Trouvermonmaster.gouv.fr: a system for supporting further studies that needs to evolve

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Today, Hcéres published the evaluation report for the trouvermonmaster.gouv.fr remote service. Delivered to Parliament in accordance with the Law of 23 December 2016, this report offers an analysis and suggestions for improvements on the service's three functions of information, support and statistics.

Following its hearings and analyses, the panel of experts concluded that a study needed to be conducted into changes to the trouvermonmaster.gouv.fr remote service. Three areas for improvement were put forward:

  • Recognise, legitimise and develop the service's mission of information so that it serves students,
  • Refine the current referral process and provide support to students who do not have an offer for further studies on a Master's programme,
  • Boost the legitimacy of the service by making statistics more accessible.

Recognising and fine-tuning this little-known instrument of information

The information provided by the service currently meets a real need (number of visits up by 46% between the 2019 and 2020 admission campaigns). To enhance the visibility of the Master's degree offering and make it easier to understand, the panel of experts recommends:

  • Recognising this function of information in the legislative texts, which is not currently the case,
  • Enriching and harmonising the information on training courses to inform students more effectively as they define their application strategy (courses, admission criteria, success rate, job placement rate, etc.) and help them to think nationally, not just locally,
  • Making the trouvermonmaster.gouv.fr website a guidance tool for Master's degree programmes.

Support for further studies: a central function that needs to evolve

The referral process to help students who do not have an offer for further studies is the remote service's regulatory mission on the technical, official and political levels. All things considered, it is effective, but in a limited way, in that only 20.8% of eligible requests were satisfied in 2020. There are many reasons for this, especially the weak application files of the candidates for referral to the system, a support service that is weakened by competition with the applicant’s own personal efforts and, as things stand at present, the technical impossibility for universities and local education authorities to make three enrolment offers. In  light of the above, the panel of experts recommends fine-tuning the service's current functions by:

  • Synchronising the support procedures of the local education authorities with institutions' admission-recruitment procedures by revising the current referral calendar,
  • Fostering a constructive dialogue of offers and counter-offers between students, local education authorities and institutions,
  • Creating a "complementary phase" of admission via the remote service.

With the aim of changing the nature of the service and making it more useful, the panel goes further and considers three scenarios for more transformative changes:

  • Scenario 1: require institutions to inform the local education authority of vacant places within their courses,
  • Scenario 2: have trouvermonmaster.gouv.fr operate more like Parcoursup for referrals only, with an additional admission session for referral candidates,
  • Scenario 3: have the remote service regulate the selective Master's degree entry process by posting vacant places on trouvermonmaster.gouv.fr and managing an additional phase on the platform by processing applications within a short timeframe. 

Increasing the use of statistics to better monitor problems in accessing master's degree courses

Despite being provided for in the regulations, this function is not really implemented at the moment and is not used for any strategic purpose. 

Thus, the panel of experts recommends identifying and analysing all the relevant statistics (applications, referrals, intake capacities, etc.) and communicating about them more effectively in a more transparent way to better track problems in accessing Master's courses and to improve the remote service. The committee also encourages the setting up of an independent committee for tracking and analysis.


Find out more:

  • View the report online
  • Composition of the panel of experts: 
    • Marie-Laure Coquelet, Professor at Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, co-chair,
    • Clothilde Grare-Didier, Professor at Université de Paris, co-chair,
    • Sonja Denot-Ledunois, Lecturer at Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines,
    • François Gauer, Professor at the Université de Strasbourg.