After the pilot phase, four EPEs commit to becoming a Large Enterprise

Four of the 14 experimental public entities (EPEs) created since 2018 have voted Request to leave this practice in 2022 : CY Cergy, Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL), Grenoble Alpes University (UGA) and Côte d’Azur University (UCA). Others, such as Gustave-Eiffel University or Hauts-de-France Polytechnic University, have begun to think about this topic.

This practice was started four years ago, on the basis of the decree dated December 12, 2018. Experimental Public Entities (EPE). A new statute that allows “public or private institutions of higher education and scientific research to merge or merge,” on an “experimental basis.” So this text allowed for a retreat to the traditional rules governing universities and to combine universities and other structures known as “component institutions” within the same entity, which may retain their own legal entities.

After two years of existence, EPEs may choose to end the experimental nature of their charter. Choice made by UCA. “We believe that our structure is stabilized, vindicates UCA President Jeanic Brisswalter. We don’t want to change the structures that work again.” Likewise, Francois Germinet, president of CY Cergy, wants to “confirm charters that meet our expectations and get out of the uncomfortable state of experimentation.”

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Therefore, this experiment seems to be successful in Cergy (95) as well as in Nice (06). “Our project was to create a new form of university, recalls Jeanick Brisswalter, which we did through EPE: the UFRs disappeared and we created university research schools that strengthened the link between teaching, research and innovation, as well as education, research and innovation. of our structure. effect on the territory”.

We believe that our structure is stabilized. We don’t want to change the working structures again. (J. Brisswalter, UCA)

At Cergy, EPE’s flexibility was an opportunity”joining two private schools – The Practical School of Social Work and the Free Higher Institute of Physical Education – as component institutions and to create a very strong link with Essec”, François Germinet list. clear strength and excellence in our area, is very small compared to the universities of Paris or some provinces, the university president explains. Thus, EPE combines Cergy’s main strengths and builds a first-class university.”

By voting to opt out, EPEs undertake to adopt Large Entity status, demeaning those of universities and hitherto reserved for certain Grandes Ecoles and other public or private institutions. But the transition between the EPE and this new regime should not cause major upheavals: “After two years, the withdrawal from the practice is carried out on the condition that no fundamental changes are made to the statutes”, assures François Germinet.

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Some notable changes to the UCA are still under consideration: “The Masso-kinesitherapy training institute, which has been a component enterprise until now, will become an enterprise without the status of a legal entity.“, Jeanic Brisswalter, who considers this change as a “success”, says: “The profit for this structure is so much that it wants to be further integrated.”

After two years, withdrawal from the experiment is carried out on the condition that no substantial changes are made to the charter. (F. Germinet, CY University)

Another innovation: The Supreme National Dance Pole should become a new component structure of UCA. But the ambition for the two EPEs is clear: this future status is not a means of further lowering university regulations by raising registration fees or abolishing national diplomas.

Regardless, EPEs that require a test exit still have a few steps to go before they can officially become large enterprises. They should actually be the subject Evaluation by the High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (Hcéres).that their statutes are not fundamentally changed by voting, and then approved by the ministry.

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The finish line seems so close to some, for example, as the PSL of Hcécres already issued in July 2022, “unanimously positive opinion on demand […] Let it go“, judging that the “exploratory phase is clearly over” and that “keeping the experimental status is a brake, even an obstacle, for the development of the enterprise’s activities both nationally and internationally.”

At Grenoble Alpine University, the exit process continues as it did at Cergy : “We submitted the evaluation report in June 2022 and the visit to Hcéres took place at the end of September”, says Francois Germinet, who aims to obtain an exit decree in the spring of 2023. We await the report at UCA as well. evaluation of the enterprise with its output by the end of the year. “The Grand Institution for the University of Côte d’Azur will not come into effect before January 1, 2024,” concludes Jeanick Bisswalter.

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