Ecole Nationale d'Administration

ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
edited April 26 in Purgatory
There are 2 threads [I know of] currently on US colleges - payments to get in and sport. Sorry to add to the tertiary education bonanza, but apparently French President Macron's plans include:
Abolition of the ENA university, which has trained political leaders and captains of industry but is seen as elitist by many

A BBC report on the ENA can be found here. An incomplete summary:
It was established in 1945 by then French President Charles de Gaulle, in the immediate aftermath of World War Two.


"The ideology was you'd raise a group of people capable of acting in the public interest."

The ENA hoped to attract "more people from the provinces, fewer Parisians, fewer bourgeois - social democratisation", explained Prof Jean-Michel Eymeri-Douzans, a political scientist who has studied the ENA extensively and now works with it.

But while designed as a meritocracy, research shows that ENA students' parents are often senior civil servants themselves or CEOs. Very few come from working-class backgrounds.

First of all: what do our French or Francophile shipmates make of this? Is there truly such a dislike/distrust of the ENA? I confess I did not read as widely on the reports of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) as I could have, but I do not recall reading about the ENA.

Others' thoughts? Will it play well for Macron*?

Is reform not possible / desirable? I realise reform is a complex affair, but abolishing an institution seems like a rather dramatic step. I guess it is meant to be seen as one.

Is there an appetite for reform elsewhere? Would any prospective leader get far with such a reformist platform for equality of education elsewhere? If I ponder other 'celebrated' centres of learning, Oxford and Cambridge come to mind -- from my reading they are still seen as places for an elite, though it appears some efforts are being made to change this. But I'm probably not close enough to see/know. Though according to Channel 4 Oxford is not the whitest university (chart towards bottom).

* who, while googling stuff to write this post, I discovered is "Co-Prince of Andorra" also -- tucking that away for a trivia night!


  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited April 26
    Answering this will take a lot longer than I've got time for right now, but one brilliant insight was provided by De Gaulle:
    Le désir du privilège et le goût de l'égalité, passions dominantes et contradictoires des Français de toute époque.
    The dominant and contradictory passions of the French throughout history have been the thirst for privilege - and a keen sense of equality.

    This is truer than a true thing and the fastest guide to French higher education you'll ever read.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited April 26
    As I've commented elsewhere over the years, peoples' objections to nepotism go silent when it works in their favour.

    Or 'the only thing that's wrong with nepotism is that it's other peoples' nepots'.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Not always Enoch. There are those who are anti-nepotism who seek never to use or give it. You won't hear about these, when anti-nepotism starts at home, you hardly go out into the streets and shout about it but it affects your whole life. My father's anti-nepotism has meant that I did not do certain things at various times in my life because people might think it was nepotism.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    As I've commented elsewhere over the years, peoples' objections to nepotism go silent when it works in their favour.

    "Everyone does it" isn't always an excuse for inaction.
  • I wonder if he could abolish Eton as well.
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