The plight of students who fail to enroll in a master’s degree program – France

The plight of students who fail to enroll in a master's degree program - France

Returning to school, 23-year-old Kevin finds himself moving to a new region and starting the home part of his studies. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an overall average of 14.8 and a good note, he thought he was ill-prepared to combine his desired master’s degree in neuropsychology. But of the ten applications sent across France (from Lille to Annecy and from Caen to Strasbourg), only Finistère was rejected.

After five years spent on the benches UBO, at Brest (two in medicine, three in psychology) the young man’s horizons suddenly darkened. what to do ? Augment an internship to improve your file and reapply for master’s next year? Do A civil service ? Work in a factory? Without perspective, Kevin insisted on his right to continue his studies Findmymaster and to communicate with the Rector of the Academy, three proposals of admission to be made in accordance with his plan and the license obtained. September is here and still no news.

The right to pursue studies has been violated

Kevin’s case is not isolated. Jean, ranked 34th out of 150 students in her third-year law degree class at Vannes (UPS), suffered twenty denials of admission to a master’s degree in private law and criminal law. Despite an overall average of 15, Maë graduated in psychology Reindeer 2, after applying to twelve masters in psychocriminology and neuroscience remains unresolved. He was notified of “inadequate results” or “insufficient knowledge or skill.” Appreciative appeals to the concerned universities have been in vain. “The real reason is the lack of places, I verbally agreed.” After recommending to the Rectorate, she received two “proposals”: “Except that the wording was wrong. By talking to former students, I quickly understood that these proposals involved sending files to universities that never responded. Maë lives very badly with “the accumulation of these disappointments” and these refusals, because of the lack of explanation. , she says, made her “lose confidence in herself” and even, “self-esteem.”

It is very difficult to live with this accumulation of disappointments. No support for understanding denials that affect our confidence and self-esteem

Law, psychology and science are in great tension

From 2016, the examination for the master’s degree does not take place when switching to the second year, but when entering M 1. The problem is that it leaves a growing number of graduates (baccalaureate) behind. + 3): 11,600 failed. In 2021, it will be twice as much as in 2019. However, a license rarely, by itself, permits employment. Without a master’s degree, Kevin and May had no chance of becoming psychologists.

Last year, Frédérique Vidal, then Minister of Higher Education, announced the creation of 4,400 additional places in the fields of law, science, psychology and STABs. balance sheet? “4,388 M1 places are actually funded at 3,200 euros per place for a full year,” the ministry certified, “including 1,291 places in law, 286 in environmental management, 609 in science and technology or even 599 places in master’s list. Teaching, education and training”. According to Sylvie Retailleau’s company, which took over Frédérique Vidal’s portfolio, companies voted for overall reception skills (197,000 M1 places) over the number of licensed graduates (about 145,000).

However, no locations were created in Brittany, at Rennes 1, or at the UBO in Brest (see opposite). Data Collected by Collaborative Site QuickMyMaster, Between 2021 and 2022, more than 1,000 places were cut in more than 300 training courses by students, for their part, leading the way.


It is difficult to see clearly in this battle of statistics. One thing is certain: behind the tough trade-offs faced by universities caught in a trap between student population growth (+25% between 2008 and 2021) and insufficiently calculated budgets, there are painful personal situations, some of which have made a specialty of being advocates. Last year, testimonies circulated on Twitter, under the hashtag #Students without masters. This year, of the neuropsychology courses to which Kevin applied, the acceptance rate was no higher than 5% in Reims and 3% in Lille. however, The country has never needed more psychologists. The same topo in Law with an average ratio of 300 seats per 8,000 applicants. A bottleneck is even more insane as most matches are only accessible to bac + 4!

Inside Fill

Breton figures


“It’s a thing about us”. This year, Rennes 1 University received 31,500 postgraduate applications for 2,731 students. Of the 5,600 files accepted in 45 master notes, 2,500 have validated the proposal. This, in theory, leaves room for re-examination of the files of students initially refused at Rennes or other universities. Certain courses, such as law or biology, are in high demand. And in Rennes 1, despite the 4,400 places created nationally by the ministry, “the skills are not developed because of the lack of allocated funds and human resources”, admitting that it is really a question of the budget, referring to the presidency. “In five years, Rennes has gained 1 3,000 students, all cycles combined”.

Nomination to the Rectorate: Some elected officials

As of August 23, the university has received 318 referrals from the rectorate, 51 of which are about students from Rennes Academy. It processed 112 and rejected a hundred files either because the qualification for the master’s degree in question had already been reached or because the student’s prerequisites did not match the expectations of the training. The only chance for the losers now is that some admitted ones did not appear at the beginning of the school year, which was examined by the commission for the 2nd cycle of the rectory in mid-September.

For its part, UBO (University of West Brittany) received 13,475 applications for entry into the master’s program for 2,553 places. Law (2,638 applications for 112 seats, 380 files accepted), Psychology (1,484 applications for 80 seats, 151 files accepted) and Biology are the tightest courses. About 700 recommendations from the Rector were processed, of which about thirty applications were verified, and all the Masters joined. Seven students accepted this scholarship program.

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