“Applied for 19 master’s degrees, one rejection…”: blues of students in a narrow neck tank +4

Integrating a master’s degree in criminal law and criminal science? Amira dreamed of this. “This year I graduated from the University of Aix-Marseille with an Assez bien distinction. I applied to 19 master’s degrees at 14 different universities. I received rejections everywhere! I am not on any waiting list. »
Like Amira, hundreds of students who have completed three years of undergraduate studies – sometimes brilliantly – cannot find a single faculty that welcomes them to a master’s degree. Young people who question the non-transparent selection that prevents them from completing their course.

“In tears”

“You won’t do much with a license. We’re not allowed to enter competitions that require a BA + 4: Justice or Law School… Suddenly I’m going to spend a gap year trying to do internships to improve my record and reapply next year for Masters. »
Social networks are full of messages under the hashtag #etudiantssansmaster. We read the testimonies of desperate young people, tired of the accumulation of rejections to their candidates.
“Imagine working like crazy for four years, trying to get an excellent result, doing internships, volunteering…etc. So that in the end, universities will deny you a master’s degree for no reason. Welcome to the French education system,” wrote Letizia on Twitter.
On the phone, the young woman said she felt “more than disappointment. Until yesterday, I was in tears, I don’t know what to do. I have obtained a diploma in psychology with a distinction of “Very good” in the disciplines in which I am applying for a master’s degree, i.e. neuropsychology and cognitive psychology. I applied for six master’s programs in Paris. I have six rejections, although I even found the promise of an internship at the Paris University Hospital. »Photo by Christelle Gojar Bessaire

Several politicians wrote on July 20 to the Minister of Higher Education, Sylvie Retailo, to remind her of “the right to continue education, guaranteed by law since 2016 for every license holder. »
Fatiha Keloua Hachi, Borys Vallo, Inaki Ehaniz and Claudia Rouault, respectively MPs for Seine-Saint-Denis, Landes, Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Ile-et-Villenes, mention in this letter “a situation that is not new, which shows the chronic inadequacy of the means and places in master’s training […] While undergraduate enrollments have grown steadily in recent years, rising from 869,000 in 2010 to over one million in 2021, the increase in postgraduate places has been woefully inadequate, rising from 510,000 in 2010 to just 584,000 in in 2021”.

Old situation

In the summer of 2021, former higher education minister Frédéric Vidal promised to loosen the noose by creating additional places – between 3,000 and 4,000 – in so-called “stressed” sectors such as law, economics and management and psychology.
To see better, Lou Bensoam, a student at Sciences Po, created a collaboration platform called ViteMonMaster with four friends. He notes that of the 1,608 Masters mentioned, “we are down 1,169 places in Master 1 compared to last year: so this is a big reduction. The creation of 4,000 additional places did not happen,” concludes the student, for whom “the problem comes from afar. We have several courses where there are fewer places than in 2010, when we had 500,000 more students. »Photo by Jeremy Fullinger

When appeals to rectors or universities fail, he is the last hope. I, Florent Verdier, have over the years become an advocate for university dropouts. For eight years, he has been traversing the administrative courts from Lille to Marseille via Bordeaux to defend the interests of his clients, especially students who have not obtained a master’s degree.

At the moment, the man says that he is overwhelmed. “I receive requests for representation to try to find a place in the magistracy, through appeals in administrative courts. In July and August, I have two or three hearings a week. According to him, universities have the right to set the number of entrants to courses and determine selection criteria (From the editorial office, selection for the master’s degree was legalized by law in December 2016). It is still necessary to implement appropriate procedures and inform students of the restrictive conditions in place. But every year, universities fail to comply with the law. »

“We’re good students, we’ve been mentioned, but we don’t have a master’s degree”

“Deficit manager…”: tweet from a university professor – Professor of Private Law and Criminal Sciences at the University of Lorraine, Bruno Pi, received a letter from a Member of Parliament asking him about the re-adjustment of a student in M1. He didn’t like it… and he made it clear by posting his response on Twitter. Excerpt: “Mr. Deputy, I am the first one who regrets being a participant in the mechanism that forces academics to be deficit managers (…) Your mandate and your quality as a parliamentarian give you two ways to remedy this situation: either by proposing to abolish selection or by increasing university budgets , and therefore their receptive capacity. »

Nicolas Faucon


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