Bachelor’s degree: it is not necessary to leave your region to study, schools are expanding their campuses

Access to main schools suffers from strong geographical inequalities that have barely disappeared over the years. “Students from Île-de-France continue to be overrepresented. In business schools, they represent 34% of the active population, while they only represent 16% of high school graduates,” says Julien Grenet, professor at the Paris School of Economics (PSE) and co-author of a report for the Public Policy Institute. .

“When the trajectory of third-year students is analyzed ten years later, Parisians are two to three times more likely to enroll in a major school,” he illustrates. The inequality of opportunity is even more striking as you move up the ranks. The most selective courses (HEC, Essec or ESCP) almost all come from the Ile-de-France region.

Although it is not the only explanation, the financial dimension weighs heavily in these disparities in access. In a context of inflation, student insecurity and housing crisis in large cities – the same ones that house the main schools – moving is not easy. Taking a loan from the bank either. Adding tuition costs (a bachelor’s degree costs between 7,000 and 15,000 euros per year on average), the equation becomes impossible for many families.

local nuggets

The rise of bachelor’s degrees has not reduced tuition fees, although the course remains slightly less expensive than a Grande école (PGE) programme. But its success invites some establishments to move the course to medium-sized cities, to reach students who otherwise would not do so.

For the economic reasons mentioned, but also because a postgraduate program is, by definition, aimed at a young audience. “The question arose whether to remain in Martinique or leave immediately for mainland France. But 18 is young! “, remembers Mateo. Getting away from family and friends without knowing many people in Paris and without a complete resume to look for internships is complicated.

However, in Martinique there is the EGC Business School. A network of schools that has chosen, for years, to establish itself in areas where there is little educational offer. Its 20 campuses are located in intermediate-sized cities: Brive (Corrèze), Le Mans (Sarthe), Chalon-sur-Saône (Saône et Loire), etc. – in Guyana or, therefore, in Martinique. 80 students they host were educated in these same territories. If all goes well, they will earn a state-approved bachelor’s degree, often the only one accessible without having to leave the family unit.

“After three years at EGC Martinique, I felt much better prepared to go to mainland France,” says Mathew. He then launched an attack on the capital and completed a master’s degree in luxury management. Two years ago he returned to his native island. “Everything went well. I came back feeling like I could apply anywhere. » Mathew today works at Habitation Clément, a large agricultural estate where the rum of the same name is distilled. He leads a team of 20 people as assistant commercial and spirit tourism manager.

Multiply campus

For ten years now, Kedge Business School, whose historic campuses are located in Bordeaux (Gironde) and Marseille (Bouches du Rhône), has opened what it calls “partner campuses”. Located in medium-sized towns in the south of France, they are specifically dedicated to bachelor’s degrees.

The program, identical to that of Kedge Business School, which offers the same degree of license, is offered in Avignon (Vaucluse), Bastia (Upper Corsica) and Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). They will be joined next September by Mont-de-Marsan (Landes).

“We work together with chambers of commerce and industry to bring our academic excellence to these communities,” explains Alexandre de Navailles, CEO of Kedge Business School. Cities have a lot to gain by keeping their young people home for a while longer. Also local companies, which can host them as internships, apprenticeships or hire them. “Our campuses are located in places full of ETIs (medium-sized companies) that have difficulties recruiting staff,” highlights Alexandre de Navailles.

Especially for students, the offer is tempting. “Accommodation in Bordeaux now costs almost as much as in Paris. In Marseille it is also very complicated,” indicates the general director of Kedge Business School. As for parents, in addition to saving major costs, there is something reassuring about keeping your new high school graduates at home. “Some people start their bachelor’s degree at age 17,” he remembers. If you don’t have to leave right away, why rush?

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