Horrible Horrible Program: MIEL or Circus ?


Muse101
The MIEL looks good on paper, but the University and Program is a total joke. Shocking poor organisation and administration of the program. You will have about 3-4 classes cancelled per week, the timetable is really unstrategically organised (6 hours per week in the first week and up to 40 hours per week in the end).

The program is run by the university's PhD students (alarm signals), who barely have a grasp of English (I suppose that they just choose anyone who claims that they can). The quality of classes are extremely poor - perhaps equivalent to a High School, and since most teachers are not employees of the university (intervenants- or contractors), they show little committment to preparing effective classes and are not really there for students. They seem to decide how they are teaching the program as they go.

The program is way overpriced (3000 EUR?) most of the money goes towards a Brussels trip instead of trying to improve the quality of teaching. The chancellor seems to show little interest in improving the program.

Even though Toulouse is a really great city, if you are a serious law student, you probably don't want to put yourself through a year (two years) of abysmal organisation and teaching. Always go for quality because this certainly isn't it! Toulouse has a circus school as well, if you study there, you will probably end up with a similar qualification.
The MIEL looks good on paper, but the University and Program is a total joke. Shocking poor organisation and administration of the program. You will have about 3-4 classes cancelled per week, the timetable is really unstrategically organised (6 hours per week in the first week and up to 40 hours per week in the end).

The program is run by the university's PhD students (alarm signals), who barely have a grasp of English (I suppose that they just choose anyone who claims that they can). The quality of classes are extremely poor - perhaps equivalent to a High School, and since most teachers are not employees of the university (intervenants- or contractors), they show little committment to preparing effective classes and are not really there for students. They seem to decide how they are teaching the program as they go.

The program is way overpriced (3000 EUR?) most of the money goes towards a Brussels trip instead of trying to improve the quality of teaching. The chancellor seems to show little interest in improving the program.

Even though Toulouse is a really great city, if you are a serious law student, you probably don't want to put yourself through a year (two years) of abysmal organisation and teaching. Always go for quality because this certainly isn't it! Toulouse has a circus school as well, if you study there, you will probably end up with a similar qualification.
quote
Dieggy1
Hi! Just to reply to this passionate cri de coeur.

My name is Artem Toropygin and I am MIEL graduate in 2011. I finished the program, almost satisfied with it and I would like to rebut some of your criticisms (almost everytime exagerrated).

1. Poor organisation and administration.
Well, nobody is perfect. Yes, sometimes classes are cancelled. sometimes the timetable is difficult to cope with, But hey, is it the problem of the University of Toulouse only? My answer is no, i ve been studying in 4 universities in my life (4 different countries) and in all of them some classes were cancelled. About timetable - if you came to study - don't whine. It's not a community payback. Even 40 hours per week are not enough for a real student, i study more.

2. PhD students teaching??? Welcome to the world of master programs and European universities. It is a common practice as well. The level of English of course cannot be compared to that of English-speaking countries but 'barely have a grasp of English'??? That is utterly untrue.

3. Quality of classes are poor? I keep telling people that when they are postgraduates - the are not taught. They self-study. You get the necessary minimum during classes and then elaborate your knowledge in the libary, which is pretty good in Toulouse. If you have questions - you ask them to professors, there was no time when I did not get a reply. The majority of profs are not employees? Even if it is true the important detail was not mentioned - namely that they are all practitioners and this is very important for the future lawyers. I got a lot of good advice from them,

4. The Program is overpriced? Well, check the analogs in the USA or the UK. Most of the money pays the trip to Brussels? Again not true - we got a whole bookcase of brand new legal literature together with the bunch of foreign intervenants whose lectures were just unique and awesome.

Other stuff that is written does not stand up the criticism. This program has its problems but what program does not? MIEL gave me an amazing opportunity to study in France, to learn a new language, to meet people that I can call friends now. After that program I have been enrolled to the double degree program and I have already received a job offer. What else do you need? This program has the great quality-price ratio, and that is what I was looking for.

And to the author - yeah, you are right in one thing. They have a circus school in Toulouse. But even in the best law school of the world you will feel like in a circus if you are a clown yourself.

I will be glad to share my opinion or give my advice. Write me a mail - dieggy1@hotmail.com. See you in Toulouse - I will definitely go back there.
Hi! Just to reply to this passionate cri de coeur.

My name is Artem Toropygin and I am MIEL graduate in 2011. I finished the program, almost satisfied with it and I would like to rebut some of your criticisms (almost everytime exagerrated).

1. Poor organisation and administration.
Well, nobody is perfect. Yes, sometimes classes are cancelled. sometimes the timetable is difficult to cope with, But hey, is it the problem of the University of Toulouse only? My answer is no, i ve been studying in 4 universities in my life (4 different countries) and in all of them some classes were cancelled. About timetable - if you came to study - don't whine. It's not a community payback. Even 40 hours per week are not enough for a real student, i study more.

2. PhD students teaching??? Welcome to the world of master programs and European universities. It is a common practice as well. The level of English of course cannot be compared to that of English-speaking countries but 'barely have a grasp of English'??? That is utterly untrue.

3. Quality of classes are poor? I keep telling people that when they are postgraduates - the are not taught. They self-study. You get the necessary minimum during classes and then elaborate your knowledge in the libary, which is pretty good in Toulouse. If you have questions - you ask them to professors, there was no time when I did not get a reply. The majority of profs are not employees? Even if it is true the important detail was not mentioned - namely that they are all practitioners and this is very important for the future lawyers. I got a lot of good advice from them,

4. The Program is overpriced? Well, check the analogs in the USA or the UK. Most of the money pays the trip to Brussels? Again not true - we got a whole bookcase of brand new legal literature together with the bunch of foreign intervenants whose lectures were just unique and awesome.

Other stuff that is written does not stand up the criticism. This program has its problems but what program does not? MIEL gave me an amazing opportunity to study in France, to learn a new language, to meet people that I can call friends now. After that program I have been enrolled to the double degree program and I have already received a job offer. What else do you need? This program has the great quality-price ratio, and that is what I was looking for.

And to the author - yeah, you are right in one thing. They have a circus school in Toulouse. But even in the best law school of the world you will feel like in a circus if you are a clown yourself.

I will be glad to share my opinion or give my advice. Write me a mail - dieggy1@hotmail.com. See you in Toulouse - I will definitely go back there.
quote
Muse101
Hi Artem, thanks for your reply, and nice circus joke.

I hear what you're saying, however I think that my advise would be more useful for students coming from the UK/USA, as expectations of University courses and LLM's different from other parts of the world.

Students from these countries expect:

-Lecturers to arrive on time and to only cancel classes in case of emergency (Being late, and cancelling 3-4 classes a week is unacceptable). ----> Especially having a class cancelled the morning that it takes place is considered totally unprofessional. (This has happened on several occasions).

-At least a course outline to be provided, compulsory and recommended readings (your own research is always supplementary).

-Teachers in a Masters Program to be at least a "Professor" or Associate Professor. Also, masters teachers to be highly published and/or authors of books on the subject. [Ironically the Master Droit International et Europeen in French had extremely competent and qualified lecturers).
- A consistent and logical timetable.

If these aspects do not identify with these basic expectations than please disregard my entire post.

Furthermore, you say that post-grad is all about individual research, but the MIEL is a taught masters. There was barely any research component, besides from one dissertation(3000 words) most of the assessment was oral exams/ presentations. I also had the impression that the teachers wanted you to memorise their entire class rather than providing or encouraging reading, I don't know if you felt the same way?

As a native English speaker I found that although the teachers could communicate in English, most definitely did not have the necessary level to teach "Law" in English. Many teachers made constant grammatical errors as well as errors in legal terminology. To claim to be able to teach English law classes as Professor requires an OUTSTANDING level of English, this wasn't the case in Toulouse.

Also compiled with the fact that the teachers were either barely present, provided lazy unfocused classes which often went off of tangents, or lacked coherent structure. You're right, classes only went over the bare minimum, not really satifisfactory for those who want a masters level introduction to EU Law.

The MIEL at present costs 3000 EUR, enrolling in a french masters costs 400 EUR. The Brussels trip costs 700 EUR, that's almost 25% of the cost of fees. The rest of the money was used to bring in speakers from overseas who often added little value to the course. I'm sure you might agree that it would be a good idea to use the extra money to employ native english speaking lawyers, many of who live in Toulouse (the programme at present has no native english speaking teachers, which is rather surprising).

As I mentioned, Toulouse is a fun place- yes, learning french- yes also great, and meeting lifelong friends- awesome,

BUT

Where is the added value of studying at the Universtiy of Toulouse??

I enjoy researching, but if I am researching everything on my own, I don't see the point of me moving to France and paying 3000 EUR + living costs to do this. I wouldn't pay all this money just to make new friends, if I could invest in going to a reputed university, with experienced and competent lecturers.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts Artem...
Hi Artem, thanks for your reply, and nice circus joke.

I hear what you're saying, however I think that my advise would be more useful for students coming from the UK/USA, as expectations of University courses and LLM's different from other parts of the world.

Students from these countries expect:

-Lecturers to arrive on time and to only cancel classes in case of emergency (Being late, and cancelling 3-4 classes a week is unacceptable). ----> Especially having a class cancelled the morning that it takes place is considered totally unprofessional. (This has happened on several occasions).

-At least a course outline to be provided, compulsory and recommended readings (your own research is always supplementary).

-Teachers in a Masters Program to be at least a "Professor" or Associate Professor. Also, masters teachers to be highly published and/or authors of books on the subject. [Ironically the Master Droit International et Europeen in French had extremely competent and qualified lecturers).
- A consistent and logical timetable.

If these aspects do not identify with these basic expectations than please disregard my entire post.

Furthermore, you say that post-grad is all about individual research, but the MIEL is a taught masters. There was barely any research component, besides from one dissertation(3000 words) most of the assessment was oral exams/ presentations. I also had the impression that the teachers wanted you to memorise their entire class rather than providing or encouraging reading, I don't know if you felt the same way?

As a native English speaker I found that although the teachers could communicate in English, most definitely did not have the necessary level to teach "Law" in English. Many teachers made constant grammatical errors as well as errors in legal terminology. To claim to be able to teach English law classes as Professor requires an OUTSTANDING level of English, this wasn't the case in Toulouse.

Also compiled with the fact that the teachers were either barely present, provided lazy unfocused classes which often went off of tangents, or lacked coherent structure. You're right, classes only went over the bare minimum, not really satifisfactory for those who want a masters level introduction to EU Law.

The MIEL at present costs 3000 EUR, enrolling in a french masters costs 400 EUR. The Brussels trip costs 700 EUR, that's almost 25% of the cost of fees. The rest of the money was used to bring in speakers from overseas who often added little value to the course. I'm sure you might agree that it would be a good idea to use the extra money to employ native english speaking lawyers, many of who live in Toulouse (the programme at present has no native english speaking teachers, which is rather surprising).

As I mentioned, Toulouse is a fun place- yes, learning french- yes also great, and meeting lifelong friends- awesome,

BUT

Where is the added value of studying at the Universtiy of Toulouse??

I enjoy researching, but if I am researching everything on my own, I don't see the point of me moving to France and paying 3000 EUR + living costs to do this. I wouldn't pay all this money just to make new friends, if I could invest in going to a reputed university, with experienced and competent lecturers.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts Artem...
quote
Dieggy1
Dear Muse101,

Sorry for the late reply, but it seems that peeps are still interested in MIEL program and they keep sending me emails asking for my opinion thereon. Replying here I would like to answer some of your points and to re-welcome people to write emails to me.

From the outset I have to say that I agree with your US-UK viewpoint. If I were an American student wishing to get an LLM in a university of the Ivy League, I would be more than disappointed in MIEL master. However, the University of Toulouse in neither an anglo-american educational instutition, nor does it have the same approach to the teaching process (in fact, rare continental European university does).

To comment on some of your remarks:
- cancellations and late arrivals - took place of course, but I do not think it is crucial since a number of profs were practioners. If you are a lawyer itself you certainly understand that urgent matters become part of your life - hence teachers in France may be late sometimes. Moreover, the cancellations can be easily remedied because classes are numerous, whereas in Scotland f.e. we had no more than 6-10 hours per week.
- no course outline provided, no lists of recommended literature - have you asked a teacher to provide you with anything? i approached my profs on several occasions and they were more than willing to recommend some reading. As for your comparison between French-language masters and LLM in
English - dude, not a good example. I am pretty sure a French-language program in U.S. would suck in comparison with a native english master. The same is right for the tution fees. French-taught programmes are subsidised by the Government - and as far as I know their fees are regulated by the State. English programmes are optional and created in order to attract international students and - yes - to earn money.
I would leave your criticism of the level of English with no comments - we do not talk about UK or the U.S. here. Suffice to say that I managed to understand 98% of the material.

All in all, parts of your opinion are legit, if we compare MIEL with a U.S. LLM programme. However I came to study there knowing that it won't be the same. I am sorry you were prepared for the UK law degree quality - but that was not promised even by the administration of the university. Defeated expectations are always difficult to overcome.

To conclude, some reflectons on my progress. After graduating Master 1 I got a scholarship provided by the French Gouvernment and was enrolled to Master 2 (Toulouse-Dundee) double LLM diploma. During the year 2011-2012 I studied in Toulouse (first semester) and in Dundee (Scotland, second semester). Both semesters were graduated with good marks and now I am a happy posessor of legal qualifications in 3 jurisdictions. I went back to Russia and got several interesting job offers, one of which I accepted. Now I am still getting offers to work in different parts of the world and I guess it is not bad for a lawyer knowing the current pityful state of employment rate. And all that is because i went to MIEL. It all started there and that is the additional value MIEL gave me.

P.s. After so much time I hope you found the Master of your dreams. I am also sure you are doing well right know. Take care.
Dear Muse101,

Sorry for the late reply, but it seems that peeps are still interested in MIEL program and they keep sending me emails asking for my opinion thereon. Replying here I would like to answer some of your points and to re-welcome people to write emails to me.

From the outset I have to say that I agree with your US-UK viewpoint. If I were an American student wishing to get an LLM in a university of the Ivy League, I would be more than disappointed in MIEL master. However, the University of Toulouse in neither an anglo-american educational instutition, nor does it have the same approach to the teaching process (in fact, rare continental European university does).

To comment on some of your remarks:
- cancellations and late arrivals - took place of course, but I do not think it is crucial since a number of profs were practioners. If you are a lawyer itself you certainly understand that urgent matters become part of your life - hence teachers in France may be late sometimes. Moreover, the cancellations can be easily remedied because classes are numerous, whereas in Scotland f.e. we had no more than 6-10 hours per week.
- no course outline provided, no lists of recommended literature - have you asked a teacher to provide you with anything? i approached my profs on several occasions and they were more than willing to recommend some reading. As for your comparison between French-language masters and LLM in
English - dude, not a good example. I am pretty sure a French-language program in U.S. would suck in comparison with a native english master. The same is right for the tution fees. French-taught programmes are subsidised by the Government - and as far as I know their fees are regulated by the State. English programmes are optional and created in order to attract international students and - yes - to earn money.
I would leave your criticism of the level of English with no comments - we do not talk about UK or the U.S. here. Suffice to say that I managed to understand 98% of the material.

All in all, parts of your opinion are legit, if we compare MIEL with a U.S. LLM programme. However I came to study there knowing that it won't be the same. I am sorry you were prepared for the UK law degree quality - but that was not promised even by the administration of the university. Defeated expectations are always difficult to overcome.

To conclude, some reflectons on my progress. After graduating Master 1 I got a scholarship provided by the French Gouvernment and was enrolled to Master 2 (Toulouse-Dundee) double LLM diploma. During the year 2011-2012 I studied in Toulouse (first semester) and in Dundee (Scotland, second semester). Both semesters were graduated with good marks and now I am a happy posessor of legal qualifications in 3 jurisdictions. I went back to Russia and got several interesting job offers, one of which I accepted. Now I am still getting offers to work in different parts of the world and I guess it is not bad for a lawyer knowing the current pityful state of employment rate. And all that is because i went to MIEL. It all started there and that is the additional value MIEL gave me.

P.s. After so much time I hope you found the Master of your dreams. I am also sure you are doing well right know. Take care.

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