The mobility puzzle for master’s students


When he applied for a master’s degree last summer, Raphaël Hernout, 22, crossed his fingers to stay in Amiens, the city where he had just completed his biology degree. The town where he had ” all [sa] life “. The young man had drawn up a very long list of wishes to increase his chances. But only two options succeeded: one in Strasbourg, the other in Bordeaux. Although he considers himself lucky not to have ended up empty-handed, the prospect of living in one or the other of these cities has hardly thrilled him. ” I did not know anyone the low, he slips. Even Paris, I would have preferred, because my aunt and uncle live there and I have my bearings. There was the unknown. »

Without conviction, he headed for the prefecture of Gironde to follow a master’s degree in “nutrition and food science” at the University of Bordeaux. The student had time to get organized and to visit accommodation at the beginning of July: he was able to find a furnished apartment at a rent of 420 euros per month. ” It’s a pretty town but it’s horribly expensive”, he laments. He often thinks back, and with nostalgia, to the small house in Amiens that he occupied with a friend last year: “For the same price, we had more space and a small garden. »

How many, like Raphaël Hernout, follow their university course in a city they did not choose? Difficult to say, since there are no figures on the geographical mobility of students or qualitative data on the voluntary or forced dimension of these trips. However, at each start of the school year, the tension on certain masters and the difficulties in obtaining a place push young people to move.

Calibration problem

As the number of holders of a bachelor’s degree has increased more rapidly than that of the availability of a master’s degree, access to the higher level is increasingly complex. At the entrance to certain courses, such as law, psychology or economics, there is a traffic jam. As a result, in order not to be left with nothing, some students settle hundreds of kilometers from their homes. “There are obviously more possibilities when you are very mobile, but that is not the ideal solution to solve the problem of the lack of places”, recognizes Guillaume Gellé, president of France Universities.

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Félix Bodoulé Sosso, spokesperson for the Federation of General Student Associations (FAGE), knows lots of stories similar to Raphaël’s. “Many students in our network are affected by this mobilityhe said. There are masters less attractive than others and cities with more places available. » For Pascal Lecroart, vice-president in charge of training and university life at the University of Bordeaux, it should nevertheless be remembered that “mobility is in the DNA of the master, because the courses are not the same from one institution to another”.

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