France Education System
The Right Degree Program
France has more than 3,500 institutions of higher education, including the following:
77 publicly-funded universities, offering degrees in all disciplines and serving as the primary academic research centers
A parallel system of Grandes Ecoles offering scientific, business, art and other specific programs, which offer 5-year diplomas which are equivalent to a Masters degree
Schools of architecture
More than 3,000 specialized schools offering degrees in a wide variety of subjects, including hotel management, culinary arts, tourism and social work.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF INSTITUTES OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN FRANCE
Training Opportunities, Catalog
In France, there are more than 3,500 public and private institutes of higher education. Universities, Grandes Ecoles and schools of art or architecture: there is a wide choice for foreign students who want to study in France.
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THE UNIVERSITIES: HIGHER EDUCATION FOR ALL
THE GRANDES ECOLES: THE FRENCH CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE
20% of foreign students are enrolled in a programme in the Grandes Ecoles. Écoles Normales Supérieures (ENS -Institutes of Advanced Education), Instituts d’Etudes Politiques (IEP – Political Science Institutes), engineering schools, business and management schools, veterinary schools and a few others, these Grandes Ecoles are public and private institutes of higher education recognised by the State. They confer degrees for 5 years of undergraduate studies, and some award the title of Master. Much of the training is provided in English.
SPECIALISED SCHOOLS AND INSTITUTES: SPECIFIC PROGRAMMES
Nearly 3,000 public and private institutes of higher education offer courses in specific sectors such as medicine, audio-visual, communication, journalism, fashion and design, agronomy, political science, etc.
These institutes confer degrees and certificates that may or may not be recognised by the State. Admission to these specialised schools and institutes is based on a competitive entry exam or the applicant’s file. Studies there generally last two to five years.
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SCHOOLS OF ART AND APPLIED ARTS
In France, there are nearly 50 public schools of art and design directly overseen by the Ministry of Culture. Training in art, design and communication is provided in two steps of three or five years, with national degrees awarded on successful completion. Some also offer a third level of studies.
Four highly-reputable public schools of art are directly overseen by the Ministry of Higher Education: Boulle, Olivier de Serres, Duperré and Estienne. They confer national degrees in graphic design, spatial design, fashion and arts and crafts.
Some private schools or schools that depend from chambers of commerce and industry award their own degrees. Some are registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP – National Repertoire of Professional Certifications). These institutes of higher education in art and applied arts are very selective, and enrolment is through analysis of the applicant’s file, by competitive entry exam and / or interview. Applications may be filed online on the site Campus Art.
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THE NATIONAL SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE (ENSA)
The Ecoles Nationales Supérieures d’Architecture (ENSA – the national schools of architecture) form a network of 20 public schools overseen by both the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Higher education, Research and Innovation. Two other institutes, the École Spéciale d’Architecture (Special School of Architecture) and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (National Institute of Applied Science) in Strasbourg, are part of the same network and confer equivalent degrees.
A DIVERSIFIED HIGHER EDUCATION OFFER
There are more than 3,500 public and private institutes of higher education in France: 72 universities, 25 multi-institute campuses, 271 Doctoral schools, 227 engineering schools authorised to award the title of engineer, 220 business and management schools, 45 post-secondary public schools of art, 22 schools of architecture and 3,000 private schools and institutes.
Some of France’s 3,000 high-schools provide courses in preparation for entry to the Grandes Ecoles, the classes préparatoires (CPGE), others have two-year technical programmes, called sections de techniciens supérieurs (STS), or classes in preparation for the national Brevet de technicien supérieur (BTS).
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A TIGHT ACADEMIC SCHEDULE
In France, the academic year begins in September or October, depending on the institution and programme. It is punctuated by holidays, including two weeks at year-end. At the end of the first semester, classes are briefly interrupted for exams. The summer holidays start in May or June at the end of the second semester exams. In general, these holidays last at least two months.
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If you are non-EU, you are eligible for the national health insurance offered in France. You must register on the website to benefit from French social security health spending repayments.
The academic year begins in September or October and ends in May or June, depending on the program and institution. There are two semesters, divided by a break following final examinations at the end of the first semester.
The academic year is usually deducted by holidays, usually 2 weeks at the end of the year (Christmas and New Year). Two semesters are separated by one short period, after evaluation and assessment tests are conducted in the first semester. And summer holidays last more than 2 months, including July and August
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