France is a main actor of the modern world and it is a huge contributor in the fields of science, art, cinema, fashion, technology, politics, philosophy, archeology, trade and economics. France is also associated with several technological milestones as France’s high speed train (TGV), the Airbus, Concorde, but also for substantial contribution in the field of math and sciences for astrophysics, biology, médecine, genetics and physics. If you study in France today you will definitely benefit from a variety of opportunities for the future.
The main reason for this rapid growth of French economy you will ask ? It is the efficiency of the educational system. It's one of the best in the world. The Ministry of National Education regulates all the educational programs and all the teachers of Public primary and secondary schools as many professors and researchers, are state civil agent. You can distinguish 3 major categories :
- The primary education : in France you start the education system at 3 years old when you can go to nursery school. After that you move to primary school. Where you will learn how to read and write and get all the basic knowledge of history, geography, math, French, English, … they will stay in primary education until the age of 10/11 years old.
- Secondary education : this level is divided into 2 steps, the « college » (not same as in English), it’s 4 years of education between 11 and 14 years old. Then it is time for the « lycee », it is another 3 years of education around 15 to 18 years old. For the second step, students are given a choice between an academic or vocational pathway. Students who choose vocational pathway, are going in a professional field to learn the skills for a job. For the academic pathway, they continue their general studies and at the end of the 3 years courses, they will give an entrance exam known as « le Baccalauréat » regarding their results at this exam, the will be entitled or not a place to the university. (70% of French students try to take the academic pathway to try to get a place in university).
- The third education or university : the students who passed « le baccalauréat » get a free seat at the university in France. France counts 77 governmental funded universities and it is free for students to study in these universities. After one year of university, they will have another exam which will allow them to continue or not the university education.
The university is also divided in 3 grades :
- Undergraduate : it is generally 3 years, it is the ECTS (European crédit transfer and accumulation system) that determines the level of education and the number of years of study. You can get an undergraduate degrees in all universities and higher educational institutes in France.
- Graduate : 2 mains degrees are offered : the master in research and the master in professionnal. Only students with excellent academic performance in bachelors can apply for master in research after giving aptitude tests and interview. Unlike other countries, most of the master programs include mandatory internships and thesis.
- PHD : for the one who succeeded in completing their master in research, can continue for a doctoral program. Only universities and poly techniques offer this Programs. It is usually in between 3 to 5 years and sometimes more until the thesis in completed. Several schools of engineering, management and business offer this degrees.