Debate in the French press: Medicine students who fail exams in France go to “masquerade” studies in Romania

Young French are ready to do anything to become physicians. Some have failed the main exam at the end of their first university year in France, but they went to train in Romania; for those who fail in the Hexagon, the rescue comes from Romania, French publication Le Point reads, opening a debate on the issue.The premises of the discussion are the following: the University from Cluj (Central-West) has opened a francophone medical, pharmaceutical and dental surgery branch in 2000. The diplomas the French get here allow them to work later in France, due to the European Union agreements.

The expatriation of students who failed in France

This is a phenomenon denounced by the Physicians Order Council one year ago and has been often tackled by the French press. “This expatriation of the students who have failed in France is unacceptable and creates discrimination against the French students”, Physicians Order Council vice-president Dr. Xavier Deau claims. He accuses “masquerade studies”. Even more so since the travelling game will start again at the end of the sixth year of studies. The reason: “Paradoxically, it is more difficult in Romania than in France to find a work place immediately after graduation”, Le Point notes.

Both in Romania and in France, the selection is based on a top. In France, any student who takes part in the exam gets to work to a hospital. But in Romania, only the top qualified get work. “An inconvenience that does not discouraged the exiled French”, the press reads in the Hexagon. Until recently, the 6th year exam regulation only allowed European students that underwent studies in France to sit. French students from Cluj argued that they were being discriminated and won the argument. Since then, the European graduation country does not matter anymore. The result: after the sixth year of study, the French from Cluj go back to France. “Cunning”, Le Point opinionated.

What attracts the French to Cluj: money and a “relaxed” educational system

To be accepted by the University in Cluj, Romanians need to pass an exam after the Baccalaureate. “But the French have only to submit their file, based on unclear criteria, after paying up their entrance fees”. Costs range between 2,500 and 5,000 euros and it is not to neglect criterion, even if the cost of living is relatively high for the French there. “Everything is more expensive for the French and it is very difficult to negotiate prices if you are not Romanian”, claims a French student, who pays for a studio flat in Cluj 400 euros worth of monthly rent. “This is more than double compared to the rents Romanians pay.”

Officially, the francophone department is limited to 80 places. According to the people in charge, there are currently 208 French students. “The cases of rarely rejected French” try their luck with other Romanian universities with identical courses, like the centres in Iasi or Arad. Other European states followed the pattern: Bulgaria, where enrolment taxes amount to 7,000 euros per year, with a more strict student selections, or Poland, where a very tough selection works from the first to the last academic year.

French studies are too elitist vs. No French was left to fail

Most students who repeat the first year of studies in France are drawn to these parallel courses. But lately, more and more high school graduates are attracted by Eastern Europe, “as to not waste time”. And no French has ever failed to promote in Cluj, the publication underlines.

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