Study in France: How to Evaluate Degree and Institute Quality for Your Success
France has one of the best and most successful higher education systems in the world. Every year, French universities remain in the spotlight in Times Higher Education's World University Rankings and QS Top Universities Rankings.
Now, when you decide to pursue your higher education in France, what do you expect?
High-quality education, valuable degree, worthwhile experience, or right career prospects? — Most probably all of it, right?
However, imagine spending significant time and money on studying a program in France and later finding out it’s worthless.
Let me guess: Did it feel terrible?
Well, if you thought that every degree or university is offering equal quality in France, then you are mistaken. The question here arises is how to evaluate the quality of French degrees and institutes.
Read on to get a detailed overview of the French higher education system, how it works, and finally the numerous ways to analyze and evaluate if your French degree is actually worth your while.
What Are The Different Types Of Institutes Of Higher Education In France?
There are 3500+ public and private French institutes of higher education offering a wide choice for international students planning to study in France. Here are the different types of French higher education institutes for international students:
1. The Universities:
Financed by the French government, these types of public institutes of higher education are highly picked by international students to pursue their education. French universities offer national degrees at Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate levels, all holding the same academic value.
2. The Grandes Ecoles:
The Grandes Ecoles has elite colleges offering high-level specialized courses that have a duration of 5 years. These 5 years of course include 2 years of preparatory classes, which prepare students to take competitive entrance exams.
The tuition fees are relatively higher in the Grandes Ecoles. From 250 Grandes Ecoles, ENS -Institutes of Advanced Education, IEP - Political Science Institutes, engineering schools, business and management schools, and veterinary schools are some of the Grandes Ecoles recognized by the State.
3. Specialized Schools And Institutes:
Specialized schools and institutes generally offer professional courses in specific fields such as medicine, audio-visual, communication, journalism, fashion and design, agronomy, political science, etc. The degrees or certificates offered by these institutes may or may not be recognized by the French state.
4. Schools Of Art And Applied Arts:
France has around 50 public schools of art and design managed by the Ministry of Culture. From these, the highly reputable schools of art in France supervised by the Ministry of Higher Education are Boulle, Olivier de Serres, Duperré, and Estienne.
French art and design schools offer international students national degrees in the fields of graphic design, spatial design, fashion, and arts and crafts.
Some of these art schools are registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP - National Repertoire of Professional Certifications).
5. The National Schools Of Architecture:
The National Schools of Architecture – ENSA (The Ecoles Nationales Supérieures d’Architecture) is a network of 20 public schools managed by the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
For detailed information check out our Comprehensive Guide On Different Types Of Institutes For Higher Education In France.
How French Higher Education Works?
Higher Education Class Formats:
There are two types of classes provided by instructors and researchers in French universities:
1. Cours Magistraux (Lectures): Non-mandatory classes for larger groups of up to 100 to 100 students.
2. Travaux Dirigés (Tutorials) And Travaux Pratiques (Practical Or Lab Work): Mandatory classes for smaller groups for deep theoretical understanding
Academic Knowledge Certification:
Academic knowledge is tested in two different ways in the French higher education system.
1. Ongoing Assessment: Includes regular testing to evaluate the learning throughout the year.
2. Semester Examination: Include all subject exams twice a year at the end of every semester.
How Can You Evaluate The Quality Of A French Degree Or Institute?
State recognition, accreditation, and certification labels are the three main ways international students can assess the degree value and quality of higher education institutions.
1. State Recognition:
When a degree is recognized by the French state, it is considered a national degree, which guarantees the quality of the degree.
Below are some of the national degrees recognized by the state:
- The Brevets de Technicien Supérieur (BTS - two-year technical degree), Diplômes Universitaires Technologiques (DUT - two-year technical degrees), licenses and licenses professionnelles (Bachelor's degrees), Master's and the Doctorates awarded by French universities.
- The title of engineer, which provides the rank of Master, is granted by the CTI (Commission des Titres d’Ingénieurs - Engineering Title Commission)
- Degrees from business and management schools, certified by the CEFDG (Commission d’Evaluation des Formations et Diplômes de Gestion- Management Training and Degree Evaluation Commission)
- Professional training registered with the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP - National Registry of Professional Certification)
- Specific training in architecture, arts, political science, etc., certified by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
Accreditation ensures quality assurance of the training and degrees provided by business and management schools in France. Below are the independent associations or foundations that award the accreditation of French Business Schools:
- AACSB: Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business
- AMBA : Association of MBAs
- EFMD: European Foundation for Management Development
3. Certification Labels:
Certification labels help evaluate the training quality of Engineering Schools and The Grandes Ecoles.
The two certification labels for training in the Engineering Sciences are:
- EUR-ACE: Accreditation of European Engineering Programs
- QUESTE: Quality System of European Scientific and Technical Education
The two certification labels assigned to the Grandes Ecoles are:
- The Mastère Spécialisé (MS - Specialist Master's): Certifies training level equivalent to six years of post-secondary study in a post-master's specialization course.
- The Master of Science in Management (MSc): Granted for 5 years of post-secondary training in management schools or engineering schools.
You’ll be spending a lot of money, time, and effort on your higher education in France. Hence, it’s crucial to identify the value of your degree and the higher education institution you are planning to apply to.
By considering the outlined points and ways in this guide, you can determine which program and institution is right for your needs and make the right decision.
Our experts are highly skilled and experienced in helping thousands of students fulfill their study abroad journey. We will help you narrow down the best courses and universities to study in France.
Discuss your profile with the best Europe Education Consultant today!
Get A Free Consulting Today
Get your answers related to abroad study.
- Your Complete Malta Visa Application Checklist: The Essential Guide for Study Abroad Applicants through VFS
- Best English Taught French Business Schools For 2023-24
- APS Certificate Explained: What It Is and How to Obtain It for Indian Students Planning to Study in Germany
- Decoding the France Visa Filling Checklist: A Guide for Study Aspirants Applying through VFS