Mentoring and scholarship to encourage younger Vendeiers to attempt the Grandes Ecoles

Posted Nov 15, 2022 1:00pm

Despite the social opening programs, the proportion of students from the provinces in the Grandes Ecoles is making little progress. According to the Public Policy Institute, students from Paris and Ile-de-France are still over-represented there. 30% of their promotions passed their baccalaureate in Ile-de-France. The proportion reached between 44 and 57% for Polytechnique, HEC, ENS Ulm and IEP de Paris.

The association De la Vendée aux Grandes Ecoles (DVGE) works hard to encourage young Vendées to take a Grande Ecole course. The DVGE, created in 2019, announces at the beginning of the 2023 academic year the launch of a scholarship funded by the National Association of Des Territoires aux Grandes Ecoles and Vendée companies.

In the amount of 6,000 euros, it is made available for two years for students who are completing a specific training course, a business or engineering school, a preparatory college or a double license. Among the first partners of the exchange are the Vendée SMEs Petitgas and Huguet ingénieur. “Executives looking for high-level leadership hope to develop lasting relationships with students sponsored by the association,” says Grégoire Nicolleau, co-president of DVGE, a Sciences Po student.


“The idea is to bring these future graduates back to the region at the end of their studies by offering them an internship or a working student position during their studies or a position at the end of their studies,” he continues. And to give them better support, the association also launched a mentoring program in November. A high school student who decides to join a Grande Ecole is followed by one of the fifty members of the association, students, recent graduates or young workers of a Grande Ecole. He can then be helped to write a cover letter, prepare for an oral or written paper or even find a scholarship…

Most of the work of the DVGE consists above all in breaking down the prejudices of high school students, teachers and their parents about access to the Grandes Ecoles. According to the association, the under-representation of Vendeans in selective education is due to unequal knowledge of higher education and self-censorship. Its members intervene in the 25 public high schools of the department in the first and last years to explain what a selection course is and how to access it. “We help to change mentalities,” summarizes Grégoire Nicolleau. And successful. According to Iepien, half of the high school students they attend integrate a selective curriculum.

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