The French higher education system
Internationalisation is a priority objective for French higher education.
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.
The State directly funds quite a large portion of studying costs for each student (approximately 10,000 euros per year) in public institutions (including many art schools), thus keeping the level of enrollment fees amongst the lowest in the world. In addition, all students are entitled to apply for financial aid regarding accommodation.
International students who have already graduated may attend specialized courses in France, for which various programs are available. In this case, students do not need to go through the first years of university studies.
In France there are two types of institution:
Universities are public institutions. They take on students who have either the French baccalaureate or an international equivalent – in other words those who would be given access to university in their home country.
Universities offer mainstream, technical and professional programs. All subjects are covered, including the arts, and courses also prepare students to seek employment and enter the job market.
Schools and specialized institutions, either in the public or private sector, where education is based on specialized professional teaching, are the second type of institution. These schools prepare professionals in a wide spectrum of fields such as engineering, management, art, architecture and the judiciary.