This year, when school started in September, many students who had just completed their bachelor’s degree expressed their desperation on social networks: they were unable to register for a master’s degree because there were no places on the course.
This phenomenon is not new. For this reason, many students have not been able to continue their studies for several years. However, the government had promised that 3,000 additional Masters places would be created in 2021 and 4,000 in 2022.
According to the site “vitemonmaster.fr”, which lists the places available in the various university courses every year, in reality more than 1,100 master’s places are canceled – and not created – for this start of the 2022 academic year. Notable exception: The business management course benefits from 200 additional places.
The law of 2016
These deletions are taking place despite the increasing number of applications for registration in the Master. This contradiction surfaced with a 2016 law formalizing selection at the entrance to the master. It hasn’t gotten any worse since then.
Before the 2016 law, a student enrolled in the first year of a license was guaranteed access to college places up to Bac+4. But now, for a master’s degree, a student has to undergo a selection process that is often very arbitrary because it depends on the funding of the different degree programs. In the event of failure, he can only turn to his rectorate, and the “solutions” that this proposes are seldom sufficient. For example, students who have validated a bachelor’s degree in psychology are automatically sent to a master’s degree in education or animation, while law students are invited to continue their studies at universities across the country.
While the phenomenon affects practically all fields of study, some are particularly exposed. In the master’s programs in “pressurized” areas such as law or psychology, the number of places offered is ridiculous compared to the number of applications received. Some Masters receive up to 2,000 applications for around twenty study places!
In these courses, many students submit multiple administrative applications in hopes of continuing their studies. Unfortunately, these efforts are often in vain. Out of 11,000 referrals in 2021, fewer than 2,500 gave a student access to a master’s degree. The others had no choice but to spend the lost year doing underpaid internships or community service in hopes of expanding their files and giving themselves more chances to apply. Next year.
In view of this situation and the complaints that keep coming up, the government has announced a “solution”: At the beginning of the 2023 school year, it will set up an online platform for selecting master’s applicants based on the Parcoursup model. Given the course that Parcoursup for Graduates presents, one can only shudder at what awaits students at the start of the next school year!
The selection in the Master’s is only one element of the deterioration of the study conditions in higher education. For nearly two decades, successive governments have chained austerity policies. The demolition of the public university and cuts in welfare provided significant budgetary savings at the expense of students.
Between 2014 and 2021, government spending on each student fell by an average of 12%. Of course, it is the most precarious students who suffer the most. One in two students now has to work to pay for their studies, at the risk of missing out: it’s difficult to concentrate on classes between a odd job or two, not to mention the administrative pitfalls that the state has to deal with study imposed. Students.
Budget cuts and the selection policy that goes with them are the result of the organic crisis of capitalism. In order to save money at all costs and continue to water private companies with public money, successive governments attack all conquests of the working class. Access to higher education is one of them. The possibility – e.g Everyone – Studying history, education or theater has become unbearable for the bourgeoisie. It needs a university that is as economical as possible and that “produces” employees that meet the immediate needs of the private sector.
Students need good study and living conditions as well as free access to high-quality education. But the existence of quality higher education has become incompatible with capitalism in crisis. There is no doubt that this contradiction prepares great struggles of youth.