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“We want the creation of a universal autonomy allowance”, asks the president of the Unef

“We want the creation of a universal autonomy allowance”, asks Monday August 15 on franceinfo the president of the Unef while the student organization publishes its 18th study on the cost of living. For Imane Ouelhadj, this allowance must be “calculated on the poverty line” and “for young people in training who need it, on simple request”. “Today in France, you are legally of age at 18 but you are not socially.”

franceinfo: What conclusion do you draw from your study?

Imane Ouelhadj: What we are asking for is that we be able to consider young people as a real part of society. Unfortunately, today in France, in 2022, you are legally of age at 18 but you are not socially. Until the age of 25, and as long as we have not finished our studies, we remain extremely dependent on our parents.

Grants based on social criteria are calculated on the parents’ income, not on ours, and are largely insufficient. Today, 73% of students are excluded from the scholarship system.

Imane Ouelhadj, president of Unef

at franceinfo

And of the 27% on scholarships, the vast majority is on the “0 bis” level, which is around one hundred euros per month. For these, the revaluation of scholarships announced by the minister will be equivalent to 4.17 euros more per month. Very concretely, with the inflation we are in, we will buy two packets of pasta and nothing else.

Are you requesting support for all students?

We want the creation of a universal autonomy allowance, calculated on the poverty line, and intended for young people in training who need it, on simple request. This has been a flagship claim of UNEF for several years now. We must stop with the infantilization of youth and with this society that considers it normal for a student to struggle to make ends meet and that it forges his personality. We are in 2022 and we find ourselves with students having to queue in food distributions to feed themselves. Others are in alarming states in terms of their mental health.

Are there still so many students in these queues despite the economic recovery?

Unfortunately yes. We haven’t seen any improvement. There are still as many students in the queues for food distributions, social workers or Crous to benefit from food vouchers or specific aid. It seems to get worse every year. We have a social assistance system that is not built to allow everyone to be able to emancipate themselves through education. We expect the government to be able to do things.

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