University admission practices – France

This country profile is part of a collective effort by the network members to map matching practices across Europe. If you find it useful and want to refer to it in your own work, please refer to it as “Frys, Lucien and Staat, Christian (2016), University admission practices – France, MiP Country Profile 23.”

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In France all students follow the same program until the age of 15. Afterwards they enter high school (lycée) for another three years where they specialize and prepare for a national standard test (baccalauréat).[1] The baccalauréat gives students access to higher education.

France has a distinctive higher education system. It is divided between public universities governed by the ministry of higher education and research, technical high schools and preparatory schools governed by the ministry of education, the grandes écoles governed by other ministries or chambers of commerce,[2] and a few private institutions. Grandes écoles do not recruit directly after the baccalauréat: Students must be admitted first to preparatory schools and prepare during two years for an entrance examination.

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