University is not a Training Factory for Unemployed!

University is not a Training Factory for Unemployed!

Virginie Dupont, vice-president of France Universités and president of Bretagne Sud University, emphasizes that the development of apprenticeship started in the mid-1990s. Initially designed for BTS and IUTs, the training offer has been expanding, especially with the creation of new universities that aim for immediate professional integration of their students.

The law for the freedom to choose one’s professional future marked a turning point in 2018. According to the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, this law has liberalized and energized learning, involving all disciplines. This has led to questioning about the possibility of opening all masters to apprenticeship. Dupont sees this as a positive progression.

The Ministry also points out that the motivation to adopt this approach comes from the benefits it offers, such as guaranteeing good professional integration, changing pedagogy, promoting diversity and social openness, and strengthening ties with the socio-economic world.

The paradigm shift has brought universities closer to enterprises. Since 2006, a law has required universities to include companies in their governing bodies, thereby strengthening their relationships, especially through apprenticeship, as Dupont points out.

The vice-president also highlights that links and networks have been formed based on the presence of companies in each training region. Universities now aim to align their strategies with the economies of their territories, with the development of work-study programs closely related to companies’ recruitment needs. She emphasizes that universities are not just training grounds for the unemployed, but also produce professionals for various sectors.

Despite the benefits, there is a risk that the model will change and state aid will cease. It is important for universities to sustain the links formed with the local economic fabric through work-study programs, as Dupont firmly believes that university education is of high quality and contributes to the enhancement of skills for everyone’s benefit.

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