France's ex-higher education minister leaves bitter legacy

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French higher education and research minister Geneviève Fioraso, who had been in the post since the election of President François Hollande in May 2012, resigned earlier this month citing health reasons. Her departure comes amid widespread disquiet among staff in universities and research institutes whose budgets have been bled by public spending cuts and ill-prepared reforms that began under the previous conservative administration. Mediapart education correspondent Lucie Delaporte analyses the deep malaise accentuated by Fioraso’s term in office, which many see as a missed opportunity for the socialist government.

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When Junior Minister for Higher Education and Research Geneviève Fioraso presented her resignation to President François Hollande earlier this month, hundreds of researchers, teachers and students were gathered in front of her Left Bank ministry buildings in a long-planned protest against the increasingly testing consequences of budget cuts.