Publications, Evaluation

Economics and management sciences: Evaluation of the experimental university professor recruitment system

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Hcéres has been appointed to evaluate the experimental system consisting in eliminating the quotas on open positions for the recruitment of professors in economics and management sciences and has published its conclusions in two reports. Four years after the launch of this experiment, Hcéres has come to different conclusions in the two fields and makes its recommendations accordingly.

The experiment was launched in 2015 for a 4-year period and was made subject to evaluation by Hcéres1 for the purpose of enabling the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation to “determine” whether it should permanently abolish the requirement setting a percentage of recruitments via the Agrégation examination and extend the experimental system.

These reports are based on the work carried out by two distinct peer committees, one for each discipline. They set out the context and legislative framework of the experiment and present a detailed analysis of the systems implemented and their results. Placing great emphasis on consultation with the scientific community and the main stakeholders, the committees drew upon:

  • an analysis of the available data and of the changes observed with a view to characterising the populations concerned; 
  • hearings of key personalities in economics and management sciences.

In conclusion, their assessment of the experiment differs according to the discipline:

  • for economics, the Committee recommends that the quota system should be abandoned once and for all, along with improvements that should be made to the system and some recommendations to be implemented to make the career of economics professor more attractive; 
  • in management sciences, the Committee finds that the different recruitment channels should be maintained for university professors (selection via the Agrégation examination, qualification by the CNU (National Universities Council) or promotion subject to seniority conditions) while making each of them attractive not only for the universities, but also for candidates, and that adjustments should be made to prevent the blockages, biases or abuses that are observed.  

These reports have been handed over to the Minister, Frédérique Vidal, who declared that she “largely shared their conclusions.”

What was the experiment?

In 20142, a revision of the decree3 setting out the common statutory provisions applicable to professors and researchers and establishing a special status for university professors and for lecturers, introduced two major changes to recruitment policies:

  • The legal disciplines (sections 01 to 03 of the CNU), political sciences (section 04 of the CNU), economics (section 05 of the CNU) and management sciences (section 06 of the CNU) may recruit their university professors according to the standard procedures applicable to the other disciplines (Article 46-1) and no longer solely via the Agrégation examination or transfers;
  • This experimental elimination of quotas was made possible for the disciplines of economics and management sciences (Article 53) and they have been applying it since 2015. This means that the national Agrégation examination, which hitherto had to represent at least 50% of recruitments (excluding transfers), is no longer the priority access route to positions of university professors in these two disciplines.



1 Article 53 of Decree n°2014-997 of 2 September 2014

2 Decree n°2014-997 of 2 September 2014

3 Decree n°84-431 of 6 June 1984