Parcoursup: the big comeback of the wishes ranking

It is a decree published this Thursday in the Official Journal without fanfare, but which upsets the orientation of young people. While Parcoursup, the higher education orientation platform, is entering the additional admission phase, dedicated to around 80,000 candidates who have not yet received training proposals, it will soon be necessary to prioritize the wishes . Not everyone: only those who, from July 15, the end date of the main admission phase, will only have “pending” wishes in the establishment concerned, i.e. where they can only obtain a place if a successful candidate withdraws.

Concretely, the young people concerned will have to tick their sectors in order of priority in their Parcoursup profile from July 15. “Then, when a student who had a place in this course chooses to unregister, for various reasons – a departure abroad, a change of course or work rather than continuing his studies – his place becomes available and is awarded to the one who was on the waiting list and who had placed the course in his priorities”, summarizes Jérôme Teillard, Mr Parcoursup at the Ministry of Higher Education. Before this decree, the candidate remained “pending” and he had to be decided with the other contenders during the complementary phase.

How many candidates are affected? “It’s hard to say, it’s a phase that will be experienced,” answers Jérôme Teillard. In any case, “less than one in ten”, he estimates.

Objective: gain a month

One question remains: while one of the main novelties of Parcoursup, created five years ago, consisted precisely in removing any notion of prioritization as was the case in APB, the previous platform, why such a reversal? Because it is necessary to “save time”, answers the ministry. “The idea is that as many students as possible have a place in higher education or apprenticeship before the end of July rather than before the end of August (Parcoursup is closed mid-September) “, explains the specialist.

But for Imane Ouelhadj, the president of the Unef, student union which is however “not 100% opposed to the principle of hierarchy”, the account is not there. “In the majority of cases, we will end up with students who will have a training far from their initial wish, she regrets. These will really be default choices. For some, this is a first step towards a return to global hierarchy in the system.

Regulars of discussions in high places on the subject plead that, from the main phase, candidates are asked to prioritize their first three wishes. As soon as they are retained in one of the privileged training courses, they will automatically be registered there and will no longer be able to remain in the system – this system today making it possible to say “yes” to an establishment while the possibility of finally choosing another one later.

But Jérôme Teillard recalls that this decree does not concern the initial phase. Especially since, according to him, a return to more hierarchy would risk creating “self-censorship” among high school students, who, in fact, would apply for less training. “Freedom of choice is a principle to keep,” he insists, recalling that Parcoursup now has 21,000 different training courses (compared to 13,000 in 2019).

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