With the increased autonomy of universities, the massive access of students to university studies and the development of university exchanges in Europe, the higher education system in France have changed considerably over the last decade, drawing it closer to that of other countries. New courses have been devised, accessible at different levels and more open onto the job market; for example, they often include periods of courses and periods of internships in situ.
Compared to other countries, France now receives one of the highest proportions of foreign students in the world: currently over 10 % of the overall student population.
France is one of Europe’s leading countries with regard to the number of international students studying there, with a current figure of over 240,000 students. Thanks to the flexibility of the French higher education system, an itinerary tailored to suit each individual can be established from initial university studies to the most advanced specialization programs.
Higher education in France is organized in three levels or grades which correspond to those of other European countries, facilitating international mobility:
These levels of study include various “parcours” or paths based on UE (Unités d’Enseignement or Modules), each worth a defined number of European credits (ECTS). A student accumulates these credits which are generally transferable between paths. A Licence is awarded once 180 ECTS have been obtained. A Master is awarded once 120 additional credits have been obtained.
Higher education in France is divided between grandes écoles and universities.