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The social dimension of students in France, national and local perspectives

Abstract : The quantitative democratisation of the access to higher education in France has led to a more diversified student population particularly within universities both in terms of academic profile and social background. The different tracks (i.e. academic and vocational) within upper secondary school prepare differently students for higher education, and can lead to different study conditions and experiences within higher education. Indeed, the students from the vocational tracks are less well prepared to adapt to the difficulties of student life. In our presentation we will focus on first : year students and the different dimensions of their student life (academic, social, gender and regional). The aim of our presentation is twofold. First we wish to present the national situation of student life using national and international data for France (OVE, Eurostudent) drawing attention to student study conditions (accommodation, employment during studies, etc.) and the socio : economic, demographic and academic profile of students. In the second part, we wish to illustrate more specific challenges across different regions of France. Using the examples of higher education institutions in the regions of Alsace, Brittany, Burgundy and Pays de la Loire, we will discuss certain local priorities in terms student profiles (e.g. foreign students in Strasburg, students with health issues and disabilities in Rennes, urban vs. rural students in Burgundy, and vocational school students across the Pays de la Loire , etc.). We will look at the relation between these different profiles and their specific study conditions, experiences and activities (cultural and recreational), as well as programme choices (and the processes behind these choices), success (both retention and graduation) and study projects. The regional case studies will show the combined effects of the changes in the student population, study habits, student life, and material constraints. We will highlight how social inequalities in student life are reflected in these local contexts. Indeed, if country level data provides a useful insight into the social dimension, it is necessary to look deeper into more micro analysis of local dimensions to have a better understanding of what the social dimension means, for whom and where.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 15, 2015 - 4:47:22 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 22, 2021 - 10:00:04 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01163850, version 1


Jake Murdoch, Carine Erard, Christine Guégnard, Xavier Collet, Philippe Cordazzo, et al.. The social dimension of students in France, national and local perspectives. The Social Dimension in European Higher Education, University of economics, Feb 2015, Vienne, Austria. ⟨halshs-01163850⟩



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