“The government seeks to increase selection”

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On the Rennes 2 campus.


© Quentin Vernault
On the Rennes 2 campus.


Soon a Parcoursup for entry into master’s degree. This is the last construction site that Frédérique Vidal wants to complete before the end of his stint at the Ministry of Higher Education. The plan is simple: the law authorizes selection for a master’s degree, the state does not give universities the necessary means to open enough places in the face of the increase in student demographics, young people therefore find themselves unassigned and let it be known, the minister seizes the political moment to reform the entry in master.

Student organizations had a first meeting at the ministry this week on the subject. The text framing this reform must be formalized for December with an application that will begin in February. A “precipitation” denounced by Naïm Shili, national secretary of the union studying the Alternative.

What is this master’s entry reform project?

The government intends to do in master what it did in license. He wants to create a new Parcoursup, that is to say a centralized platform for applications for entry into a master’s degree. There may be advantages such as readability of offers for students and simplified procedures for students. But the government is mainly trying to increase the selection at entry into Master 1.

This year, many students found themselves without a master’s degree, they made themselves visible through the hashtag #EtudiantSansMaster. How will this reform increase selection?

There are possibilities of appeal through the right to further study that the government keeps limiting. This reform goes in this direction. On Parcoursup, the procedure is so long and uncertain that thousands of students give up along the way without going all the way.

Are these students going to private training outside Parcoursup255?

Some, yes. Others redouble to try their luck again the following year. The latter simply quit their studies. But by restricting access to the master’s degree, the government also restricts access to civil service competitions which are often accessible to bac +4 or +5. The only way to solve the problem is to open more places.

What is the timetable for this reform?

We had a meeting last Tuesday at the department. The project must be officially presented to the National Council for Higher Education and Research on December 14 for immediate application. It will not be able to set up properly. The students will have to return their vows during February or March, most of them are not informed of the existence of this procedure as I speak to you. No one is aware of the reform and the universities are already under pressure. This procedure is done in haste and without regulatory text to frame it.

Do you have room for negotiation?

Until now we only had information from the specialized press. We can still discuss the number of possible wishes for each student, but the debate on the merits of this platform does not take place. The more their presentation progressed, the more we understood that they wanted to copy and paste Parcoursup, with its flaws. The times wait far too long, deadlines to respond to a training proposal that are sometimes very short, an absence of prioritization of wishes and the absence of anonymization of the establishment of origin. This opens the door to a social selection based on the institution, but also to misguided students.

Will all students have to go through this platform?

No. International students outside the European Union and repeaters must be supported by different systems. It’s a lot of work for the staff. Even university directions alerting to the difficulty of implementing this reform under good conditions without additional resources and within the allotted timeframe.

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