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French Higher Education System watch

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    Could someone explain the French Higher Education system? I understand the French Baccalaureate and all things in secondary education, but I really don't understand the post-secondary system, like the DESS (diplome blah blah...).

    The french system is even more complicated than American and British ones. :confused: :confused:
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    the french systeme is very complicated so I'll try and give a simple view of it!
    to enter higher education you need to pass the baccalauréat, there are differend kinds of baccalaureats but that isn't important.
    you have different kind of studies after your baccalaureat, either short studies of long one.
    You can enter a BTS, DUT, IUT which last two years, these are mostly professional courses destined so that you can work directely after them.
    Most students enter university ( La fac : La Sorbonne), they student first for a License (=Bachelor) but in france a simple degree will not get you anywhere, so we continue until a master's degree. A DESS is five years study after the baccalaureat so a master's.
    but university isn't the best route if you are a good student.
    The french system has : Classes préparatoires. During two years, you have a massive workload (around 80 hours of work a week) in the subjects of your choice and after two years you pass exams to enter 'the grandes écoles', the elites unis where you stay between three and four years ( the famous grandes écoles are : polytechnique, centrale Paris, Hec, ESSEC, Sciences politiques Paris).
    so basicly:
    Good student : Classe préparatoire+ Grande école
    the only exception being subjects such as law or medecin being only taught at university. The Grandes écoles being specialised in subjects such as Buisness, engeenering or politics.
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    (Original post by matthieum)
    Good student : Classe préparatoire+ Grande école
    the only exception being subjects such as law or medecin being only taught at university. The Grandes écoles being specialised in subjects such as Buisness, engeenering or politics.
    There are other exceptions such as student studying hard science such as maths, physics, life science etc.... and students who study art subjects, classics....
    And if you wanna be in business, Université Dauphine is a good bet...
    The Grandes Ecoles only teach engineering and business.

    Only universities deliver the title of Phd.

    I think you should say the majority of brilliant students attend preparatory classes to the Grandes Ecoles, but not all of them.

    And with the Bologna agreement the new system is
    Bachelor in 3 years
    Masters +2 years
    Phd +3 years

    The universities are way underfunded but the academic level is really high, the student/staff ratio is ~15:1.
    Everybody can enter to any uni just with the baccalauréat but not everybody makes it to the next year. The selection process is progressive, each year you can be dropped out, out of 600 students in the 1st year only 60 will attend the 4th year of study for example.

    The best universities are :
    Université de Paris (Jussieu Paris VI for science, La Sorbonne Paris I for social science, Assas for Law, Dauphine for business studies)
    Université de Bordeaux
    Université de Toulouse
    Universtié de Montpellier
    Université de Aix Marseille
    Université de Grenoble
    Universite de Lyon
    Université de Starsbourg
    Université de Lille

    Finally a lot of students from the universities (but a minority of the whole 30,000 students of these universites) enter in a Grande Ecole to attend the last two years of their education and in their vast majority they turned out to be 'major' (valedictorian) of their year.

    Universities and Grandes Ecoles d'ingénieurs are 300-600 euros a year.
    Grandes Ecoles de commerce are 5000 euros a year.

    BTW Matthieum I'm from Martinique, French West Indies rulz !!!

    I will be in the Uk next year for a Msc in Aerospace or Mechanical Eng, don't know where yet.
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    I see what the French system is now. Quite complicated though.
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    I'm from Martinique too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :eek: well I have been living there for eight years
    And yes I agree that there are good unis, but for someone who doesn't know what he wants to do, he can't really just go and do his favourite subject like in the UK. In the UK with a history degree from a good uni you could still get a good job and even enter IB for example. But in France you really have to do the studies that will lead to a certain job, and those who are not sure about what they want to do ( a part from law, medecin , architect ...) basiclly don't have much of a choice, its a grande école or nothing :confused: In my class, half of it is doing a classe prépa (business and engeering), the other half medecine :rolleyes: I would like to be a trader but if I study in france I'll be obliged to do a engeenering school!!!!! :mad:
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    (Original post by matthieum)
    I would like to be a trader but if I study in france I'll be obliged to do a engeenering school!!!!! :mad:
    In fact I think something like half of the traders in London are french engineers specialized in finance, or holding the famous DEA of Prof. El Karoui Paris VI Jussieu, or DESS 203 Dauphine.
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    (Original post by IB The Great)
    I see what the French system is now. Quite complicated though.
    Yes it is.

    That's why they are trying to simplify it to give it more recognication overseas.

    BTW why did you want these informations ?
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    (Original post by Vlad the Frog)
    There are other exceptions such as student studying hard science such as maths, physics, life science etc....
    Isn't École Normale Supérieure good for pure maths and hard science?
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    (Original post by beeblebrox87)
    Isn't École Normale Supérieure good for pure maths and hard science?
    I could even say without much risk that it is THE BEST in the country for nearly ever subject, but its mostly for research
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    (Original post by beeblebrox87)
    Isn't École Normale Supérieure good for pure maths and hard science?
    It is the best in the country but the intake is about 40 students a year per subject. These students tend to be geniuses, I know 2 'Normaliens' and the thing is that they don't really think as you and me, they are selected by their scientific creativity. Being brilliant isn't enough to enter this school.
    And the students actually go to university and have extra classes at Normale Sup'.
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    (Original post by Vlad the Frog)
    It is the best in the country but the intake is about 40 students a year per subject. These students tend to be geniuses, I know 2 'Normaliens' and the thing is that they don't really think as you and me, they are selected by their scientific creativity. Being brilliant isn't enough to enter this school. And the students actually go to university and have extra classes at Normale Sup'.
    Ooh, I know a couple too. Bloody geniuses but they're a bit out there
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    are there any french uni's that allow you to start without complete fluency? or have like, a language prep year or something for internationals?

    i'm interested in studying buisness(preferably international business) and was trying to find info about it but their websites dont go into much detail. so, anyone know about that?
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    There's a lot of maters taught in english... , where do you want to go BTW ?
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    why france?
    If you do want to go to france, the best would be in my opinion, first get a good degree in the UK and then you shouldn't have any problem entering a good french business school for a Masters.
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    (Original post by Vlad the Frog)
    Yes it is.

    That's why they are trying to simplify it to give it more recognication overseas.

    BTW why did you want these informations ?
    Parce que j'aime la France.
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    also, what are the good Classe préparatoire for business?
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    Are you kidding me ?!

    Do you really want to go for a classe prépa ?
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    (Original post by Vlad the Frog)
    Are you kidding me ?!

    Do you really want to go for a classe prépa ?
    ....why? what's wrong with them?
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    classe préparatoire :
    40 hours of lessons a week and then 40 hours of personnal work, it work non stop all the time, but you will gain brillant working methods, but will not have the fun life of a normal student!
    but for business schools the good lycées are :
    Lycée Henri 4
    Lycée Louis le grand
    Lycée Ste Genevieve
    Lycée Janson de Sailly
    Lycée Chaptal
    Lycée du parc
    Lycée Stanislas
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    (Original post by matthieum)
    classe préparatoire :
    40 hours of lessons a week and then 40 hours of personnal work, it work non stop all the time, but you will gain brillant working methods, but will not have the fun life of a normal student!
    The French study even more than the British.... o_O
 
 
 

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