TRIBUNE - Many faculties are occupied by students opposed to selection at the university. For the former president of the Paris-Sorbonne University *, the Parcoursup reform is nevertheless beneficial.
We are on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the heartbreaking month of May 1968, the French university is still not postponed. The nihilist left that has not forgotten anything had to celebrate the event by organizing one of these student emotions of which it has the secret. The method has proven itself multiple timesas soon as a government tried to put a little common sense into a system that worked on the head (the Saunier-Seite reform of 1976, that of Devaquet in 1986, the CPE de Villepin in 2006, the Pécresse reform of 2007, for example).
A handful of well-trained students (today by the insubordinate and Génération.s activists of France) is enough to trigger the movement according to a well-run scenario: small gathering in an amphitheater to discuss Parcoursup, the reform of the entry to the university carried by Frédérique Vidal, vote blocking the site freehand after long hours of one-sided debates, erection at the doors of barricades of tables and chairs, apposition of graffiti on the walls, picket lines, convocation of an AG the next day to decide on the continuation of the movement, establishing a link with the railway workers of the SNCF who, too, fight against "the breakage of the public service".
The few daring and public speaking opponents who appear in the AGs are conspired unceremoniously and retreat; the speech is monopolized by the little trained tribunes. When I evoke a handful of students, it is not a figure of speech: the members of Unef, for example, student movement most opposed to the reform, are at most 19 000 in France out of 2 , 4 million students, or 0.8%, against 8% unionized for employees, already very low proportion.
The teachers are mainly opposed to Parcoursup and vote in the councils of the departments, UFR and faculties of the motions declaring that the new rules will not be applied and this by pure egalitarian ideology. Any form, even very attenuated, of orientation of young people is considered as a selection, a refusal to "give everyone a chance" even if, deep inside themselves, they know very well that it is a pure illusion and that the selection will be by failure. They are consoled by saying that if they had more resources to supervise students of insufficient level, they would know how to make everyone succeed! In which other country than France do we see officials decide not to apply a regulation decided by their guardianship, even though it was announced in its program by a new President of the Republic, elected barely a year ago , which does not prevent giving lessons of democracy to Russia and China?
"Many do not recover from the loss of their illusions"
Candidate Emmanuel Macron's program reads: "To enlighten our students on their choice of orientation, we will require that each institution of higher education publish transparently the success rates and professional opportunities, by training, of his former students. Each university will display the prerequisites for each of the courses it offers. [...] A high school student who does not have these prerequisites will be able to register after having filled his gaps, by summer courses or by the validation of university modules. "This is how the new rules provide, for example, that in a sector in tension such as Staps (science and technology of physical and sports activities) requires scientific skills, sports, writing, and have had an investment associative or collective responsibilities. Is it more scandalous than the raffles that have been practiced in recent years?
However, there are differences between this movement and the previous ones. The first is that the majority of students do not follow it and this for a good reason is that they are not concerned, since they have already entered the university and Parcoursup is intended for high school seniors. As usual, they stay quietly at home waiting for this to happen, secretly hoping that the claim of a minimum grade of 10/20 exams will be accepted by the university councils so that no one is penalized by the blockage.
On the other hand, it is to be expected, after the spring break, to try to mobilize high school students, although it is very late sincethey have already expressed their ten wishes for their entry into higher education. The other difference is that the CPU (Conference of University Presidents) is acquired by Parcoursup, even if it considers that it will lack the means to apply it completely the first year. It was expressed on January 16th without ambiguity: "The CPU is attached to the orientations of the reform of the access to the first cycle of the higher education which it supports, in particular because it must allow to better guide the students, prepare them for the specificities of higher education and promote their success. "
The link orientation-success is obvious. It is the old and absurd insufficiency of a real policy of orientation at the college and the high school, it is the continuous lowering of the level of the baccalaureate, it is the existence of selective channels which welcome the graduates with mention (Prep classes, BTS, IUT, business schools or post-baccalaureate engineers) which explain the sad failure rate of 60% in the first year of university. Many young people do not recover from the loss of their illusions!
A government minister recently spoke privately, saying, "We will reform this country in spite of it!" Improving university entry through intelligent and responsible orientation is a necessity. It must be accompanied by the development of professionalisation and apprenticeship programs, which was clearly part of Emmanuel Macron's program. As for the reform of the SNCF, any decline would lead to the company, the success of its youth in particular, for our economy and for the hope of modernization that the last presidential election has given birth.
* Perpetual Secretary of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences
- The law on access to the university is adopted
- Blocking universities: "The exams will take place", ensures Édouard Philippe