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Introduction to French Education System

2018-11-15 15:30:08

n Introduction

l Master (2 years)

In terms of administration, France is divided into 30 educational districts (académies), where most educational policy is carried out. Each académie is presided over by a recteur with a seat in the rectorat appointed by the state as the official representative of the Minister of Education. The recteur carries full responsibility for all primary and secondary educational matters in the académie,

including teacher training, and supervises national examinations and the award of diplomas in these sectors.

Higher education is the responsibility of the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (Ministry of Higher Education and Research) . Following the reforms of 1968, the system was officially divided into a university education sector and a Grandes Ecoles sector designed for enrolling the best students to be trained in a specific profession. In legal terms, the universities are autonomous interdisciplinary institutions that offer academic education and research. Universities are regulated by national legislation.

Grandes Ecoles is a collective term for selective specialist schools geared to technical higher education (Ecole polytechnique, Ecole Centrale, Ponts et Chaussés and other engineering schools), general administration (Ecole Nationale d’Administration), business studies (HEC and other business schools), agricultural higher education (Institut National Agronomique) and other prestigious establishments (SciencesPo, Ecole Normale Supérieure), outside the state university system. The Grandes Ecoles have a different status in comparison to universities: they may or may not be state institutions, with programmes that may or may not lead to national degrees or certificates awarded by the institution. In general, medical and legal programmes are provided at the universities, engineering programmes are offered at the Grandes Ecoles.

In France, the private sector holds a strong position in higher education. Many of the Grandes Ecoles are private institutions. Some however are national institutions, under the Ministry of Education, some may be private or regulated by other ministries, or offer programmes for which this is the case.

Education in France is compulsory for children aged 6-16. The language of instruction is French. The academic/school year runs from September/October until the end of June. The academic year is divided into semesters.

n Common diplomas of France

l Baccalauréat Professionnel

a) Duration of schooling: 3 years.

b) Type of education: vocational secondary education.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education (mostly to short-track, specialised higher professional education programmes).

l Baccalauréat Technologique

a) Duration of schooling: 3 years.

b) Type of education: secondary general education.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education, sometimes after successful completion of entrance examinations.

l Baccalauréat Général

a) Duration of schooling: 3 years.

b) Type of education: secondary general education.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education, sometimes after successful completion of entrance examinations.

l Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (BTS)

a) Duration of schooling: 2 years.

b) Type of education: higher professional education.

c) Purpose of diploma: prepares students for the labour market, but also grants admission to further education in higher education.

l Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie (DUT)

a) Duration of schooling: 2 years.

b) Type of education: higher professional education.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to other forms of higher education, like the Licence Professionelle.

l Licence Professionnelle

a) Duration of schooling: 3 years.

b) Type of education: higher professional education.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to university Masters (professionel/de recherche).

l Licence

a) Duration of schooling: 3 years.

b) Type of education: professional or research oriented.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to university Masters (professionel/de recherche).

l Master de Recherche

a) Duration of schooling: 2 years.

b) Type of education: research based education.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to doctorate programmes.

l Master Professionnel

a) Duration of schooling: 2 years.

b) Type of education: professional or research oriented.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to doctorate programmes.

l Diplôme de Grande École

a) Duration of schooling: 3 to 5 years.

b) Type of education: professional or research oriented.

c) Purpose of diploma: admission to doctorate programmes.