Schools “Dispersed”, mutualizations between establishments “Limited”, formations “Expensive” for the community, a weak social opening, a lack of follow-up of the graduates… The reports of the Court of Auditors are never tender, and that which relates to higher education in visual arts, published at the end of January, is no exception to the rule.

The magistrates of the rue Cambon drew up an inventory of the ten national schools (the National School of Fine Arts, the National School of Decorative Arts, the National School of Industrial Creation …) as well than the 34 regional schools scattered throughout France. Should they be reformed from head to toe? While many players in the sector recognize the need to take control, they fear an accounting reform, far removed from the specificities of a separate sector.

Low insertion rate

Among the many criticisms formulated in the report is the lack of reflection on the future of these students, once they have graduated. What happens to the 11,000 young people trained each year in the territory’s 44 art schools? Their post-graduation follow-up is “Disappointing with regard to the requirement and cost of training”, considers the Court of Auditors. ” It appears that art schools follow the insertion very roughly ”, although the annual cost of training for the community is around 18,000 euros for Fine Arts, Decorative Arts and Ensci, three Parisian public schools. A sum divided by three for certain regional schools, which depend essentially on local funding.

“We do not enter this sector to make money,” recalls Corentin Le Bihan, student at the Ecole supérieure d’art de Cambrai.

An annual survey carried out by the Ministry of Culture reveals the difficulties encountered by young people. 55% say “Have been hampered in their research by the weakness of the offers in line with the diploma”. And in terms of remuneration, 62% of young workers from the plastic arts sector receive an annual net income of less than 15,000 euros. “But we do not enter this sector to make money”, recalls Corentin Le Bihan, student at the Ecole supérieure d’art de Cambrai.

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“Our students know very well that by choosing this course, their professional future will be difficult, continues Christian Debize, director of the Higher School of Fine Arts in Nîmes. What guides them is a life project, to live through art, and the profession merges with their way of existence. The question of professional integration does not arise as for other sectors of higher education. ” Measuring the quality of an art school based on its integration rate would result from a lack of understanding of the role of this type of establishment. “The students who enter the Fine Arts come to follow a path towards themselves in a deep spiritual development. They choose a difficult path with regard to the general economy of their life ”, notes Jean de Loisy, director of the Beaux-Arts in Paris.

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