1000 euros


I’m displeased. No, make that seething. For several years now I’ve been collaborating with the University of Antsiranana in Madagascar, helping students with their English dissertations. It was voluntary and unofficial, so before I retired, I was keen to consolidate it through an official agreement between our two universities. So I put in a bid for 1000 euros from funds made available by the International Relations Department. This was to pay for a colleague to fly out, meet the partners in Antsiranana and settle the terms of the agreement. It was refused. Our university recently merged with two others to become a single mega-establishment, now the biggest university in France. And they can’t spare 1000 euros. Hey, come on! You’re kidding, right? Now, of course money’s tight and every little bit counts, but let’s just put this in perspective here.


11 thoughts on “1000 euros

  1. Infuriating but typical it seems. I cannot understand why these mega mergers never seem to produce any savings or better programmes. I sometimes write resources for our state education body. They never offer any genuine remuneration but you do it out of an interest to help. They could not do the same with the electrician or the plumber they need to call in to fix a problem with their buildings, and yet education is their main purpose. Sympathy and hope you have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, TJ, it is indeed infuriating. And indicative, I think of the world we live in – most of the agreements are now signed with Asia, and only a handful with Africa. Short-sighted in my view, but there we are. Bon weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No wonder, you’re seething with rage, most of these big universities are known to be extremely stingy when it comes to doling out the moolah, but when it is their turn to rake in the filthy lucre, they simply go all out with all kinds of fancy programmes which seldom benefit the poor students – times change, universities don’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. French universities are still (almost) free for students but grossly underfunded, and I fear there are few benefits to be had from these big mergers. It’s basically a cost-cutting exercise, with a country like Madagascar no longer being seen as a profitable place to develop relations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly – a country where a political crisis has just been avoided with tactful politico-legal maneuvers resulting in the President escaping impeachment, and also in the current situation where Exxon Mobil Corp has ended its oil exploration after disappointing findings in its off-shore blocks, it is quite natural to find the country as unprofitable. However, universities plan mergers with an eye more on profits by way of cost-cutting rather than the economic conditions of the patron countries – how sad!

        Liked by 1 person

          • With independence comes the take-it-easy attitude as there is no Overseer with a whip to take them to task for laziness, etc., and wisdom in politics especially in the initial stages of self rule is generally lacking, but the intention to make hay while the sun shines is ever present!

            Liked by 1 person

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