This article analyzes the construction of a higher education curriculum at the University of Angers, within the framework of a trial for reforming the Première année commune aux études de santé (PACES) (First Common Core Year for Health Studies), a foundation year common to students taking different courses in healthcare. It shows that, far from being merely a body of knowledge to be taught to a range of students, an educational program can also be a material construct whose stakes go beyond knowledge. Thus, PluriPASS was created as a technical and organizational device aiming to reduce student failure at the end of the first year of health studies, but also to (re)orient students towards university courses suffering from a lack of “good” students. Seen by academics as a device for capturing and managing student flows in the institution, students also use it by bypassing and diverting its teachings and its methods of evaluation and selection, with the aim of joining the numerus clausus of one of the health sectors with limited numbers. The construction of an educational program appears as the product of cross-adjustments of designers and users, who have different interests.
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