The massive downside of French universities

Guillaume Erner accepts to discuss this question François Germinet, Cergy, President of the University of Paris and Chairman of the Training and Professional Integration Commission of the CPU (Conference of University Presidents), Sophie Bejan, The rector of the Academy of Montpellier and the academic region of Occitania, the rector of the universities and Annabelle Allouch, Professor of sociology at the University of Picardie-Jules Verne, author Decent (Anamosa, 2021) and The new doors of the Grandes Ecoles (PUF, 2022).

CY Cergy University of Paris and University of Montpellier are two examples of universities of excellence

With its status as an experimental institution, Cergy Paris Université is a campus that brings together universities and major schools, he recalls François Germinet. New initiatives are launched every year, such as the Climate Fresco on climate change issues, which he cites as an example. Nevertheless, solutions to the lack of space have not yet been found: “Every year we push the walls. Today, it is difficult to find space-optimized rooms“Cergy explains the president of the University of Paris. Sophie BejanThe Rector of the Montpellier Academy emphasizes that the major investments in the energy renovation of buildings from the eight universities operating in the academy are particularly noteworthy.

Regarding recruitment, François Germinet shows that about Parcoursup “The debate is over, no one wants to go back to a system of equality.” This system, in his opinion, provides even better orientation “If there’s too much to do“in the matter.

for Sophie BejanThe good place of the University of Montpellier in the ranking of Shanghai refers more “to outcome rather than leverage“He recalls that this success is mainly due to the dynamics he instilled Future investment programs (PIA) this allowed the university to unite and strengthen its international image. As for the Shanghai ranking, Cergy aims more for the president of the University of Paris Times Higher Education. But he notes that when students consider enrolling, they are more interested in quality of student life and research. We have to see “How can we engage them so that a small part of tomorrow is happening right there, at this university.”.”

Finally, in terms of recruitment, the universities do well thanks to the success support systems, the area network, but also the training offers such as the pareo training courses it offers. Sophie Bejan that shows that”professionalization at the university is a reality today“Equal opportunities, and especially territorial equal opportunities, is a problem that the university can overcome. “including with the support of national events“. Scholarships, as the rector of the Montpellier academy reminds us, will be the subject of a consultation in the autumn led by the Minister of Higher Education, Sophie Retallo, with a view to a deep overhaul. In the meantime, he emphasizes. Revaluation of scholarships up to 4%, freezing of registration fees and rents in university residences, said that immediate national measures were taken on purchasing power, such as extending meals to one euro.

for François Germinet, rather than competition, it is necessary to consider complementarity between universities and Grandes Ecoles, as in Cergy Paris Université. Research labs have everything to gain from working together, making doctorates more attractive or even offering dual degrees, he explains. on his side, Sophie Bejan emphasizes that universities have every interest to be inspired by international models.

Meritocracy, choice and equal opportunities in Grandes Ecoles and at university

It explains that the recruitment of universities and grandes écoles is different at the social level Annabelle Allouch : “Traditionally, grandes écoles and preparatory classes are formations intended for elites with the aim of training political-administrative, economic and intellectual elites.“.”The democratization of higher education and the acquisition of degrees is indeed something within the university’s competence“Because it is based on a wide territorial network that provides access to quality training,” the sociologist continues.

Universities also ensure social promotion, especially at the undergraduate level, and the master presents himself as more selective.academically and socially” highlighted Annabelle Allouch, but also more profitable, that is, it is considered better in the labor market. Nevertheless, a sociologist specializing in selection practice explains that with ongoing reforms, especially the proposal of a platform similar to Parcoursup, selection for a master’s degree poses a problem: “we are going against the traditional role of the university (…).“Belief in meritocracy and meritocracy is based on a kind of fiction of objectivity” emphasizes the author Decent (Anamosa, 2021) and the new form of learned choice, a priori based on the platform and algorithm, “probably more opaque“. For François Germineton the contrary, a sort of Parcoursup proposal to enter the master’s level is welcomed: “today, students admitted to the master’s degree are guaranteed to go to the end, provided they achieve sufficient results“Unlike the previous system that students often encountered”the fence“Between the 4th and 5th year of study.”It seems legitimate to us to hire young people with the virtual certainty that they will finish and have good professional integration.” Cergy emphasizes the president of the University of Paris.

the author of The new doors of the Grandes Ecoles In Grandes Ecoles such as Sciences Po Paris, mechanisms for equalizing opportunities are positive but explain that they remain “customization“He demands an increase in university budgets”as far as those who provide the role of democratization“Considering the opportunities that universities have, both the professor of sociology and the president of Cergy Paris University highlight the undeniable shortcomings. As the latter points out, in recent years 300,000 more students have been admitted to three million, but no university has been created and the measures are not at the required level :”we pushed the walls, welcomed more people“.

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