took over from Olivier Laboux. My first concern is that the courses as usual, see the students in the lecture halls, even if there are parameters that we do not control. The distance will not become a standard imposed on everyone. "

Enough to try to reassure part of the educational community who fears that the crisis will serve as an accelerator for distance courses, while the university is still preparing a plan B. A digital emergency plan providing for capture equipment video and student loan material has just been voted.

Student precariousness, university democracy…

Beyond a particular academic year, the new president will have other challenges to overcome during the next four years. In addition to putting the New University project back on track, she promises to tackle the problem of student precariousness, again exacerbated during the crisis. "We will create a house of solidarity on campus, a unique gateway where students can find all the assistance devices," announces Carine Bernault. Financial commitments will also be made. "

But after several years marked by social movements or student mobilizations, Carine Bernault also hopes to ease the climate that has sometimes been tense on the Nantes campus, between blockade and choice of the presidency to close the premises. "One of the levers is that of university democracy," said the former former vice-president. We have to make it happen, and not only during the elections. The political science professor Arnaud Leclercq was commissioned to make proposals in order to succeed in creating a real "university community".


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Coronavirus in Nantes: The university will remain closed until the next school year, exams will be done remotely

  • Covid 19
  • Coronavirus
  • Education
  • University
  • Nantes