How to solve the traffic jam at the entrance to the M1? By using a digital platform. Or if you prefer, by setting up a “Parcoursup” of masters.
In its back-to-school file, the Ministry of Higher Education is careful not to use this expression, as the post-baccalaureate orientation platform crystallizes, rightly or wrongly, discontent. But it is a fairly similar operation that should be imposed on holders of a bac + 3 wishing to continue their studies.
After a consultation initiated in mid-June, the Minister for Higher Education, Sylvie Retailleau, decided on the main principles of the future tool, which will take over from the Find my master’s site, launched a year ago and which operates more like a information portal. The executive plans “a single submission of files by candidates, who would no longer be faced with a multitude of recruitment methods varying from one establishment to another”.
A unique national calendar
Similarly, it will be a question of perfecting the harmonization, initiated last year, of the timetables for submitting the file and obtaining the answers, with common dates for all the training courses. The stated objective is “Optimizing the allocation of Master’s places before the summer vacation period”. The new national platform should make it possible to have “better knowledge of the number of vacant places”. And, assures the ministry, “Establishments will know, well before the start of the school year, the number of candidates actually registered within them”. In fact, it will not be possible to accept two formations simultaneously.
The new tool will be operational from the end of winter, with the submission of applications scheduled for March 2023. Each candidate will be able to complete up to ten in classic training and up to ten others in work-study. Applications which, as on Parcoursup, will not have to be ranked.
From early April to mid-June, institutions will review applications. Candidates will get a response during the admissions phase, which will run from mid-June to mid-July. The training courses offered on a work-study basis will be able to respond in advance, from April, to allow the candidates concerned to have more time to seek a work contract. In principle, registrations will take place in the second half of July.
“The file review process will be based, as today, on the assessment of the candidates’ project, their motivation, their background and the transcripts uploaded in PDF format”, detail the ministry. The training courses will also be able to ask the candidates, via a form, the additional questions of their choice.
Redistribute vacant places
The role of the platform, summarizes the ministry, will consist “essentially to redistribute the places left vacant by candidates who have accepted other admission proposals”. The question of a possible additional phase, inspired by the one that exists on Parcoursup and which makes it possible to formulate new applications, at the beginning of the summer, for training courses that have not been filled up, has not yet been decided. . On the other hand, people who have only obtained negative answers will be able to continue to request the intervention of the rector of the academic region from mid-June.
As with Parcoursup, insists the ministry, it is not the platform that will select the candidates but the training managers, who will collect the applications and respond to them via the new tool. The press kit does not say whether the said formations will be able, if they wish, to use algorithms to facilitate decision-making. Nor even if they will have to explain their criteria. Two very sensitive points today, with regard to entry into the first cycle. An ethical and scientific committee will be set up to ensure the smooth running of the procedure. As for Parcoursup.
For several years now, the Masters has been the level of study subject to the greatest pressure. In this new school year, their numbers (if we include in particular engineering training and health studies) increase by 3%.