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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Guidance and counselling in higher education


12.Educational support and guidance

12.6Guidance and counselling in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Law no.2007-1199 of August 10th, 2007 entrusts the institutions of higher education a mission of orientation so that they accompany their students throughout their university course, until the labor market.

Law no.2013-660 of 22 July 2013 reaffirms the importance of professional experiences such as internships and work-study programs in all higher education courses. It also makes internships in master and professional bachelor compulsory. In addition, the law emphasizes the improvement of the system of orientation between secondary education and higher education.

Academic guidance

The Students' Plan, announced on October 30, 2017 and Law No. 2018-166 of March 8, 2018, provide for a certain number of measures to support students in the success of their studies, in their career orientation and in their student life in general.

The Student Plan places particular emphasis on the transition between secondary education and higher education. It is therefore the subject of specific measures:

  • The integration in 12th grade (Terminale) of two weeks dedicated to guidance and streaming;
  • The appointment of a second senior teacher in the final year as of December 2017. The two main professors are in charge of the coordination of the "Fiches avenir" which accompany each of the wishes formulated by the high school students within the framework of the new admission procedure in higher education (Parcoursup);
  • The intervention of "student ambassadors" (contracted in civic service by higher education institutions) within the Centres for Information and Orientation (CIO) and schools.

The “contract of educational success”

Law no.2018-166 requires higher education institutions to set up educational support schemes and personalized training courses to promote the success of all students. The "Students Plan" suggests that this personalized support takes the form of a "contract of educational success", specific to each student. A director of studies is appointed in each institution and by disciplinary field. Its role is, in collaboration with the entire teaching team, to monitor each contract for educational success. He accompanies each student in the development of his career as well as in his project of reorientation if necessary.

Moreover, guidance services provide students and prospective students with information on the offer of training in higher education:

The Joint University Information and Referral Service (SCUIOIP or SUIO)

SCUIOIP's mission is to organize the reception, information and orientation of students at their entrance to the university and throughout the university curriculum. He later ensures, with the teachers, the follow-up of their professional insertion.

If SCUIOIP also offers career guidance services, here we detail SCUIOIP's activities concerning guidance in higher education:

  • Individual advice;
  • Optional or mandatory modules on the personal and professional orientation project;
  • Open days;
  • Exhibitions and Training Opportunity Forum;
  • Trade fairs and Forums on Jobs and Trades;
  • Interventions in high schools;
  • Online information;
  • Educational documents.

Centres for Information and Orientation for Higher education

The Center for Information and Orientation of Higher Education is an information and guidance center of the Paris Academy specialized in information on higher education courses. It offers complete information on:

  • Higher Education in France and abroad;
  • Higher education Fairs organized in Paris;
  • The possibilities of help and support for students with disabilities.

Psychological counselling

The joint university service of information, guidance and professional integration (SCUIOIP), present in each university, offers an "individual counseling" service to students in difficulty.

Moreover, each university has a university health service (University Service of Preventive Medicine and Health Promotion - SUMPS). It conducts health prevention actions towards students and offers individual consultations in various specialties.

Career guidance

In addition, there are structures within universities that support students in their orientation and entry into the labor market:

The Joint University Information and Referral Service (SCUIOIP)

While the SCUIOIP also offers academic guidance services, it also acts regarding labor market entry:

  • Seminars on the professional project, the knowledge of the trades, the research of internship or employment;
  • Seminars on research tools for internships and employment: resume, cover letter, job interview;
  • Mandatory or optional modules on the research of internship or employment;
  • Individual advice;
  • Trade fairs and Forums on Jobs and Trades;
  • Internship / employment services (research of offers, putting in relation, management of the internship agreements);
  • Statistical observatories of the professional integration of students

Offices of assistance to the professional insertion (BAIP)

Created by the law no.2007-1199 of August 10th, 2007, the offices of assistance to the professional insertion (BAIP) are in charge to diffuse offers of internships and varied jobs to students, in link with the programs they follow and assist them in their search for internship and first job.

Baip offers:

  • Job search workshops (CV, cover letter, preparation for the interview...);
  • Develops partnerships and meetings with companies;
  • Participates in the development of training through learning.

Observatory of professional integration

The law no.2018-166 of March 8th, 2018 created in each university an observatory of the professional insertion which:

  • Disseminates to students a variety of internships and employment opportunities in connection with the courses offered by the university and the needs of companies;
  • Assists students in their search for internships and a first job and informs them of developments in the labor market;
  • Advises students on their issues related to employment and professional integration;
  • Prepares students who request it for pre-employment interviews;
  • Identifies companies, associations and public bodies likely to offer students professional experience related to the major areas of training taught in the university, with a view to offering them the signing of internship agreements;
  • Informs students about existing jobs in the public service and assists them in identifying and preparing access routes to the public service.