Parcoursup here, Parcoursup there… At the start of spring, the higher education orientation platform is doubly in the news. In the manner of a “chestnut tree”, first, with the end of the phase of wishes: the candidates – future baccalaureate holders, students in reorientation or people in resumption of studies – have until Tuesday, March 29 to formulate their wishes to continue their studies and until April 7 to finalize their file. In a much more political vein then, since the subject has appeared in the programs of several major candidates for the presidential election.
Opacity of selection criteria
For many families, Parcoursup has turned into a stress and fantasy machine. In question: the opacity of the selection criteria in many training courses, even the very principle of sorting files in the most requested university licenses. Also pointed out: the long months of uncertainty in which some of the candidates find themselves, forced to wait for places to become available through withdrawals.
→ READ. Parcoursup: investigation into the algorithms that decide the future of our children
For opponents of Emmanuel Macron, Parcoursup is to be listed as a liability of the current majority, even if, according to an Ipsos study carried out in 2020, three quarters of users consider the platform “practical and understandable”.
Some, like Jean-Luc Mélenchon, plan to simply delete the platform. When “La Croix” asks him, on March 24, what he intends to replace Parcoursup with, the candidate of La France insoumise answers straight away: “By nothing. The choice of young people must be respected. The baccalaureate will remain the first grade in higher education. There will be no other requirements to enroll in college. »
Valérie Pécresse assumes “a selective orientation”
Others are more moderate, like Valérie Pécresse and Yannick Jadot, also interviewed in “La Croix” about their project for school and youth. “What should decide the orientation of young people is not an opaque algorithm but Republican merit and the prerequisites set by the universitiesbelieves the right-wing candidate. In courses that have more candidates than places, they must explain the criteria that guide their choice. Universities must assume a selective orientation. »
Perhaps more surprisingly, the Europe Écologie-Les Verts candidate agrees to maintain a share of selection at university entrance. On condition, however, that each candidate obtains “a positive answer on at least one of his choices”. As Yannick Jadot states in our columns, “the new device, named differently, will continue to rely on algorithms but with more transparency, a hierarchy of wishes by the candidates”. A promise made achievable, he assures, by the creation of 80,000 to 100,000 places in higher education, “to better meet the demand”.
6% of candidates without a proposal for registration
For the time being, Marine Le Pen has not really positioned herself on the subject. She just regrets that the results of the baccalaureate – examination “discredited” by the Blanquer reform – are not “even more taken into account by the Parcoursup platform for the assignment of final year students to higher education”. Applied partially due to the pandemic, during the last two sessions, the said reform must, precisely, make it possible to take into account, in the orientation, a greater part of the marks counting for the baccalaureate. Before Parcoursup, the selective training courses decided between their candidates exclusively on the basis of the files.
President-candidate Emmanuel Macron, he seems to have partly heard the criticisms addressed to the platform. In his programme, the Head of State promises to “to make Parcoursup more predictable by giving the precise results of previous years” – without explicitly inviting the courses to specify their selection criteria – and “by supporting families better”.
To put oil in the system, Emmanuel Macron also plans to develop short courses likely to accommodate in particular professional baccalaureate holders, the majority among the candidates without a solution at the end of the procedure. Last year, according to the statistics department of the Ministry of Higher Education, 6% of neo-bachelors did not receive an enrollment proposal.