ERIC Number: ED213308
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Retrospective View of the Second-Cycle Reform in France.
Geiger, Roger L.
The circumstances in France surrounding the reform of the third and fourth years of university study (the second cycle) are considered. It is suggested that if the original problem stemmed from the expansion of university enrollments and the shortage of graduate jobs, the proposed solution called for vocationally oriented diversification; the issue very quickly became a power struggle between the Secretariat for Higher Education and Research and elements within the universities. To provide a context for these events, some basic information about French higher education is considered. Problem areas that have important ramifications for the university include: the saturation of traditional graduate labor markets, particularly in the public sector; the competitive disadvantage of university graduates in the private industry labor market compared to graduates of "grandes ecoles," where recruitment is by competitive examination; and the finding that jobs that university graduates accept are either provisional, part-time, or below the graduate's level of training and expectation. The underlying objective of the second-cycle reform is to better adapt higher education to the employment opportunities in the economy. Opposition to the reform by the universities centered on reduced access to university programs and student selection criteria; the government's proposed curtailment in the length of study for the license; the challenge to the traditional curriculum; and the increased power over programs provided to the Secretary of Higher Education. One of the consequences of the developments has been devaluation of the university. (SW)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Admission Criteria, College Graduates, College Role, Curriculum Development, Economic Factors, Education Work Relationship, Educational Change, Employment Opportunities, Employment Potential, Foreign Countries, Governance, Government School Relationship, Higher Education, Labor Market
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Yale Univ., New Haven, CT. Inst. for Social and Policy Studies.
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 7, 1977). Working paper.