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French Universities Respond to the Paris Attacks

Cécile Peltier, Céline Authemayou, Natacha Lefauconnier, Translated by Nina Fink, Isabelle Dautresme, Camille Stromboni
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French Universities Respond to the Paris Attacks

The terrorists who struck Paris on November 13th chose the youth as their target. In response to these attacks, EducPros spoke with different leaders in French higher education to find out how schools can help shape the future.

Anne Fraïsse, Paul-Valéry University

"Universities are there to teach tolerance and democracy, especially in the wake of these attacks. They are where students learn to unpack ideologies rather than blindly following them. Every class teaches critical thinking."

Jacques Ginestié, ESPE

"Professors need to think outside their disciplinary box. They have an active role to play. If they ignore the socio-economic situation of students who are different from them, then they have failed at their job."

Olivier Faron, Cnam

"Universities' social calling should be their top priority. Schools should focus on at-risk youth. We need to support all our students and help them integrate French society and learn French Republican values."

Universities are there to teach tolerance and democracy, especially in the wake of these attacks.

Michel Lussault, CSP

"Culture and education aren't panaceas but the more people we educate, the less they will be tempted by obscurantism. The more complex our society grows, the greater the need is for education. Our universities are too utilitarian. They focus too much on teaching professions rather than well-rounded knowledge."

William Martinet, Unef

"First we must grieve. Then we can reflect. We'll discuss jihadism, ISIS and French foreign policy. Nothing is worse than neutrality. We need debate. It's a good sign when you hear law students discuss constitutional reform after President Hollande's speech."

Pascale Ribon, Estaca

"Disciplines like sociology and geopolitics help guide students' thinking in this rapidly changing world. Students who earn technical degrees will have to manage employees from diverse backgrounds. They need to feel comfortable with cultural and religious differences. The Conférence Des Grandes Écoles is looking into this issue."

Frédéric Mion, Sciences po

"Our role is even more important given the increase in violence. We have peaceful weapons we can use to fight back: the educational values of open-mindedness, debate, tolerance, community and freedom of speech and freedom of expression. In times like these, these values take on their full meaning."

Read the article in French


Cécile Peltier, Céline Authemayou, Natacha Lefauconnier, Translated by Nina Fink, Isabelle Dautresme, Camille Stromboni | Publié le

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