Nevertheless, a more temperate piece by Le Monde's Nathalie Brafman also makes the point that the proposed Fioraso Law does not represent a break with the spirit of the Pécresse Law:
Le texte que défendra Geneviève Fioraso, la ministre de l'enseignement supérieur, ne revient pas sur l'autonomie des universités entérinée par la loi relative aux libertés et responsabilités des universités de l'ex-ministre Valérie Pécresse, votée en 2007. "Ce n'est pas une loi de rupture", a assumé le rapporteur de la loi, Vincent Feltesse (PS, Gironde).So it all comes down to what you think autonomy has accomplished. If you believe the Collectif, it has paradoxically made universities more dependent than ever on the ministry of education, shrunk their budgets, prohibited the replacement of retiring professors, and established "petty potentates" at the local level, wreaking havoc with the selection process and enforcing mediocrity.
These charges will likely get little hearing in the forthcoming debate, however, because the question of whether some courses will be taught in English (in order to improve French students' facility with the language) will monopolize the attention of the nation's representatives, even though fewer than 1% of courses are affected. This is one of those initiatives that, though well meant, probably won't accomplish much. Real competence in a foreign language takes more than sitting passively through a course or two taught in that language. But is the harm really so great? Why not try the experiment? Does this initiative really "sign the death warrant" of the language of Racine, as some critics (hysterically) claim? Asked and answered.