the great challenge of French universities

He gets Guillaume Erner to discuss this issue Francois Germinet, the president of the University of Cergy in Paris and the chairman of the commission for education and professional integration of the UKF (Conference of University Presidents), Sophie Bejean, rector of the Academy in Montpellier and the academic region of Occitanie, rector of universities and Annabelle Allouchová, teaches sociology at the University of Picardy-Jules Verne, author of the book Well deserved (Anamosa, 2021) a The new doors of the Grandes Ecoles (PUF, 2022).

CY Cergy Paris University and University of Montpellier, two university examples of excellence

Cergy Paris Université, with its status as an experimental facility, is a campus that brings together universities and Grandes Ecoles. Francois Germinet. Every year there are new initiatives, such as Climate Fresco on the challenges of climate regulation, which he cites as an example. Nevertheless, due to the lack of places, solutions have not yet been found: “Every year we push the walls. Today, it’s hard to find rooms that we optimize for” explains the president of the University of Paris, Cergy. Sophie Bejeanrector of the academy in Montpellier, emphasizes that of the eight universities of the academy, the large investments in energy renovation of buildings are particularly noteworthy.

Regarding the issue of recruitment, Francois Germinet suggests that about Parcoursup “the debate is over, nobody would want to go back to a system where there is a tie.” According to him, this system provides better orientation, even “if there is still a lot of work to do” in the case.

For Sophie Bejeanthe good place of the University of Montpellier in the Shanghai ranking refers more “to the result as to the lever“. He recalls that this success is due to the impetus created mainly by investments in future programs, which enabled the merger of the university and strengthened international visibility. On the question of Shanghai’s ranking, the president of Cergy Paris Université focuses more on Times Higher Education, but recalls that students, when considering enrollment, they are more interested in the quality of student life and research. “How can we attract them to the fact that there is a bit of tomorrow happening at this university.”

Finally, in terms of recruitment, the universities are doing well thanks to their success support systems, the territorial network, but also the offer of training, such as the pareo courses introduced by Sophie Bejean which show that”professionalization is a reality at the university todayEquality of opportunities and especially territorial equality of opportunities is a challenge that the university succeeds in meeting. “including the support of national measures“. Scholarships, as the rector of the Montpellier Academy reminds, will be the subject of a consultation led by the Minister of Higher Education, Sophie Retailleau, in the autumn with the aim of an in-depth renovation. In the meantime, he emphasizes that immediate national purchasing power measures have been taken, such as a revaluation of scholarships up to 4%, freezing of registration fees and rent in university residences, meal extension to one euro.

For Francois Germinet, rather than competition, it is necessary to consider complementarity between universities and Grandes Ecoles – as in the case of Cergy Paris Université. Research labs have everything to gain from collaboration, making doctorates more attractive or even offering double degrees, he explains. on his side Sophie Bejean emphasizes that universities are very interested in drawing inspiration from international models.

Meritocracy, selection and equal opportunities at the Grandes Ecoles and at the university

The recruitment of universities and grandes écoles is different on a social level Annabelle Allouch : “Grandes écoles and preparatory classes are traditionally formations reserved for elites whose aim is to train political-administrative, economic and intellectual elites.“.”The democratization of higher education and access to degrees is really something that falls under the university“because it is based on a wide territorial network that contributes to access to constant quality education of a sociologist.

Universities also ensure social advancement, especially at the bachelor’s level, while the master’s degree is presented as more selective.academically and socially” highlighted Annabelle Allouch, but also more profitable, i.e. better taken into account in the labor market. Nevertheless, a sociologist specializing in selection procedures explains, with ongoing reforms, especially the proposal of a platform similar to Parcoursup, selection for a master’s degree is a problem: “we reverse the traditional role of the democratizing role of the university.“Meritocracy and belief in merit rests on a kind of fiction of objectivity” emphasizes the author Well deserved (Anamosa, 2021) and the proposed new form of selection will be “probably more confusing“. For Francois Germineton the contrary, the proposal for a kind of Parcoursup for access to master’s studies is welcome: “today, students who start a master’s study, provided they have sufficient results, are guaranteed to go at the end” in contrast to the previous system, where students often encountered “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 make it to the end and that they will be able to integrate well professionally.” emphasizes the president of Cergy Paris University.

By the author The new doors of the Grandes Ecoles explains that mechanisms to equalize opportunities at Grandes Ecoles such as Sciences Po Paris are positive but remainindividualization“He is asking for an increase in the university’s budget”in terms of those that ensure the role of democratization“. With regard to the resources available to universities, both the lecturer of sociology and the president of the University of Paris, Cergy, underline the undeniable lack. 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 measures have not are in accordance with: “we printed the walls, we welcomed more people“.

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