Parcoursup: decoding on a student grinding machine

What reform will result in young people, their teachers and, more than that, society as a whole? As final year students began to learn about Parcoursup’s initial responses to their applications for higher education, the group of senior civil servants Nos services publics provided the first elements of the responses.

The study he released on Wednesday 1er June, based on an analysis of the responses of 375 secondary teachers, provides a better understanding of the structural changes made, under the merits of the technical responses, by the implementation, in 2017, of this new algorithm.

First consequence of the implementation of Parcoursup, which is to end the draws that exist on the margin of the APB, the previous system: “Replacing the logic of loving students as they wish by a logic of” how many “according to their classification”, the study says. From now on, assign a student “It depends less on the accuracy of his project orientation or on his motivations than on the ranking areas and call lists of each formation”.

A way to manage scarcity

This change of logic is first of all a way of managing scarcity. In other words, it is a matter of the distribution of the growing number of baccalauréat holders among the many areas of higher education that remain unchanged due to lack of investment.

It also comes with the inclusion of a growing number of platform training courses. “With Parcoursup, the approach is extended to non -selected sectors, then to those provided by the private sector. The idea now is to include all training courses, even if they do not provide a nationally recognized diploma,” explained Julien Gossa, professor of computer science at the University of Strasbourg, who participated in the study.

Another problem, Parcoursup made the selection process take weeks, resulting in a loss of meaning for students. “With APB, 80% of assignments are assigned within 48 hours, and this is the end. From now on, students will receive water suggestions and will have to act accordingly over a period of a month and a half ”, summarizes Julien Gossa.

For students who do not have a positive response or are on the waiting list, i.e. more than half of the applicants, it is necessary to react very quickly to the submission of new applications and find a suitable strategy.

The exercise is more complicated because Parcoursup replaces a national logic with 15,000 local algorithms within universities, each responding to its own, opaque logic. ” Not being caught in a formation where one is planning for oneself is a very difficult time, especially if one does not understand why ”. testimony of Emmanuel Zemmour, teacher at a high school in Pavillons-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis).

2.5 million hours to support students

The consequences of this race for classification are many. First of all, this will lead to more work for all education staff, who will need to train and support the use of Parcoursup at the expense of school working hours. “We were forced to stop hours of lessons to help students understand the platform, which is complicated, to write their 20 letters of encouragement. And finally, we will spend more time explaining the subtleties, trying to meet their needs, rather than doing real training and orientation work. And once they have their results, there is a real support at work n psychological, because above all they must not lose motivation “, said Emmanuel Zemmour.

In total, the collective Nos public services calculates that teachers will spend 2.5 million hours on this work in 2021, equivalent to 100 million euros. More than cost, the whole educational relationship is parasitized by the legitimate obsession of students and their parents to appear well in the rankings. Emmanuel Zemmour thus arouses “a fear of evaluation that is no longer considered a tool for improvement, but of attempts at avoidance and violent negotiation with parents”.

A specific vision of society

Beyond these immediate consequences, making State choices that dominate students in terms of training prompts a specific vision of society. Behind this option is the desire to confine some of the young people to the functions required by the labor market.

A questionable choice in a society that is functioning and must respond to new challenges, starting with climate change. “Will the state be able to properly manage the training for the next forty years? asked Arnaud Bontemps, co-spokesperson for Our public services, emphasizing, for example, the detrimental consequences of limiting the number of students in the health sector.

For the collective, it is important, on the contrary, to place students ’choice at the center of their orientation. As summarized by Prune Helfter-Noah, another spokesperson for the collective, “It is time to take the opportunity offered by the massification of the school to finally increase the places of public secondary education”.

SOS registration. UNEF expects more dropouts

Unef expects an increase in the number of baccalaureate holders who fail the Parcoursup platform. Announced by the student union on 1er June, the opening of the SOS Inscription system, intended to help new graduates ( or 08 06 07 90 69). “Last year, with 931,000 registered at Parcoursup, we had 91,000 young people without assignments,” explained its president, Imane Ouelhadj. This year, with 936,000 registered and not much increase in the number of places, there must be more. »

And the event is likely to reach master class entries, despite announcements of this effect, “no one can tell us whether additional venues have been made or not. Institutions, such as the Sorbonne University, have refused to make and anything because a reduction in choice damages their image ”!

The young woman also confirmed that forced orientations, imposed by many young people through the platform, “lead to higher failure rates from the first semester in some sectors”. There is so much evidence, for UNEF, of a “breathless system”.


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