Last May, three heavyweights from the Passerelle competition – Grenoble EM, Montpellier BS and ICN BS – announce their departure from the Passerelle competition. A blow for this bank of tests which had already seen EDC in 2020. While it brought together at its maximum 16 schools, Passerelle now has only six establishments: BSB, EM Normandie, ESC Clermont, Excelia BS, IMT-BS and SCBS. How to explain this disaffection? Especially that if the departure is grouped, it has not been concerted.
To pay Bruno Ducasse, Director General of Montpellier Business School, his school did not opt for “a departure from Passerelle but well for integration into the Ecricome bank “, which organizes an AST competition but above all, post-preparatory tests. MBS is also leaving the ECB (Common Test Bank) and immediately abandoning its own competition dedicated to apprenticeship, an important point in view of its work-study staff.
The reflection had been underway for a few years, in particular with the arrival of EM Strasbourg and Rennes SB at Ecricome, for the 2020 session. MBS has made this choice to gain visibility. “It is a club of schools in which everyone can keep their identity. And since the brand is known, we can communicate our offer to candidates on our own, without having to present the competition”.
Moreover, according to the director, the switch from DUT to GOAL in three years “will lead to a decrease in the number of candidates for admission by title in the 1st year of PGE (AST1). It is therefore necessary to control post-preparation recruitments. Even if we can imagine that there will be a report of candidates from IUT, who will be more numerous in AST 2 “.
One thing is certain: the school will keep the same order of magnitude in its recruited staff.
On the side of the Grenoble school, the strategy is different: the school wants to recruit on its own. While he was president of Passerelle when GEM left – from January 2020 to May 2021 – Jean-Francois Fiorina, deputy director of the Grenoble school considers that the school has “come to the end of the adventure”. “The schools were too heterogeneous and above all, we wanted autonomy and flexibility to recruit with more diversity (disability situation, social criteria, high-level athlete career) “, he explains.
The school will recruit in 2022 in two stages: a file (Tage 2 or Tage Mage and English test Toefl, IELTS or TOEIC). Then the eligible ones will take oral exams “as for the BCE competition”, with a specific interview, an English oral examination and a test in another modern language.
Another “in demand” Gateway school, the ICN BS points to another reason. AACSB labeled since May 2020, the Nancy school is now part of the club of triple accredited establishments. “Strategically, we had to assert our new position with the candidates”, explains Hervé Gaudin, deputy director of marketing and communication. “The departure of the two other triple accredited Passerelle schools has reassured us”.
Another point to weigh. “To be a member of the competition, the entry ticket exceeds 200,000 euros. It’s a budget for a school like ours. This money can be reinvested closer to our targets “.
“We as GEM offer a lighter device and a more suitable schedule for candidates, who take a lot of tests at the same time.” Details and numbers will be available soon.
For Passerelle, the departure of these schools puts everything in perspective, especially as in 2021, they nearly 40% of the 2,605 places of Gateway 1 and 2. Pour Eliane Pilvin, director of EM Normandie and president of Passerelle since June 30, these departures are part of the life of a competition. “Bridge is not attacked in its form and more generally, everyone is wondering about the terms of admission “.
But the association must now adapt. During the general meeting of June 30, governance was tightened around an office made up of the six schools. Exit the college of founders and the general assembly of members, which have become unnecessary.
Details will soon be completed on the evolution of the competition, to “combine selectivity and social openness”. A working group is working on the issue. Announcements will take place on September 30, to meet budgetary and attractiveness challenges.