Parcoursup: Towards the hierarchy of dreams from June 15?

“Parcoursup is not responsible for everything. » It is on this note that Gilles Roussel, president of Parcoursup’s Ethics and Scientific Committee, chose to present the annual report of the committee, which offers proposals to improve “efficiency, fairness” over the course of 5 years. transparency of the procedure”.

Because, as the person who is the rector of the university likes to remind, behind the algorithms that allow to sort the files of the candidates, there are many people, the teachers who organize the Committees for checking the wishes. These define the criteria by which the algorithm will classify the received files.

In other words, therefore, it is not Parcoursup that decides the future of undergraduates, but the education teams that define the criteria and prerequisites they consider important for success in their study courses. there is The number of places depends on the funding allocated by the state to each course in higher education.

Even though “Parcoursup is improving every year,” according to committee members, CESP listed 18 recommendations in the report, some of which could be implemented this year.

Rank all candidates without a priori exclusion

One of the committee’s recommendations to selective higher education institutions is to classify all incoming documents a priori according to one or another criteria (specialization, floor designation, etc.). Indeed, according to committee members, excluding certain profiles from the outset would explain why certain training courses are not filled, no matter how much they are requested; Some BTS or preparatory classes, for example, offer places in the additional procedure from June 15 – a shame.

Another recommendation, this time to increase the transparency of admission procedures: that candidates should be aware of the exact criteria and scales used by the examination commissions to classify their documents. This is already a reality in foreign higher education institutions, particularly Anglo-Saxon higher education institutions, which communicate fully transparently on their selection scale, allowing candidates to pre-calculate their rankings. Therefore, CESP proposes that voluntary training of various types (BTS, DUT, CPGE, etc.) should experiment with this “transparency” from 2024 and then analyze the results regarding their adoption.

On the other hand, the committee is still not in favor of anonymizing candidates’ high schools of origin, as recommended by the Court of Auditors in 2020. However, this anonymization will allow us to clarify one of the reasons for candidates’ mistrust of Parcoursup: many high school students fear that their home high school is underweight, especially as some teachers at the lowest-ranked high schools. in their file.

In this regard, one of the committee members explained at a press conference that after examining the data of the 2021 Parcoursup campaign in the Paca region, the high school of origin does not play a discriminatory role. A finding that contradicts high school principals’ opposition to anonymizing — if they want to get that information, they should use it.

A less innocuous topic than it seems, because it means judging a candidate’s worth by the supposed or imagined worth of his high school. However, this is a criterion that can be very socially discriminatory, as most disadvantaged young people complete their bachelor’s degree at a high school in their sector, whether classified as “good” or “bad” – unlike high school students, for whom it is more is superior. High school choice is a long-term strategy often developed by their parents from elementary school, possibly in the private sector.

Previous desire hierarchy

Among CESP’s proposals, it should be noted that the hierarchy of candidates’ own wishes should be brought back earlier in the calendar. This is to speed up the procedure and reallocation of free places to prevent prospective students from having to wait until the heart of the summer to find out where they will study at the start of the next academic year. It is a very stressful situation for those who have to leave their family home and urgently need to find a place in an unfamiliar city.

On July 15, 2022, candidates still on the waiting list were asked to prioritize their requests, which the committee believed would speed up the process. To save a little more time, CESP recommends moving this phase to mid-June. Either a month’s worth of earnings and an opportunity to discuss with the candidates’ teachers the best strategy to adopt to build their rankings – when high schools close in mid-July.

It is still difficult to know which of these proposals have a chance to be implemented according to which schedule. The ball is now in the court of Higher Education and Research Minister Sylvie Retailleau, who received the CESP report on Thursday.

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