Context: A friend of mine is ending their first year in a community college (in France, called IUT, 2-year diploma) near my school, and apparently the school administration is quite lenient about cheating during exams ; I asked a few other friends of mine that are currently in second year there, and they have confirmed that nearly everybody cheats during exams, mostly because the questions don't change from one year to the other, allowing students to get the exams in advance and preparing for the questions. An important part of the exams are Moodle quizzes, which show the correct answers after submitting, and don't get modified from year to year either.
Problem: My friend does not want to cheat, for obvious reasons. The problem is that the way this kind of college works (in France) puts students in competition with each other ; your ranking among the other students is very important and is a determinant factor in your chances of being accepted in engineering schools after your second year (which is what most people in that community college do).
Multiple people have already tried reporting the cheating to professors and the college's administration, to no avail. Most professors don't seem to care, and the few that say they do care about cheating never act upon it. This results in mediocre (excuse the harsh term) students having an unfair advantage over good students trying to keep their integrity. This whole situation, combined with the Sars-Cov-2 lockdown has had quite a toll on her mental health.
My stance is to never cheat, but I'm having more and more trouble telling her to stay strong and do the same. It's gotten to the point that not cheating can have a significant negative impact on her future, and I couldn't help but feel responsible if she were to fail her year because of other people's dishonesty.
What is the best behavior to adopt here?