What is the true autonomy of universities? This is the fundamental question of a debate that has provoked a section of the university community this year, which is related to the awarding of certificates in English to students by the Ministry of Higher Education. From 2021, it will be mandatory to send this certificate to all young people preparing for a national bachelor’s degree (license, goal, professional license, etc.). This action was worn by Frederick Vidal Formalized by an order issued in April 2020.
What is a certificate? Standard English test that confirms a certain level. For students, having a certificate in English is a great way to apply for postgraduate degrees, especially overseas or CV.
From the beginning, the principle of this certificate in English was competed with by a section of the university community. Fifteen associations of author-researchers appealed to the State Council in September to cancel the text. The questions raised are different: why make it compulsory when some students do not have English lessons in their study or are not effective? Why should English be imposed and the choice of other languages not allowed?
But if this case has escalated, it is because of Peoplesirt’s choice. The English test was selected by the Ministry of Higher Education following a call for tenders for more than 600,000 students across France by the end of 2020. A market is estimated at around thirty million euros.
Deletion of applications from public service
In the small world of English tests, many are well established and recognized: TOIIC (English test for international communication), TOEFL (English test as a foreign language) or Cambridge certificate. Against all odds, while Toys and Tofel’s owner, EDS Global, were in controversy, it was Peoplesert – the lesser known one – that took the jackpot. How? ‘Or’ What? “Peoplesert is the only company that has met the specifications set by the Ministry”, Guillaume Kelley, vice president of the University Leaders Conference, responded.
After all, what provoked the understanding of some of the actors was the marginalization of the Certificate of Proficiency in Higher Education (CLES) languages, the language certificates administered by universities. There are 55 CLES centers across the country, “Certificates in ten languages”, At the national level, Laurent Roverol, deputy director of the framework that integrates CLES, explains.
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