Higher education: 12 unusual anecdotes about French establishments

Becoming a “Z” or “crossing the garden”: French higher establishments are full of amazing stories. Here are twelve.

Did you know? The Sainte-Geneviève preparatory school was initially located in Paris

The Lycée Sainte-Geneviève was founded by the Jesuits in 1854 in a hotel on rue Lhomond, formerly called rue des Postes. A street in the 5th arrondissement of Paris nestled in the heart of the Sainte-Geneviève mountain, which explains the name of the prestigious establishment. It was not until 1913 that the preparation was forced to move to Versailles: the decrees of expulsion of congregations and the law of separation of Church and State forced the school to find another location.

True or false? It is necessary to prioritize your wishes on Parcoursup

FAKE. Since 2018 and the arrival of Parcoursup, candidates no longer have to prioritize their wishes. Concretely, future students must make 10 wishes with sub-wishes (compared to 24 when it was still APB) and motivate each of them in detail.

Did you know? What is a « Z »?

In “preparatory” language, the Z plays a very important role: it is the class delegate, the one who is responsible for organizing the various events, for making the link between the administration and the students. The Z is also accompanied by the Bural, the team that supports it on various subjects: the organization of the khôlles, student life…

True or false? It is possible to do medicine by studying law

TRUE. The reform of health studies in 2022 aimed to diversify the profiles of candidates and to provide them with a plan B in the event of failure or a change of orientation. By choosing the PASS or the LAS, students can choose a minor or major discipline offered by their university while preparing for admission to medicine. Most establishments offer training in law, psychology, biology, etc.

Did you know? At Polytechnique, women can only wear the bicorne since 1996

The École polytechnique has existed since 1796. But women have only been allowed to take the entrance exam since 1972. They were not authorized to wear the cocked hat, the famous polytechnician hat, until 1996. This Equality was obtained under pressure from polytechnicians like Caroline Aigle, the first female fighter pilot in France.

True or false? There is a school to become a conductor

TRUE. The National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris (CNSMDP) offers an extremely selective course to train, in five years, students who will become among the most renowned conductors in the world. This year, only 8 CNSMDP students out of 1,400 are taking this course.

Did you know? Dauphine University is located in a former NATO building

The Dauphine University Center, located at Porte Dauphine in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, is located in the former NATO palace. It was here that the Atlantic Alliance sat from 1959 to 1966 until France left the integrated command. The grid of the establishment still bears the symbol of the international organization.

True or false? In Lyon, a university occupies the premises of a former prison

TRUE. The Catholic University of Lyon has deployed its Saint Paul campus around the former prison of Lyon, a few steps from the Perrache station. The university has retained about 50% of the original building with the central rotunda and several wings in which students and members of the administration circulate daily.

Did you know? It is possible to do a work-study program during your nursing studies

The new Ifsi in Bordeaux (Nursing Training Institute) has been offering apprenticeship training since its start of the 2022 academic year. During their three years of study, students will be able to follow their license at the University of Bordeaux while integrating a team in a health establishment and being, in fact, paid

True or false? Belgium is the favorite destination for French people wishing to study abroad

FAKE. In 2022, approximately 103,000 French students have chosen to complete part of their course abroad. If for several years Belgium was the most popular country, it is now Canada that welcomes the most students (15,441 for the first according to Campus France against 17,523 for the second). Instead of geographical proximity and a similar education system, the students therefore preferred the change of scenery across the Atlantic, and the promising opportunities.

Did you know? Sciences po students have long « crossed the garden »

At 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, the expression « crossing the garden » is synonymous with success. At the time, sciencepistes who dreamed of accessing the ENA used it frequently: the prestigious school of administration was located at the other end of the Science Po garden, at 58 des Saint-Père. Since 1991, this expression no longer has much meaning, the ENA (today the INSP) having moved to Strasbourg.

If you know other anecdotes, you can write to the editor: Redacetudiant@lefigaro.fr

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