Student life is invented at the UM

On November 18, the University of Montpellier's Board of Governors voted in favor of a new student life master plan. Gautier Jaunin, student vice-president, and the Bureau de la vie étudiante (Student Life Office) led the consultation process, focusing on the following key areas: sport, culture, campus life, health, social issues and student commitment (last update December 8, 2021). 

This was one of the requests of the Haut conseil de l'évaluation de la recherche et de l'enseignement supérieur (see : Hcéres report: "an undeniable success".): to set up a master plan for student life at the University of Montpellier. This has been in place since November 18, 2021. What we call student life," explains Gautier Jaunin, student vice-president, "is everything that is done to ensure the well-being and fulfillment of students around their studies: events, associations, health services, sports facilities, etc. The master plan is there to give direction to student life on campus and to project our objectives over the next five years.

"Rewarding students for their commitment

A number of key areas have been identified for this master plan for student life. In addition to essential areas such as sport and culture, the Bureau de la Vie Etudiante (BVE) wanted to strengthen the health/prevention and social areas. " The covid crisis has highlighted more than ever the extent of student insecurity. Psychological support for students is also a key issue," stresses the vice-president, a 5th-year medical student. Campus life is also on the agenda, as is the question of student commitment, a priority in its own right according to Gautier Jaunin: " We want to promote students who are committed to their campus, whether in associations or as elected representatives.

Four cross-functional themes have also been identified, and are the focus of particular attention across the board. Inclusion of people with disabilities, sustainable development policy, harmonization of student life on all campuses and in particular off-site sites, and a sense of belonging to the UM. "It's important to remember that our geographical scope of action is the entire University, and that scope is vast. Every student enrolled at the UM, wherever he or she may be, must feel that he or she is a student of the UM."

"Don't break everything

While the student vice-president is the political champion of this scheme, and the Campus Life Department (DVC) the administrative champion, its implementation requires the support of a multiplicity of players, such as the University Physical and Sports Activities Department (SUAPS), the Joint Preventive Medicine and Health Promotion Department (SCMPPS), the University Health Center, the International Relations Department, student associations and, of course, the Crous.

To draw up this master plan in the best possible way, the BVE launched a major consultation process which ran throughout July. The aim was to take stock of student life at the UM. The aim was not to tear everything down and rebuild everything," emphasizes Gautier Jaunin. We have to look at what works well and preserve it, and also look at what doesn't work so well to improve it. UFRs, schools, institutes, associations, student representatives, departments and services all took part in the review, enabling us to arrive at a global vision of student life at the UM and point our plan in the right direction.

"Staying the course

At the end of this consultation phase, the BVE will have a few more weeks to refine its plan, and finish writing it, before the University reopens at the end of August. It will then have to be voted on by the Board of Governors "at the end of October or at the beginning of November at the latest ", for implementation in early 2022. Why this date? " Because January 2022 will mark the launch of the experimental establishment. There's a certain logic in all this .

From there, the work has only just begun for the BVE, who are already planning a new consultation within the next two and a half years, before the master plan expires in 2027. " Five years is a long time. For certain medium-term objectives, we feel it's necessary to carry out a mid-term review. That way, we can readjust what needs to be readjusted and stay on course.