Parcoursup: How the link between secondary school and higher education was forged in Hauts-de-France

They had to man the hotline until midnight on Thursday 14 March, as they have done every evening since the start of this crucial week in which graduates and students in reorientation had to formulate their wishes for a place at university. At the end of the free Parcoursup number: national educational psychologists (PsyEN, former “advice consultants”) from the Rectorate of the Hauts-de-France academic region, who form a team of twelve people from delegation to information and advice.

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This unit, which reports directly to the Rectorate, has no equivalent in France because of its clearly stated objective of creating a link between secondary education and higher education. This airlock, still largely unknown, represents a grey area and is the cause of much of the stress caused by the Parcoursup procedure.

In a territory marked by strong self-censorship among high school students with regard to higher education, the strategy of the Regional Academic Unit for Orientation towards Higher Education (Craoes) was to network the region as finely as possible and to be closely linked to five universities: Lille, Artois, Littoral Côte d’Opale, Valenciennes (Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France in the north) and Picardie Jules-Verne.

Training school principals

“Each PsyEN is a reference for a zone that allows information and training to be disseminated as close as possible to students and teachersexplains Caroline Laurent, coordinator of the group. Our added value lies in the fact that we have succeeded in globalising resources. »

To help school principals in the difficult task assigned to them by the 2018 higher education reform of providing sound advice for their students’ orientation choices, Craoes has set up about ten training courses, attended by about five hundred of them in 2023.

“We have a heterogeneous audience, with teachers who are sometimes very diligent and interested in keeping their knowledge up to date, and others who understand that they have left the university for a period of time and must rely on a different representation than this one.” They had”describes Thomas Lefebvre, Deputy Director of the Information and Orientation Support Service at the University of Lille, who worked at Craoes for five years before taking up his post.

Secondary school teachers can openly discuss with their university colleagues, especially about the classification of files on Parcoursup, supporting students or opportunities for reorientation.

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