Compare and contrast the working conditions, aspirations and prospects of French students entering higher education in the 1960s and those entering higher education since the 1990s
- Good positions typically as lawyers for the university students.
- The baby boom.
- The reform implemented in 1967.
- Another condition adversely affecting the students' working conditions.
- The students' aspirations.
- The purpose of universities.
Students entering the French higher education system in 1960 and since the 1990s will have undergone quite different experiences. However, so will the students entering higher education in France at the beginning of the 1960s compared to those entering towards the end of that very same decade. This is due to two main reforms, one of them culminating in the failed political revolution of May 1968.
Universities and students were not a priority for French governments until the end of the 1960s. The higher education institutions, such as the ?grandes écoles? and universities, simply had to survive with little or no input from the government, ?A vrai dire, ils [les universités et les étudiants] n'en avaient que faire.?1. The failed political revolution in May 1968 gave rise to form and structure to the university system. This had knock-on effects dramatically changing working conditions, aspirations and prospects of French students from the beginning of the 1960s until the present day. At the beginning of the 1960s, French university students were still ?héritiers?. These are students selected from the social elite of the nation and the universities were set-up with the intent on cultivating this elite. The ?héritiers? are described as ?les lycéens et les étudiants qui ont reçu une éducation familiale leur donnant précocement les codes de la réussite scolaire, bénéficiant du capital culturel et d'une connaissance des codes scolaires implicites.?2. Therefore the working conditions at this particular time were fairly good as the students were all from similar backgrounds and there were not really that many students, ?il y en avait 200,000 [étudiants] en 1960.?1.
[...] The problems that French students faced since the 1990s and until today in universities are pretty much the same, although there have been various inadequate improvements made by the government to try to take the pressure off students. There are six times as many students in universities in France in the 1990s compared to in the 1960s. y a aujourd'hui 1,200,000 étudiants en France. Il y en avait 200,000 en 1960. En trente ans, la population universitaire a été multiplié par six et la progression est loin d'être stoppée.?1. [...]
[...] For the above reasons, the working conditions for university students in France have often been described as ?affreux?4 and ?c'est l'enfer?4 since the end of the 1960s. The main problem then was due to the massive expansion caused by the sudden ?growth in population and the public demand for access to education at all levels, known as ?Scolarisation spontanée? in France?3. There was tremendous overcrowding, because the facilities could not be created quickly enough to accommodate the inflow of students. [...]