ACCES: accompanying students towards higher education

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ACCES is a partnership between the Universities of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Montaigne, Pau and the Adour (UPPA), the Nouvelle-Aquitaine academic region and the Nouvelle Aquitaine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Its aim is to motivate and support secondary school students to pursue higher education, whether they are geographically-remote and/or have little guidance.

Photo : The ACCES project is aimed at reducing inequalities in access to higher education by informing, encouraging and supporting geographically- and socially-remote high school students to pursue higher education © University of Bordeaux
The ACCES project is aimed at reducing inequalities in access to higher education by informing, encouraging and supporting geographically- and socially-remote high school students to pursue higher education © University of Bordeaux

From experimentation to roll-out

The ACCES project consists of developing a series of initiatives with and for students from 46 remote secondary schools.

Based on a logic of experimentation, the initiatives are designed with secondary school and higher education professionals as well as families and rely heavily on research in the field.

Using both tangible and digital tools, the ACCES project aims to:

  • strengthen the bridges between the worlds of secondary and higher education and to develop new ones to make career choices and transition easier
  • help secondary school students and their families to understand the progression between training courses, skills and professions.

To reach these objectives, it relies on:

  • creative and/or interactive workshops
  • IT tools and platforms
  • the availability of support resources for secondary school students and guidance counselors-educational professionals
  • events and activities promoting study/career guidance and inclusion of secondary school students.


The initiatives are meant to be gradually rolled out to a wider audience, designed and documented, in particular through an action-research approach, so that they can be replicated in other regions when appropriate.

Focus on the first initiatives rolled out

Gender and guidance

Coordinated by Bordeaux Montaigne University, this initiative aims to approach guidance from a gender perspective. After completing a quantified diagnosis on the issue in 2021, an inventory of initiatives existing in the fight against gendered self-censorship mechanisms is underway in 2022. Its objective is to provide a coherent set of teaching resources and awareness-raising tools to educational, teaching and research stakeholders involved in these issues. In addition, this initiative is based on sociology research on gender.

Connecting students through telepresence robots

Led by the University of Pau and the Adour Region (UPPA), this initiative aims to strengthen guidance for the farthest from post-secondary educational sites. To do so, they are invited to use telepresence robots to immerse themselves in university campuses, in tutorials and lecture halls. Using the robots lets secondary school students observe as well as interact, move around the campus and share with students and teachers.

The first trial actions took place in 2021 and involved students from secondary schools located in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques region. Other trials are planned for 2022.

3-minute career testimonials from former secondary school students

The objective of this initiative is to organise meetings-events in secondary schools and create video clips with testimonials from former secondary school students with a range of different profiles. The testimonials cover diverse subjects from studies to careers and are aimed at helping students to identify with the former students. The videos provide a genuine support tool for guiding students in their choices.

Co-steered by the Bordeaux Montaigne University and the University of Pau and the Adour Region (UPPA), the video clips have been prototyped and are being tested in 2022 in terminale classrooms (final year of secondary school) before speeding up the production process.

Creation of a Serious Game

This initiative, steered by the University of Bordeaux, aims to help secondary students explore the professional world via a serious game. Why? To trigger interest in possible career and higher education paths by playing a fun game in a classroom setting. 

The game will be tested in situ for the first time in 2022.

Coordinated mobilisation of companies

Led by the Nouvelle Aquitaine Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this initiative consists of organising activities in secondary schools, testimonials by professionals, internships or even company tours. In 2020 and 2021, nine activities took place with 431 secondary school students from Dordogne and the Pyrenees-Atlantiques.

About the ACCES project

A PIA3 (Investments for the Future programme) awardee, the ACCES project will receive government support for a 10-year period via the French Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.

The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and IdEx University of Bordeaux also contribute to its funding.

It is coordinated by teams specialising in guidance and support (all the links below are in French):

  • MAOIP for the University of Bordeaux
  • SCUIO-IP for the University of Pau and the Adour Region
  • DOSIP for Bordeaux Montaigne University
  • SRAIOLDS for the Nouvelle-Aquitaine academic region.
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  • Estèle Jouison

    ACCES Project Coordinator

  • Muriel Savarit

    ACCES Project Manager

  • Aline Rey

    Initiatives Officer