Budget Cuts in France: Experienced and Expected Changes in Academic Institutions

Budget Cuts in France: Experienced and Expected Changes in Academic Institutions

Last year, we conducted a global survey of nearly 800 academics, asking questions about budget cuts at their respective institutions for fiscal year 2013, and their expectations for 2014. We wanted to get a sense of the climate around the world in terms of who is still being affected by the economic downturn, and to what extent, in order to better grasp the daily reality for both employers and job seekers.

In this post we will be examining responses from researchers and others working in France. Of those who took part in our survey, 83% reported working in a university, 6% in an international or aid organization, 6% in a private company or consultancy and 5% in a bank. This was one of the strongest representations of university employees of any country taking part in the survey.

It is perhaps because of the very high number of university respondents that the expected budget cuts for 2014 were generally not lower, and in the case of recruitment budgets even higher than those reported for 2013. Yet, it is important to note that the percentage of people reporting general budget cuts for 2013 (67%) was already lower than in the UK (74%), and much lower than hard hit countries such as Italy (81%) and Spain (94%).

The continued expectation for budget cuts in 2014 is also tempered by a sharp increase in expected increases for general budgets (from 6% in 2013 to 17% expected for 2014).

Furthermore, while no one reported increases in marketing budgets for 2013, 6% of respondents said they anticipated increases in their marketing budgets for 2014. These reported increases offer some positive outlook for researchers and others working in France.