Beware of chocolate diplomas, granted in return for often considerable tuition fees. While final year students receive their answers on Parcoursup and enroll in higher education courses, the Conference of Directors of French Schools of Management (CDEFM) and the Conference of Grandes Ecoles (CGE) warn of certain mirages. “We find that some good students let themselves be taken in by false promises”, sums up Laurent Champaney, president of the CGE. In the viewfinder, private for-profit schools that have opened in recent years, beyond any real control. “There are all kinds of them in various fields, from IT to new technologies, including management or administration,” he lists.
Problem: some of these courses in fact only offer a very basic learning, sometimes delivered only online, and non-recognized diplomas. The student will be considered as a simple bachelor with regard to the administration and employers. The problem is such that the Conference of Grandes Ecoles was alerted by elected officials: “Deputies and senators receive letters from parents in their constituency, who say that after having, for example, financed a BTS for their child, this one cannot find a job and realizes that he does not in fact have a diploma”, illustrates Laurent Champaney.
Stands in orientation fairs
However, these formations have stands in trade fairs devoted to orientation. They flourish by highlighting training conducted by professionals that guarantees employment or the complexity of Parcoursup. “No need to go through this puzzle, they say in essence: “You give us a CV, and we give you the answer during the day”, illustrates Laurent Champaney.
Also beware of certain courses, which although offered on Parcoursup, are not suitable for graduates. These are alternating training courses, under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour, which issue non-diploma “recognition”, for example registration in the National Directory of Professional Certifications or Qualiopi. “Derived from continuing education, they are not suitable for young students”, warns Laurent Champaney. In particular, they do not provide for educational support.
Better protect titles
The voices of the CGE and the CDEFM are added to the chorus of criticisms already expressed. In December 2022, the General Directorate for the Repression of Fraud, seized by the Ministry of Higher Education, had noted deceptions and abusive commercial practices in 56% of the 80 schools checked. In February 2023, France Universities had in turn asked the State to better protect master’s and license titles and asked for the adoption of a “code of ethics”.
Since then, a working group has been set up and should lead, at the end of 2024, to the opening of an online platform “in order to clarify the level of recognition of each training and what it corresponds to. “, promises the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.