Pascale Kremer. Young people sign up for higher education solely for scholarship money, while officials turn a blind eye to those permanently absent from class. Is this a twisted way to buy social peace? The sociology exam started less than half an hour ago. In small groups of two or three, a continuous flood of students is leaving the University of Perpignan lecture hall n°4.
None of them answered any of the questions on the test. They only came in to sign the attendance sheet so that they could continue to be eligible for their scholarship. “We just sign and leave as quickly as possible," says one. "Here, we’re being paid to do nothing.”
All swagger and smiles, Ilyes, Ryan and Dylan are very straightforward about this strategy to make a living in times of crisis in this depressed region in the southwest France. “With our scholarship and some off-the-books work here and there, we can easily make 1,500 euros a month.”
Coming out next is a girl in a hurry, running on her high heels. “I have an appointment at the hairdresser, I can’t remember where exactly...” The next two blonde girls who come out of the lecture hall have signed up to take the nurses exam. “The preparatory course is really expensive,” one explains. Read more...