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REF-SANTE - Une étude de la réforme du premier cycle des études de santé

Project holder

Agnès VAN ZANTEN (Sciences Po, CRIS-LIEPP)


project description :

The reform of health studies, enshrined in the law of 24 July 2019 and in force from the start of the 2020 academic year, puts an end to the First Common Year of Health Studies (PACES) and the numerus clausus. The REF-SANTE project aims to conduct a scientific analysis of the reform from its conception to its implementation. The evaluation will look at both the context of the political decision and its impact on universities and their users, particularly in terms of inequalities in student success and experience.

The research is structured around three main ideas:

Understanding the genesis of the reform

The aim is to shed light on the genesis of the reform in terms of motivation, problematisation, decision-making and implementation. Distinguishing between the national, regional and local levels, the aim is to study the process of shaping this public policy through the prism of recent transformations in the world of health and the health professions.

How the reform was received and its impact on inequalities

The aim of this section is to analyse how the reform is perceived by universities, students and their parents, and the institutional and commercial intermediaries between supply and demand, as well as the strategies that these various players are deploying to adapt to the new constraints and opportunities that it brings. The research also aims to understand the effects of the reform on inequalities in student access and success.

The impact of the reform on the career paths of women in health studies

Although more women are enrolling in health studies, they tend to choose the specialities with the lowest incomes (dermatology, paediatrics). The aim, therefore, is to study the way in which choices of speciality are made and the impact of the reform on these choices.

Legal information

     Poster of the project - May 2022


  • Séminaire politiques éducatives du LIEPP : "La réforme des études de santé : de la genèse à la mise en oeuvre", 08/06/2022

  • AERA annual meeting: "Creating a class of medical students in France: a contextual perspective on students' choices and admissions"; (Agnès van Zanten, Alice Olivier, Christophe Birolini, Audrey Chamboredon et Leon Marbach), San Diego, Californie, Etats-Unis, 04/2022. 

  • Workshop: "Access to medical schools and professional pathways: comparative perspectives" : "Motivations and influences on students' decisions to pursue health studies in France" (Agnès van Zanten, Alice Olivier, Elisa Autric et Léon Marbach), WZB Berlin Social Science Center [En ligne], 02/2022

  • Congrès 2021 de l'Association Française de Sociologie. « Saisir les traces de socialisations par la fouille de textes: une analyse des projets de formation motivés Parcoursup de candidat·e·s aux études de santé ». 09/07/2021.
  • Congrès 2021 de l'Association Française de Sociologie. « Accompagner le changement : Le rôle des intermédiaires publics/ques et privé·e·s dans la mise en œuvre de la réforme des études de santé ». 08/07/2021.
  • Séminaire doctoral de l’OSC, Observatoire sociologique du changement, Sciences Po, Paris. « Fieldwork during the Covid-19 crisis: Experience from the field ». 05/02/2021.