Pour en finir avec la précarité dans l’Enseignement supérieur et la Recherche

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Pour en finir avec la précarité dans l’Enseignement supérieur et la Recherche

Nous publions ci-dessous les résultats d’une enquête, menée en 2018 en France, sur les conditions de travail et de vie des précaires de l’ESR.
Ces résultats sont aussi édifiants que révoltants, intolérables ! Mais il faut aussi lire avec attention, en fin de billet, les 10 revendications portées par le collectif qui a mené l’enquête. Ces revendications sont autant de propositions alternatives au “tout marché” de l’ESR, auxquelles l’Internationale des Savoirs pour Tous apporte évidemment son plus fervent soutien.

La Rédaction du blog

INVENTAIRE DE LA PRECARITE
des enseignant·es et chercheur·es
dans l’enseignement supérieur et la recherche

Désengagement de l’État, autonomie budgétaire des universités, financement de la recherche sur projet… Quelles conséquences pour les doctorant·es et les docteur·es sans poste ? Le Collectif des travailleur·es précaires de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche (ESR) fait l’inventaire de la précarité des enseignant·es et chercheur·es.

Quelles étaient les conditions d’emploi et de travail des doctorant·es et des docteur·es sans poste en 2018 ? Quelles sont les conséquences de la précarité sur la qualité de vie et la santé des personnels ? Les résultats de cet inventaire sont alarmants.

1021 réponses ont été recueillies via internet entre le 9 janvier et le 15 juin 2018. L’annonce de ce questionnaire avait été diffusée sur des listes professionnelles et syndicales. Les réponses proviennent de toute la France. Elles concernent principalement les sciences humaines et sociales et, secondairement, le droit et les sciences naturelles. Chaque réponse correspond à un emploi occupé sur la période 2014‐2018. Une même personne a pu signaler plusieurs emplois.

Le questionnaire comprenait 4 sections : caractéristiques de l'emploi, caractéristiques de l'employeur, conditions de travail et expériences de la précarité.

Les emplois signalés sont majoritairement des vacations d'enseignement (31 %), des contrats à durée déterminée (CDD) de recherche (27 %), des contrats doctoraux (16 %), des postes d’attaché temporaire d’enseignement et de recherche (ATER) (15 %) et des contrats d’enseignement qui ne sont plus encadrés au niveau national depuis la loi LRU de 2007 (7%).

Cet inventaire intervient dans un contexte de financement de la recherche par projet. Les principaux financeurs des contrats de recherche signalés sont l'Agence Nationale de la Recherche (29 %), l'Union Européenne (14 %), les établissements publics hors recherche (8 %), les universités, les ministères, les collectivités territoriales et les laboratoires de recherche (7 % chacun).

Un accès difficile à l'emploi, même lorsqu'il est précaire

Pour près de la moitié des emplois signalés, l’offre d’emploi n’a pas fait l’objet d’une diffusion publique. Les personnes ont alors pris connaissance de l’offre par le « bouche à oreille » (35 %) ou en étant directement contactées par l’employeur (11 %).

L’accès à l’emploi est particulièrement difficile pour les docteur·es sans poste qui ne remplissent plus les critères d’âge maximum pour les contrats postdoctoraux. Ils/elles doivent aussi justifier d’un emploi principal pour accéder aux vacations d’enseignement (imposé par la loi dans la fonction publique). Par ailleurs de plus en plus d’établissements imposent le statut d’auto- ‐entrepreneur en lieu et place d’un véritable contrat de travail.

Des fiches de postes incomplètes voire absentes

Une fiche de poste doit mentionner la durée du contrat, sa date de début, la rémunération et les missions. Celle- ‐ci est nécessaire à la bonne information des candidat·es sur l’emploi auquel ils et elles postulent. Or la moitié (46 %) des offres d’emploi recensées n’a pas fait l’objet d’une fiche de poste. Ce chiffre est particulièrement élevé pour les vacations d’enseignement (75 %) alors même que les missions confiées aux vacataires varient fortement d’une faculté à l’autre.

 

L’offre d'emploi a-t-elle fait l’objet d'une fiche de poste ?
  Oui Non NSP Total
Vacataire enseignement 6,1 74,8 19,1 100,0
Enseignant-e contractuel-le 44,3 44,3 11,4 100,0
Doctorant·e contractuel·le 22,6 48,2 29,3 100,0
Contractuel.le recherche 57,0 30,0 13,0 100,0
ATER 70,9 17,9 11,3 100,0
Vacation administrative 50,0 42,9 7,1 100,0

Champ : les 1021 emplois signalés dans le cadre de l’inventaire.
Source : Collectif des travailleur.es précaires de l'ESR, 2018.

Un emploi, plusieurs contrats

Seule la moitié des emplois signalés (52 %) ont fait l’objet d’un seul contrat. Les autres ont soit fait l’objet d’aucun contrat (8 %) soit d’au moins deux CDD (40 %). La moyenne pour un emploi de contractuel·le de recherche est de signer deux CDD. Un quart des emplois de contractuel·le de recherche signalés ont fait l’objet de trois CDD.

« Pour un postdoc de 12 mois, on m’a fait signer 4 contrats de 3 mois. »

Des salaires rabotés

Pour un même type de CDD, on observe de grandes disparités de rémunération d’un établissement à l’autre. S’agissant des contrats d’enseignant·e « LRU » (aussi appelés postes de « MCF contractuel·le »), les rémunérations pour les titulaires d’un doctorat varient de 820 à 1980 € pour 192 heures/an et de 1460 à 1980 € pour 384 heures/an. Concernant les contrats de recherche, la rémunération peut varier de 1500 à 2800 €.

Le rabotage de salaire touche aussi des contrats qui sont pourtant encadrés au niveau national. Les missions d’ensei- gnement dans le cadre du contrat doctoral sont remplacées par des vacations, moins rémunératrices, n’ouvrant pas de droits au chômage et sans cotisation pour la retraite. Les postes d’ATER de 12 mois sont réduits à 10, 8 ou 6 mois, ce qui réduit surtout le temps pour la recherche et les congés.

Il existe donc une marge de négociation du salaire et du temps de travail. Pour 14 % des contrats de recherche et 12 % des contrats d’enseignement le salaire a fait l’objet d’une négociation à la hausse avec l’employeur.

« On m’a mis la pression quand j’ai essayé de négocier mon salaire. On m’a fait comprendre que si les conditions ne me convenaient pas, on trouverait facilement quelqu’un d'autre. »

Lutter pour être payé·e

La rémunération des vacataires d’en- seignement nécessite de longs échanges avec des administrations elles- ‐mêmes précarisées. Les vacataires apprennent parfois en cours de semestre qu’ils/elles ne remplissent pas les critères pour être payé·es. En l’absence de mensualisation, la paye est souvent perçue plusieurs mois après le travail effectué. Cela génère des problèmes lors de l’actualisation mensuelle des heures travaillées auprès du Pôle Emploi et peut bloquer le versement des allocations.

« Les vacataires sont des bouche- ‐trous. On me sollicite chaque année deux semaines avant le début du semestre pour assurer un nouveau cours. On me fait comprendre que je ne suis pas en position de refuser si je veux continuer à avoir des heures. »

La pression des titulaires

Les enseignant·es- ‐chercheur·es titulaires se montrent parfois abusifs dans leurs pratiques d’encadrement des non- titulaires. Un quart des contractuel·les de recherche (24 %) et un tiers des vacataires d’enseignement (30 %) ont effectué durant leur mission des tâches qui n’étaient pas initialement prévues : heures supplémen- taires non- ‐rémunérées, surveillance d’examens, correction de copies, suivi de mémoires etc. Ces « extras » sont souvent présentés comme étant « bons pour le CV », alors qu’ils sont la condition renouvellement de contrat.

« Je suis vacataire d’enseignement et, selon mes calculs, ma rémunération est de 3 euros de l'heure réellement travaillée. Les photocopies sont à mes frais. Cerise sur le gâteau : je dois surveiller un amphi d'examen sans rémunération supplémentaire. Curieux quand on est soi- ‐disant payé à l'heure de présence ! »

Mettre de l’argent de sa poche

Un contrat sur deux implique des avances de frais. Un contrat sur trois implique des frais non pris en charge : titres de transport, outils de travail, dépenses liées à l’activité de recherche, etc.

Des infrastructures défaillantes

Souvent les enseignant·es et chercheur·es non- ‐titulaires n’ont pas accès à des infrastructures pourtant essentielles au bon exercice de leurs missions : les codes et les badges pour accéder aux locaux et aux salles de cours, une adresse e- ‐mail professionnelle, les cartes de bibliothèque et de cantine, un bureau pour travailler, un casier pour entreposer des copies, une photocopieuse pour préparer les supports de cours, un accès au parking ou aux installations sportives de l’établissement. À ces problèmes s’ajoutent les problèmes structurels de l’université : pannes de chauffage, insalubrité des locaux, pénurie de salles, matériel informatique défaillant...

L’élitisme ne protège pas de la précarité

La réduction des budgets de l’ESR ne suffit pas à expliquer la précarité. Les établissements les mieux dotés sont parfois ceux qui ont les pires pratiques en tant qu’employeurs. Plus de la moitié (53 %) des contrats conclus en tant qu’auto- entrepreneurs le sont au sein de « Grandes Écoles » de commerce ou d’ingénieur. Le non- ‐respect des conditions de rémunération initialement annoncées y est aussi plus courant dans les Grandes Écoles : 18 % contre 13 % à l’université et 10 % dans les Établissements publics à caractère scientifiques et technologique (EPST) type CNRS ou Inserm.

« Après 10 ans en tant qu’enseignante de langue dans une grande école, je n'ai jamais signé de contrat ni reçu de bulletin de paye ; je suis obligée de maintenir un statut d'auto- entrepreneure ; et je suis payée avec 2 mois de retard par rapport au travail effectué. »

Cumuler les emplois précaires

Les enseignant·es et chercheur·es non- titulaires complètent souvent leur emploi dans l’ESR par d’autres emplois précaires dans d’autres secteurs, comme les associations, les institutions culturel- les (gardien·ne de musée), l’éducation na- tionale (assistant·e d’éducation), les entre- prises (manutention, nettoyage) ou l’auto- entreprise (cours particuliers, travail du sexe).

Une vie en surmenage

Ces conditions d’emploi et de travail affectent la qualité de vie des personnels :

  • Déménagements fréquents
  • Temps de transport importants
  • Manque de temps pour soi et pour ses proches
  • Absence de protection sociale (ex : les vacations n’ouvrent pas de droit au chômage et à la retraite)
  • Instabilité, énervement, découragement

« Le surmenage est encouragé, c'est une règle tacite. On te dit de ne pas compter tes heures. Cela m'a mené à un épuisement physique et psychologique proche du burn- ‐out, dès ma deuxième année de thèse. »

Souffrir de problèmes de santé

En lien avec ces situations, les problèmes de santé les plus fréquemment cités sont :

  • Anxiété, fatigue chronique
  • Baisse de l’estime de soi
  • Détresse, solitude
  • Vertiges, baisses de tension
  • Dépendances (tabac, alcool, médicaments)
  • Maux de dos (blocages, contractures, lumbagos, névralgies)
  • Burn-out

« La précarité use mentalement et physiquement. Une partie de l'esprit est en permanence préoccupée par le devenir professionnel. »

S’endetter auprès de ses proches

La précarité conduit enfin à l’endettement. 46 % des répondant·es ont emprunté de l’argent au cours des quatre dernières années. Parmi elles et eux, 86 % ont emprunté de l’argent à des membres de leur famille (conjoint·es, parents, grands- parents, sœurs, frères, etc.), 16 % à la banque et 2 % à des services sociaux (fonds d’urgence des établissements, assurance maladie, assistance sociale).

« J'en ai marre d'être une petite junior à vie, à trente ans passés et après dix ans d'études ! »

Que faire contre la précarité ?

Nous interpellons la Ministre de l’ESR, les présidences d’établissement et les collègues enseignant·es et chercheur·es titulaires sur la base de la plateforme de revendications que nous avons adoptée le 29 mai 2016 lors de nos premières Rencontres Nationales :

1. Titularisation de tous les personnels travaillant sur des fonctions pérennes.

2. Création massive et financement public de contrats doctoraux et de postes d’enseignant·e- ‐chercheur·e titulaires.

3. Audit public sur l’état de la précarité dans l’ESR.

4. Mensualisation du paiement des vacations et respect du droit du travail.

5. Fin du travail gratuit et rémunération de tout travail effectué dans l’ESR.

6. Exonération des frais d’inscription pour tou·tes les doctorant·es en tant que travailleur·es de l’université.

7. Transparence dans l’attribution des postes et des financements.

8. Allongement de la durée de rattachement des docteur·es sans poste à leur laboratoire, avec accès aux locaux et aux financements au même titre que les titulaires.

9. Abrogation des critères de nationalité dans l’accès aux études, aux financements et aux postes.

10. Plan national de lutte contre les discriminations sexistes et racistes dans l’ESR.

https://precairesesr.fr
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Why Is College in America So Expensive?

Université et argent
Before the automobile, before the Statue of Liberty, before the vast majority of contemporary colleges existed, the rising cost of higher education was shocking the American conscience: “Gentlemen have to pay for their sons in one year more than they spent themselves in the whole four years of their course,” The New York Times lamented in 1875.

Decadence was to blame, the writer argued: fancy student apartments, expensive meals, and “the mania for athletic sports.”

Today, the U.S. spends more on college than almost any other country, according to the 2018 Education at a Glance report released this week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

All told, including the contributions of individual families and the government (in the form of student loans, grants, and other assistance), Americans spend about $30,000 per student a year — nearly twice as much as the average developed country. “The U.S. is in a class of its own,” says Andreas Schleicher, the director for education and skills at the OECD, and he does not mean this as a compliment. “Spending per student is exorbitant, and it has virtually no relationship to the value that students could possibly get in exchange.”

Only one country spends more per student, and that country is Luxembourg — where tuition is nevertheless free for students, thanks to government outlays. In fact, a third of developed countries offer college free of charge to their citizens. (And another third keep tuition very cheap — less than $2,400 a year.) The farther away you get from the United States, the more baffling it looks.

This back-to-school season, The Atlantic is investigating a classic American mystery: Why does college cost so much? And is it worth it?

At first, like the 19th-century writer of yore, I wanted to blame the curdled indulgences of campus life: fancy dormitories, climbing walls, lazy rivers, dining halls with open-fire-pit grills. And most of all — college sports. Certainly sports deserved blame.

On first glance, the new international data provide some support for this narrative. The U.S. ranks No. 1 in the world for spending on student-welfare services such as housing, meals, health care, and transportation, a category of spending that the OECD lumps together under “ancillary services.” All in all, American taxpayers and families spend about $3,370 on these services per student — more than three times the average for the developed world.

NewImageOne reason for this difference is that American college students are far more likely to live away from home. And living away from home is expensive, with or without a lazy river. Experts say that campuses in Canada and Europe tend to have fewer dormitories and dining halls than campuses in the U.S. “The bundle of services that an American university provides and what a French university provides are very different,” says David Feldman, an economist focused on education at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. “Reasonable people can argue about whether American universities should have these kind of services, but the fact that we do does not mark American universities as inherently inefficient. It marks them as different.”

But on closer inspection, the data suggest a bigger problem than fancy room and board. Even if we were to zero out all these ancillary services tomorrow, the U.S. would still spend more per college student than any other country (except, again, Luxembourg). It turns out that the vast majority of American college spending goes to routine educational operations — like paying staff and faculty — not to dining halls. These costs add up to about $23,000 per student a year — more than twice what Finland, Sweden, or Germany spends on core services. “Lazy rivers are decadent and unnecessary, but they are not in and of themselves the main culprit,” says Kevin Carey, the author of The End of College and the director of the education-policy program at New America, a nonpartisan think tank.

The business of providing an education is so expensive because college is different from other things that people buy, argue Feldman and his colleague Robert Archibald in their 2011 book, Why Does College Cost So Much? College is a service, for one thing, not a product, which means it doesn’t get cheaper along with changes in manufacturing technology (economists call this affliction “cost disease”). And college is a service delivered mostly by workers with college degrees — whose salaries have risen more dramatically than those of low-skilled service workers over the past several decades.

College is not the only service to have gotten wildly more expensive in recent decades, Feldman and Archibald point out. Since 1950, the real prices of the services of doctors, dentists, and lawyers have risen at similar rates as the price of higher education, according to Feldman and Archibald’s book. “The villain, as much as there is one, is economic growth itself,” they write.

This all makes sense, if we just focus on the U.S. But what about the rest of the world? These broader economic trends exist there, too. So why does college still cost half as much, on average, in other countries?

One oddity of America’s higher-education system is that it is actually three different systems masquerading as one: There is one system of public colleges; another of private, nonprofit institutions; and one made up of for-profit colleges.

The biggest system by far is the public one, which includes two-year community colleges and four-year institutions. Three out of every four American college students attend a school in this public system, which is funded through state and local subsidies, along with students’ tuition dollars and some federal aid.

In this public system, the high cost of college has as much to do with politics as economics. Many state legislatures have been spending less and less per student on higher education for the past three decades. Bewitched by the ideology of small government (and forced by law to balance their budgets during a period of mounting health-care costs), states have been leaving once-world-class public universities begging for money. The cuts were particularly stark after the 2008 recession, and they set off a cascading series of consequences, some of which were never intended.

The easiest way for universities to make up for the cuts was to shift some of the cost to students — and to find richer students. “Once that sustainable public funding was taken out from under these schools, they started acting more like businesses,” says Maggie Thompson, the executive director of Generation Progress, a nonprofit education-advocacy group. State cutbacks did not necessarily make colleges more efficient, which was the hope; they made colleges more entrepreneurial.

Some universities began to enroll more full-paying foreign and out-of-state students to make up the difference. Over the past decade, for example, Purdue University has reduced its in-state student population by 4,300 while adding 5,300 out-of-state and foreign students, who pay triple the tuition. “They moved away from working to educate people in their region to competing for the most elite and wealthy students — in a way that was unprecedented,” Thompson says.

This competition eventually crept beyond climbing walls and dining halls into major, long-term operating expenses. For example, U.S. colleges spend, relative to other countries, a startling amount of money on their nonteaching staff, according to the OECD data. Some of these people are librarians or career or mental-health counselors who directly benefit students, but many others do tangential jobs that may have more to do with attracting students than with learning. Many U.S. colleges employ armies of fund-raisers, athletic staff, lawyers, admissions and financial-aid officers, diversity-and-inclusion managers, building-operations and maintenance staff, security personnel, transportation workers, and food-service workers.

The international data is not detailed enough to reveal exactly which jobs are diverting the most money, but we can say that U.S. colleges spend more on nonteaching staff than on teachers, which is upside down compared with every other country that provided data to the OECD (with the exception of Luxembourg, naturally).

In addition, most global rankings of universities heavily weight the amount of research published by faculty — a metric that has no relationship to whether students are learning. But in a heated race for students, these rankings get the attention of college administrators, who push faculty to focus on research and pay star professors accordingly.

Likewise, the new data show that U.S. colleges currently have a slightly lower ratio of students to teachers than the average for the developed world — another metric favored in college rankings. But that is a very expensive way to compete. And among education researchers, there is no clear consensus about whether smaller classes are worth the money.

In the beginning, university administrators may have started competing for full-freight paying students in order to help subsidize other, less affluent students. But once other colleges got into the racket, it became a spending arms race. More and more universities had to participate, including private colleges unaffected by state cuts, just to keep their application numbers up. “There is such a thing as wasteful competition,” Charles Clotfelter, a Duke University professor and the author of Unequal Colleges in the Age of Disparity, wrote me in an email.

All that said, it’s also true that state budget cuts were uneven across the country. Today, in-state tuition in Wyoming is about a third of the cost of Vermont, for example. In places where higher education has not been gutted and the cost of living is low, an American college degree can still be a bargain — especially for students who don’t mind living at home and are poor enough to qualify for federal aid. Taking into account living expenses, says Alex Usher of the consulting firm Higher Education Strategy Associates, a student at a public university in Mississippi will likely end up with similar out-of-pocket costs as a student in Sweden.

Usher, who is based in Toronto, is one of the few researchers to have looked carefully at the costs of higher education globally. And much of what he finds is surprising. In 2010, he and his colleague Jon Medow created a clever ranking of 15 countries’ higher-education systems — using a variety of ways to assess affordability and access. Reading the report is like peeling an onion. The first layer focuses on the most obvious question: the affordability of college based on the cost of tuition, books, and living expenses divided by the median income in a given country. By this metric, the U.S. does very poorly, ranking third from the bottom. Only Mexico and Japan do worse.

But the U.S. moves up one place when grants and tax credits are included. “Your grants are actually really generous compared to everybody else,” Usher says. Tuition is higher in the U.S., so the grants don’t fully cover the price, but 70 percent of full-time students do receive some kind of grant aid, according to the College Board. From this perspective, sometimes called “net cost,” Australia is more expensive than the U.S.

Next, looking only at our public colleges, the U.S. rises higher still, ranking in the middle of the pack in Usher’s analysis, above Canada and New Zealand. This data is from 2010, and things may look less rosy if he were to redo the study now, Usher cautions. But still, he sounds weirdly hopeful. “The public system in the U.S. is working as well as most systems,” he says. “Parts of the U.S. look like France.”

The problem, of course, is that other parts of the U.S. look more like a Louis Vuitton store. America basically contains 50 different higher-education systems, one per state, each with public, private, and for-profit institutions, making generalizations all but impossible. The U.S. does relatively well on measures of access to college, but the price varies wildly depending on the place and the person. Somehow, students have to find their way through this thicket of competition and choose wisely, or suffer the consequences.

The more I studied America’s baffling higher-education system, the more it reminded me of health care. In both spaces, Americans pay twice as much as people in other developed countries—and get very uneven results. The U.S. spends nearly $10,000 a person on health care each year (25 percent more than Switzerland, the next biggest spender), according to the OECD’s 2017 Health at a Glance report, but our life expectancy is now almost two years below the average for the developed world.

“I used to joke that I could just take all my papers and statistical programs and globally replace hospitals with schools, doctors with teachers and patients with students,” says Dartmouth College’s Douglas Staiger, one of the few U.S. economists who studies both education and health care.

Both systems are more market driven than in just about any other country, which makes them more innovative — but also less coherent and more exploitive. Hospitals and colleges charge different prices to different people, rendering both systems bewilderingly complex, Staiger notes. It is very hard for regular people to make informed decisions about either, and yet few decisions could be more important.

In both cases, the most vulnerable people tend to make less-than-ideal decisions. For example, among high-achieving, low-income students (who have grades and test scores that put them in the top 4 percent of U.S. students and would be eligible for generous financial aid at elite colleges), the vast majority apply to no selective colleges at all, according to research by Caroline Hoxby and Christopher Avery. “Ironically, these students are often paying more to go to a nonselective four-year college or even a community college than they would pay to go to the most selective, most resource-rich institutions in the United States,” as Hoxby told NPR.

Meanwhile, when it comes to health care, low-income Americans tend to be less familiar with the concepts of deductibles, coinsurance rates, and provider networks, according to a variety of studies, which makes it extremely difficult to choose a health-care plan. “These are both sectors where consumers are too poorly informed and societal costs and benefits too great to leave decision-making entirely in the hands of individuals,” as Isabel Sawhill at the Brookings Institution has written.

Ultimately, college is expensive in the U.S. for the same reason MRIs are expensive: There is no central mechanism to control price increases. “Universities extract money from students because they can,” says Schleicher at the OECD. “It’s the inevitable outcome of an unregulated fee structure.” In places like the United Kingdom, the government limits how much universities can extract by capping tuition. The same is true when it comes to health care in most developed countries, where a centralized government authority contains the prices.

The U.S. federal government has historically been unwilling to perform this role. So Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals — and for college classes. Meanwhile, more and more of the risk gets shifted from government onto families, in both sectors.

At the very least, the American government could do a better job sharing information about the quality of colleges in ways everyone can understand, Schleicher says. “You can’t force people to buy good things or bad things, but they should be able to see what the value is.”

Spending a lot of money can be worth it, if you get something awesome in exchange. “America has the best colleges and universities in the world!” President Donald Trump exclaimed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year. Former President Barack Obama said the same thing before him.

But is it actually true? No meaningful data exist on the quality of universities globally. America does have a disproportionate number of elite colleges, which accept fewer than 10 percent of applicants, and these places do employ some brilliant scholars who do groundbreaking research. But fewer than 1 percent of American students attend highly selective colleges like those.

Instead, more than three-quarters of students attend nonselective colleges, which admit at least half of their applicants. No one knows for sure how good these colleges are at their core job of educating students. But in one of the only careful, recent studies on adult skills, the OECD’s Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Americans under age 35 with a bachelor’s degree performed below their similarly educated peers in 14 other countries on the test of practical math skills. In other words, they did only slightly better than high-school graduates in Finland. America’s college grads did better in reading, performing below just six other countries, but dropped off again in another test, scoring below 13 other countries in their ability to solve problems using digital technology.

If American colleges are not adding obvious and consistent academic value, they are adding financial value. Americans with college degrees earn 75 percent more than those who only completed high school. Over a lifetime, people with bachelor’s degrees earn more than half a million dollars more than people with no college degree in the U.S. In fact, no other country rewards a college degree as richly as the United States, and few other countries punish people so relentlessly for not having one. It’s a diabolical cycle: Colleges are very expensive to run, partly because of the high salaries earned by their skilled workers. But those higher salaries make college degrees extremely valuable, which means Americans will pay a lot to get them. And so colleges can charge more. As Carey, the End of College author, summarizes: “Students are over a barrel.”

Still, the return varies wildly depending on the college one attends. One in four college grads earns no more than the average high-school graduate. Associate’s degrees from for-profit universities lead to smaller salary bumps than associate’s degrees from community colleges, which are cheaper. And two-thirds of students at for-profits drop out before earning their degree anyway, meaning many will spend years struggling with debt they cannot afford to pay off — and cannot, under U.S. law, off-load through bankruptcy.

This convoluted, complicated, inconsistent system continues to exist, and continues to be so expensive because college in America is still worth the price. At certain colleges, for certain people. Especially if they finish. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and almost everywhere else, it isn’t.

First published, September 11, 2018
https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/09/why-is-college-so-expensive-in-america/569884/

A formação dos idiotas úteis e o útil idiota formado no poder

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A formação dos idiotas úteis e o útil idiota formado no poder

Abaixo, publicamos abaixo um artigo que leva a refletir sobre a grave situação em que as universidades brasileiras estão mergulhadas desde a eleição de Jair Bolsonaro. Os lembretes históricos feitos, os princípios defendidos e, claro, o seu título !, estão em plena sintonia com a luta travada pela Internacional do Saber para Todos.

A redação do blog

Paulo Freire dizia que ensinar não é transferir conhecimento, mas criar as possibilidades para sua produção ou construção. Da mesma forma, Rubem Alves acreditava que ensinar é um exercício de imortalidade. O fato é que enfrentamos desafios gigantescos no campo educacional. E esses “desafios” são potencializados por políticas públicas inconsequentes que dificultam os papeis tanto da escola quanto do professor dentro de sala de aula. Se o homem é, como imaginava Immanuel Kant, “nada além daquilo que a educação faz dele”, podemos compreender as razões de certos “pensamentos” como do Presidente e seus seguidores assíduos. E, a partir daí, perceber quão tacanha se encontra nosso imaginário social e coletivo no que se refere às questões educacionais.

Em outubro de 1964, no V Fórum Universitário, o então Presidente Castelo Branco, discursou algo que poderia muito bem ser confundido com alguma declaração do atual chefe do executivo ou do seu Ministro da Educação, Abraham “Gene Kelly” Weintraub. Na ocasião, Castelo Branco disse que o estudante deveria antes de desejar um “simples diploma”, alcançar amplos conhecimentos que lhes permitiriam ser elemento útil ao progresso e à prosperidade da sociedade. Reforçando que, nas universidades não se poderia permitir o fortalecimento de ideologias.

O discurso do, na época, general Presidente é extremamente atual. Na medida em que Jair Bolsonaro já havia alegado, anteriormente, que os jovens brasileiros possuem “tara” por formação superior. Sem contar as constantes declarações que tratam o espaço escolar e acadêmico como um difusor ideológico. O ensino público brasileiro, segundo ele, estaria aparelhado pela esquerda, que possui ambições de dominação político-ideológico. Nesse sentido, o alunado dessas instituições é visto como uma “massa” pronta para ser manipulada pelos professores.

Recentemente, vimos que os cortes anunciados pelo Ministério da Educação, em universidades, podem chegar a 54%. O governo fala em “contingenciamento”, mas a mesma é uma política intervencionista que visa diminuir os gastos públicos, impondo um limite ao mesmo, dentro de um prazo determinado. Geralmente, a prática se dá dentro de áreas vinculadas ao processo produtivo (indústrias). O que temos que compreender é que não se contingencia sem prazo. Quando isso acontece, é pura e simplesmente um corte. Pois, não há garantias de retomada do investimento no setor. Algo que na educação é muito mais complicado por conta da Lei do Teto de Gastos. Quando se aplica essa prática na pasta, os efeitos são imediatos e impactam não só na qualidade do ensino, mas em toda infraestrutura (manutenção, limpeza etc) dos centros escolares e acadêmicos. Agora em junho, foi noticiado que, por conta dos cortes, a Capes bloqueou mais de 2,7 mil bolsas de pesquisa Educação nunca será “gasto”, mas sim “investimento”. E é, justamente, essa tentativa de se precarizar ainda mais o ensino público brasileiro que levaram as manifestações dos dias 15 e 30 de maio.

Para sermos justos, os investimentos no campo educacional, em nosso país, sempre estiveram aquém do ideal. Nos anos de 1950, investia-se cerca de 3,4% do PIB (Produto Interno Bruto) na área; Nos anos de 1970, cerca de 2,8%; e em 2014, algo em torno de 5,4%. Na década de 1960, por exemplo, problemas como baixa escolarização, baixo investimento, altos índices de evasão escolar, cortes do orçamento para o ensino superior, falta de vagas nas universidades etc, já existiam.

Em 2017, o setor público investiu, em média, US$ 3,8 mil por estudante do ensino básico anualmente, o que nos coloca entre os últimos na lista dos 39 países que forneceram os dados par a OCDE (Organização para a Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Econômico); e cerca de US$ 11,7 mil por estudante universitário. Da mesma forma, remuneram-se mal os professores. Um professor da Educação Básica começa a carreira recebendo o equivalente a US$ 13 mil por ano. Na Colômbia, um docente iniciante ganha US$ 14,2 mil por ano. No México, US$ 17,2 mil. E na Costa Rica, US$ 24,2 mil, quase o dobro dos brasileiros. Quando a comparação é com as nações desenvolvidas, a distância aumenta. Na média das nações da OCDE, o salário inicial é de US$ 30 mil anuais.

Durante a ditadura, no Brasil, houve uma tentativa de terceirizar a obrigação do Estado no campo educacional. Uma prática que se alinhava ao projeto econômico do Governo, onde o nacional-estatismo passou a dar lugar ao chamado internacionalismo, na medida em que houve um alinhamento de nossas políticas econômicas ao capital estrangeiro. Na ocasião, a chamada “Agency for International Development” (USAID), que assessorava países periféricos, numa espécie de Doutrina Truman da América Latina, aplicou um convênio junto ao Ministério da Educação batizado de acordo MEC-USAID. Para os tecnólogos do Governo, o progresso econômico que o país aspirava, para sair da crise, só viria através do chamado “empresarialismo” na educação. Esse pensamento se coaduna ao que hoje convém chamar de empreendedorismo. Na época, usando o livro de Harbison e Muers, “Educação, Força-Humana e Progresso Econômico”, como referência, a ideia era dar importância às ciências naturais e exatas, como engenharia e medicina e treinamento empresarial, em detrimento das demais.

Os acordos MEC-USAID, dentre outros, tinha como proposta o treinamento para carreiras específicas em vez do desenvolvimento das forças intelectuais gerais, forjar um quadro técnico que conseguisse dar conta do novo projeto econômico brasileiro, permitir as universidades se libertarem de todas as malhas do Estado, ter autonomia plena para se desenvolver como empresa privada e conter as manifestações estudantis. Os movimentos estudantis – silenciados oficialmente desde 1964 conforme Lei 4464 – junto a professores, especialistas e intelectuais, acusaram o governo de querer privatizar o ensino. Isso é algo muito parecido com a política educacional do atual governo, que almeja uma “garotada que comece a não se interessar por política”. E que com as decisões de corte na educação, básica e superior, influenciou diretamente o fortalecimento da iniciativa privada no setor. Em declaração aos representantes de instituições particulares de ensino superior, no 12º Congresso Brasileiro da Educação Superior Particular, em Belo horizonte, no dia 06 de junho, o próprio Ministro Weintraub disse que o setor privado será o principal agente na expansão do ensino superior.

As políticas educacionais do período causou uma série de mudanças significativas em nosso sistema. A educação básica foi encolhida. Passando de nove para oito anos. Os cursos clássicos e científicos que preparavam os alunos para os vestibulares foram substituídos pelo ensino profissionalizante, conforme lei 5692 (1971). Disciplinas como Latim, Educação Política, Sociologia e Filosofia foram retiradas dos currículos. Pelo Decreto-lei 869 (1969) houve a diminuição da carga horária da disciplina de História e Geografia. Que foram fundidas no que se conveniou chamar de Estudos Sociais. Além disso, presenciamos a entrada das disciplinas de Educação Moral e Cívica e Organização Social e Política Brasileira (OSPB).

Na verdade, todo esse quadro demonstra um ataque ao conhecimento de disciplinas ligadas as Ciências Humanas. As principais formadoras do pensamento crítico. Algo que, dentro da conjuntura política da época, não era desejado. Em abril desse ano, Bolsonaro postou nas redes sociais que estudava descentralizar investimentos em faculdades de Filosofia e Sociologia para focar em áreas que geram – segundo ele – retorno imediato ao contribuinte, como veterinária, engenharia e medicina. As mentalidades da geração que se formava nos centros escolares e acadêmicos, nos anos de 1960, deveriam estar em conformidade com as novas realidades advindas do golpe de Estado. O mesmo acontece agora! Assim, introduzir as disciplinas sobre civismo significa “impor a ideologia da ditadura, reforçada pela extinção da Filosofia e diminuição da carga horária de História e Geografia, que exerce a mesma função de diminuir o senso crítico e consciência política da situação”.

O ensino público básico e, principalmente, superior, até bem pouco tempo atrás era considerado um privilégio de poucos. A política educacional da época da ditadura possibilitou um crescimento de 25% das escolas particulares no ensino básico, entre 1970 e 1980. Da mesma forma, a taxa de matrículas nas universidades públicas caiu de 75% em 1964, para 25% em 1984. A falta de investimento no setor contribui para a formação de indivíduos distantes e alienados dos problemas do país. Tal política contribuiu fortemente para o aumento da segregação social. Fazendo com que a dicotomia de nossa sociedade passasse a ser vista dentro das escolas e universidades.

Desde a redemocratização, em especial em meados dos anos de 1990, essa elitização do nosso sistema educacional passou a ser combatida com a inserção de políticas públicas que possibilitaram certa democratização do ensino. O que estamos presenciando é o retrocesso de tudo que levou décadas para tornar-se realidade. Dessa forma, as manifestações contra os cortes, ocorridas em maio, se deram justamente para que não tenhamos uma geração de “idiotas (ou inocentes) úteis”.

As coisas se tornaram óbvias. A educação está encarregada da missão de formar capital humano. O projeto de poder parece querer fortalecer o “sistema social que degrada o operário ao ponto de transformá-lo num simples instrumento de acumulação de capital, e que fatalmente muda os pais em comerciantes de escravos dos seus próprios filhos, destacaram Marx e Engels. É dessa forma que a educação deve ser tratada?

O presidente usou um termo “idiotas úteis” que supostamente foi dito por Lenin, uma fake news disseminada através de “memes”. Lenin tem uma mensagem ao estudante muito mais digna e construtiva. Quando fala da necessidade de assimilar “o conhecimento de fatos fundamentais” afirma: “não só deveis assimilá-los, mas assimilá-los com espírito crítico para não atulhar a vossa inteligência com trastes inúteis”. Mas, sem dúvida, o presidente não teria acesso a essas palavras, pois elas não estariam nos “memes” que usa como fonte bibliográfica.

Educar para o capital é formar pessoas que não são capazes de fazer o mundo melhor, mas apenas fazer com  que o mundo funcione da maneira que está. E quem quer o mundo da maneira que ele se encontra, a não ser os que lucram com ele?

Em sua época, Rousseau dizia que “saindo de minhas mãos, ele (o aluno) não será nem magistrado, nem soldado, nem padre; será primeiramente um homem”. Hoje temos que dizer que nossos alunos não devem ser apenas engrenagem que sustenta toda essa máquina, mas, antes de tudo, ser humano.

É preciso educar para o social para que cada cidadão seja responsável pela democracia. E como defende Henry Giroux, um dos maiores pensadores da educação da atualidade, “os professores não podem escapar de suas ideologias (e em alguns casos devem abraçá-las), e é importante entender o que a sociedade fez de nós, em que é que acreditamos, e como podemos minimizar os efeitos, em nossos alunos, daqueles aspectos de nossas histórias ‘sedimentadas’ que reproduzem interesses e valores dominantes”. 

Mas o arranjo de poder atual tem a intenção de fragilizar a educação publica para favorecer a privada, tolhendo os professores para dar pujança aos interesses dominantes. Logo ele que diz querer acabar com a criminalidade será a causa da ampliação dela, pois sem acesso à escola o caminho para o presídio se alarga.

A ditadura, modelo tecnocrata o qual o governo atual se inspira, foi péssima para a formação de cidadãos, não é a toa que de suas entranhas surgiu a maior facção criminosa do Brasil. Se temos como meta uma Segurança de qualidade, precisamos investir em educação, e é exatamente o que não vemos sendo feito.

Raphael Silva Fagundes é Doutor em História Política pela UERJ e Professor da rede municipal do Rio de Janeiro e de Itaguaí, Wendel Barbosa é Pós-graduado em História social e cultural do Brasil pela FEUC e professor da rede estadual de ensino.

Publicação do artigo original : https://diplomatique.org.br/a-formacao-dos-idiotas-uteis/, junho 18, 2019.