In France, educational paths are very strongly correlated with the socio-demographic characteristics of students. Social and geographic origin, as well as gender, all play a role in determining orientation.
However, talent is sought and found everywhere: in Paris, in the regions and outside the metropolis, among general and technological baccalaureates, among girls and boys alike, in the city centers and in the suburbs.
Long before it became a societal and political issue, ESAIP valued diversity as a source of wealth. This spirit of openness is part of our DNA, of our humanist values inspired by La Salle.
And there is no need for bonuses, charters, quotas or adapted competitions to “stimulate diversity”: without questioning the virtues – as yet unproven – of positive discrimination, ESAIP has chosen positive action.
Diversity in numbers at ESAIP
- With 2 and soon 3 campuses in France (Angers, Aix-en-Provence and Reims), the school offers geographical diversity. Its development is geared towards accessible and attractive medium-sized cities, to offer young people in the regions a Grande École that is close by and the possibility of post-graduate employment.
- With 18% of students from technological baccalaureates in its integrated preparatory classes, ESAIP offers academic diversity.
Like many establishments, esaip works with high schools and colleges to publicize the accessibility of its courses and remove barriers. In particular, the school is committed to making non-academic skills a lever for admission, both in post-baccalaureate and post-graduate studies.
In the first year, in order to integrate and reassure students, a pre-entry course in English and Science is offered to all and is followed by 6 weeks of integration/remedial which allow each student to understand the teaching framework, the methodological requirements of higher education and to review the fundamentals. Peer tutoring is of course highly encouraged.
In the engineering cycle, ESAIP integrates as many CPGE students as students from BTS, IUT or Licences. ESAIP has thus joined forces with several high schools to help their students pursue engineering studies. The school offers a support program for BTS students. The aim? To give them the confidence and ambition to build their professional project and to enable them, through free training sessions, to acquire working methods, to deepen their scientific knowledge and to develop their international culture, with a view to continuing their studies.
Geographical and academic diversity naturally favors social diversity, which is rightly considered too limited in the public and private Grandes Écoles.
Each year, ESAIP welcomes an average of 35% of students with government grants. However, the school wishes to assist the majority of its students in financing their studies, especially those from middle-class backgrounds: 75% of ESAIP students receive at least one form of tuition assistance (from the school, regional, national or European funding).
What else can you do?
One of the major obstacles to embarking on a long course of study is the fear of failure and of finding oneself without a degree after several years of study. To overcome this obstacle, ESAIP – like many other schools – has opened parallel Bachelor’s degree programs (Bac+3). Although the link with the engineering school is rare, it is nevertheless possible, but above all, Bachelor students benefit from the Grande École environment: teaching and teachers, alumni network, and company network.
In order to remove further obstacles, from 2021 onwards the school will turn to engineering courses with a “diploma parachute” for possible early exit at Bac+3.
What about girls?
Less than a quarter of engineers in France are women. In the schools, they represent an average of 28% of the students. This is a distressing fact, especially since the numbers have not progressed enough in recent decades.
On the ground, ESAIP promotes gender diversity by acting in favor of gender equality from secondary school onwards, through, among other things, the Wi-Filles (Wifilles) program.
Today, up to 49% of the school’s graduating classes are girls, and on average more than 30%, despite the fact that the digital sector is culturally very masculine. Special support is offered to them when “limiting beliefs” seem to hold them back.