Grandes écoles: France’s elite-making machines

Pros of Grandes Ecoles:

  1. Very high standard Engineering / Business / Public Administration / Science & Math Colleges.
  2. Two years of Preparatory Class drilled in advanced Math / Physics / Chemistry.

Cons of Grandes Ecoles:

  1. “Social Reproduction” of French elites within upper-class families for generations.
  2. Elitist – all think in the same mould.

This is similar criticism of the 1300-year-old Ancient Chinese Imperial Exams (科举 pronounced in China Fujian province’s Min ‘闽’ dialect as \Kor-coo, sounds like Grande Écoles Entrance Exams “Concours” \Kong-coo) from which Napoleon Bonaparte, who was strongly recommended by the French Jesuits living in China Fujian as a meritocatic Mandarin selection system, copied it for the first French Grande Ecole (GE) : Ecole Polytechnique (X), and subsequently all other GE in the past 200 years till today.

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