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France Higher Education System

Structure of the Higher Educational System in France
Admissions to Higher Education in France
Types of Higher Education Institutions in France
Cycles of Higher Education in France
 


Types of Higher Education Institutions


The French higher education system is characterised by the coexistence of several types of institution. There are: universities; grands établissements publics (major public institutions); grandes écoles (elite schools); administrative public institutions; private higher institutions or schools.

Universities

Universities are scientific, cultural and professional public institutions (E.P.C.S.C.P.) as defined by the 1984 Savary law. Organised since 1984 into training and research units (U.F.R.), they also include internal institutions and schools that dispense technical and short-term training: these are instituts universitaires de technologie (IUT - technological university institutes) providing short higher education and instituts universitaires professionnalisés (IUP - professional university institutes) awarding engineering diplomas. Instituts Universitaires de Formation des Maîtres (IUFM - primary teacher training colleges), previously administrative public institutions (EPA), were integrated into universities pursuant to the Guidance and Planning Law for the Future of Schools of 23 April 2005. Since 1 January 2008, IUFMs are governed by the provisions of article L. 713-9 and, for application of those provisions, are assimilated to schools integrated into universities (article L 721 of the Education Code). As before, IUFMs receive students training to be teachers, trainee teaching personnel of the two teaching degrees as well as trainee principal education advisers. They also continue to fulfil their missions within the framework of continuing education. The training they dispense has however been redefined by the specifications of primary school training (order of 19 December 2006) and by the implementation circular no. 2007-45 of 23 February 2007.

Grands établissements publics (Major public institutions)

"Grands établissements" are higher education institutions mainly admitting on the basis of an entrance exam taken by students in “classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles” (CPGE -classes preparing for admission to Grandes Ecoles). They are governed by the provisions of chapter VII of the Education Code and their statutory decrees. The following fall under this category: Collège de France, Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (CNAM), Ecole centrale des arts et manufactures (ECAM), Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Ecole nationale des Chartes (ENC), Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts et métiers (ENSAM), institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux (IPB), Ecole nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques (ENSSIB), Ecole pratique des hautes études (EPHE), Institut d’études politiques de Paris (IEP), Institut de physique du globe de Paris (IPG), Observatoire de Paris, Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO), Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN), Palais de la découverte, Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), Université de technologie en sciences des organisations et de la décision de Paris-Dauphine, Ecole des hautes études en santé publique (EHESP), Institut polytechnique de Grenoble.

"Grandes écoles" (elite schools)

"Grandes écoles" is a title that covers engineering colleges, "écoles normales supérieures" (ENS), business schools and veterinarian colleges. These grandes écoles are characterised by a very selective admissions policy and the high level of training and qualifications dispensed (5 years of higher education).

Pôles de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur (PRES - higher education research hubs)

Since the planning law for research of 18 April 2006, higher education institutions can decide to pool together their activities and resources by creating "pôles de recherche et d'enseignement supérieur" (PRES - higher education research hubs). Their aim is to create a momentum between the different types of institution (universities, grandes écoles, research organisations) and propose a more consistent and legible research and training system.

The development of PRES is backed up by the effective autonomy of universities. These two processes are currently redefining the map of universities in France.

Etablissements publics à caractère administratif (EPA - administrative public institutions)

These institutions are very diversified and placed under the aegis of different ministries. The following fall under this category:

• établissements publics locaux d’enseignement (EPLE - local public education institutions) that have classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles (CPGE - classes preparing for admission to the Grandes Ecoles) or sections de techniciens supérieurs (STS - advanced vocational institutions);

• scientific "grandes écoles" are supervised by the Minister for Higher Education and Research;

• établissements d'enseignement supérieur militaire (military higher education institutions) that report to the Department of Defence and include army, navy and air force academies (école polytechnique, école spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr, école navale, école de l'air de Salon-de Provence) ;

• école nationale d'administration (ENA - national administration institution) that is directly supervised by the Prime Minister;

• établissements d'enseignement supérieur agricole (agricultural higher education institutions) that report to the Department of Agriculture, including national veterinarian colleges;

• établissements d'enseignement supérieur artistique (artistic higher education institutions) (art school, conservatoires nationaux supérieurs, école nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs, école nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts, école du Louvre, école nationale du Patrimoine, etc.), supervised by the Department of Culture;

• écoles nationales supérieures d'architecture (national architecture colleges), supervised by the Department of Culture;

• écoles nationales supérieures d'ingénieurs and écoles nationales d’ingénieurs (national engineering schools) (ENI Metz, Tarbes, Bourges, etc.);

• institut d’administration des entreprises (IAE - business administration institute) of Paris, which links up university training and business practice;

• institut des hautes études pour la science et la technologie (I.H.E.S.T. - science and technology institute). Created by decree no. 2007-634 of 27 April 2007, its "mission [is to] train, diffuse scientific culture in society and promote public debate on scientific and technological progress and its impact on society". I.H.E.S.T. is placed under the aegis of the Departments of Education and Higher Education and Research.

EPAs can be linked to an EPCSCP, by decree, on their request, after approval by the Conseil national de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (CNESER). If they are linked, the institutions maintain their legal status and financial autonomy (Article L.719-10 of the Education Code).

Private higher education institutes and schools

There are two types of institutions:

• Free private higher education institutions of which there are 13 (5 of which being Catholic Institutes) governed by the law of 12 July 1875 relating to the freedom of higher education, which provide university education;

• Private and consular higher education institutions of which there are 134 (including 44 private engineering schools and 90 private and consular business and management schools). Training provided by these institutions, recognised by the State, is approved or supervised by the Department of Higher Education. Engineering colleges are authorised to issue an engineering diploma and business and management schools are authorised to issue an approved diploma.

• Some private technical higher education institutions can also be recognised by the State for training preparing to pass the Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (BTS - Advanced Technician's Diploma). In this context, only the training is recognised and not the institution itself.


First Cycle Programmes


The first cycle programmes is represented by : Bachelors (3-year-course) and some Short-cycle course (2 years of studies), corresponding to a first cycle level, mainly concern the industrial, service and paramedical sectors.

Bachelor

Branches of Study

The "licence" (or bachelor degree) in the LMD system replaced the former university first cycle of studies leading to a " diplôme d'études universitaires générales " (DEUG) prepared in two years and followed by a "licence" (or bachelor degree) prepared in one year. University studies leading to the "licence" (LMD) are structured into six semesters (3 university years). They are organised into domains, in the form of standard initial and continuing training courses. These courses lead to the awarding of various "licences" that confirm a validated level by obtaining 180 European credits. They allow the awarding, on the intermediate level, of various types of national diplomas validating a level corresponding to 120 European credits. The courses in particular pursue the goals defined for the diplôme d'études universitaires générales (DEUG), multidisciplinary "licences", the public administration "licence", the diplôme universitaire de technologie (DUT - university technological diploma); the diplôme d'études universitaires et techniques (DEUST - university and technical studies diploma) and the national guide-interpreter's diploma.

Universities can also organise courses targeting new objectives, either in terms of the "licence" or an intermediate level. One of the objectives of the Minister's policy is to reduce the "licence" failure rate. To do so, the multiannual plan for success in "licence" (for the period 2008-2012) was launched in 2007. It involves considerable investments to achieve three major objectives:

• Making the "licence" a national qualification, both for professional integration and further studies;

• Strongly reducing the failure rate in the first year of "licence";

• Contributing to achieving the objective aimed at ensuring that 50% of an age category gains a higher education diploma.

This plan has already allowed universities to motivate their teaching staff to act against failure, ensure personalised follow-up of students and initiate innovative teaching methods. The appraisal of measures implemented is taken into account in the elaboration of five-year contracts between the State and institutions.

In France, there is also the professional "licence" (vocational bachelor degree), obtained after 3 years of technical higher education. The professional 'licence" course is actually one year long as it completes a 2-year advanced course of study resulting in a DUT or BTS. For this reason, the "licence professionnelle" is classified in the "short higher education cycles".

Admission Requirements

To enrol at university, it is necessary to have the French baccalauréat, an equivalent qualification or dispensation: bearers of the diplôme d'accès aux études universitaires (DAEU - diploma opening to university education) or capacité en droit (legal capacity) can access higher education without the baccalauréat. Awarded by universities authorised for that purpose, the DAEU is aimed at applicants having interrupted their initial studies for at least two years. It is thus a major means of encouraging a return to studies for students who, for whatever reason, left education too early. The diploma is awarded after a year's training and after successfully passing an individual written and oral examination assessing knowledge and general culture and applicants' methods and know-how according to the requirements of continued higher education. The diplôme d'accès aux études universitaires (DAEU - diploma opening to university education) gives the same entitlements as those attached to the baccalauréat.

In compliance with the objectives set as part of the "Espoir Banlieues" momentum, the Department of Higher Education and Research works in favour of increasing the number of students enrolled for and qualified by the DAEU, in particular young people from deprived areas. Académies with the lowest baccalauréat success rates are the target of action conducted since 2008. A special effort is focused on universities which, in these académies, prepare students for the DAEU so that they may:

• better inform potential students of this training, through appropriate communication;

• strengthen the teaching framework;

• develop distance learning.

The "capacité en droit" is a short course (2 years) dispensed by law faculties and preparing students without the baccalauréat for legal and administrative professions. In certain conditions, it opens access to long higher education. Access to the "capacité en droit" training is accessible without conditions from the age of 17. "Capacité en droit" is considered to be the equivalent of the baccalauréat. However, access to instituts universitaires de technologie (IUT - technological university institutes) is selective, based on an application dossier and interview of baccalauréat holders.

Access to the different levels of post-baccalauréat training dispensed by an institution supervised by the Department of Higher Education and Research - whether a university, institute or public-sector school - can also be authorised after validation of acquired experience. Holders of foreign qualifications or diplomas may apply for their validation. The president of the university or head of the institution decides on that validation after recommendation by the teaching commission.



Curriculum

The order of 23 April 2002 bearing on university education leading to the "licence" (bachelor degree) structures training into six semesters and organises it into domains in the form of standard initial and continuing training courses. The courses target the objectives defined for the following diplomas: DEUG and "licences" governed by the order of 9 April 1997, multidisciplinary "licences" governed by order of 7 June 1994, public administration "licence" governed by the order of 11 April 1985, DUT governed by the order of 20 April 1994, DEUST governed by the order of 16 July 1984 (destined to disappear), professional "licence" governed by the order of 17 November 1999, national guide-interpreter diploma governed by the order of 13 October 1995.

The training combines theoretical, methodological, practical and applied teaching, to various degrees depending on the courses. Depending on training objectives, while ensuring that students acquire general culture, it can include elements of pre-professionalisation, professionalisation, individual or collective projects and one or several work placements. The law of 31 March 2006 on equal opportunities includes a compulsory work placement agreement, a limitation in the length of work placements outside educational courses to six months and compulsory remuneration for courses longer than two consecutive months. Signed on 26 April 2006, the "Charter of student placements in companies" clarifies the role of the higher education institution, the host company and the student required to put his/her knowledge into practice. The placement charter also provides three new guarantees aimed at securing work placement: statutory mentoring by a teacher and a member of the company; a standard agreement binding the three signatories: the teacher, the member of the company and the student; the introduction of assessment and monitoring methods.

Pursuant to the principles of the placement charter, each teaching institution, within the framework of its training policy, elaborates a placement policy that will be assessed as part of the contract binding the State and the institution.

Curricula include teaching of university work methods and documentary resources. The courses are organised as compulsory teaching units (UE) chosen freely by the student and optional teaching units if applicable. Training includes appropriate modern languages and the use of IT tools. The Certificat de Compétences en Langues de l’Enseignement Supérieur (CLES - Higher Education Language Competence Certificate), created by the order of 22 May 2000, is a certificate accredited by the Department of Education and endorsed by the Common European framework of reference for Languages (CECRL). It evaluates students' operational communication skills in several languages. The CLES is a complete certification system as it directly assesses 5 competences:

• oral comprehension;

• written comprehension;

• written production;

• oral production and oral interaction.

It is currently available in 9 languages: English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, Polish, Modern Greek and Russian. The offer is progressively enriched by new languages.

The CLES is aimed at students in initial training: all students enrolled in any type of higher education institution, regardless of their year, as long as they are not specialists in the CLES certification language that they want to take. For example: an English student cannot take an English CLES (regardless the CLES level) but can take a Spanish CLES to certify his/her skills in this language which is not his/her specialist language.

Students can in fact take any CLES level at any time in their university career.

Moreover, the circular dated 30 April 2002 introduced the IT and internet certificate (C2i® level 1) to give students the skills needed to continue higher education and to assess their skills according to technological developments. All universities have now set up C2i® level 1. In view of the increasingly important role played by information and communication technology in society, the provisions of circular no. 2008-122 of 4 August 2008 specify the approved institutions, relevant target groups, preparatory training to be taken by students enrolled in an institution, certification conditions, follow-up and transitory provisions.

According to these provisions, the preparation for certification should, whenever possible, start in the first year of the "licence" (bachelor degree) cycle, in particular, in the course of the first semester and be integrated into institutions' LMD models.

Moreover, the skills targeted by the C2i® level 1 are developed in the repository that covers 44 skills divided into 9 domains: i.e.:

• General and cross-cutting aptitudes:

○ take the scalable features of IT and communication technology;

○ integrate the moral dimension and respect for ethics;

• Practical know-how:

○ appropriate the work environment;

○ search for information;

○ save, secure, archive data locally or in a network or using a wireless system;

○ produce documents designed to be printed;

○ present work in person and online;

○ exchange and communicate at a distance;

○ conduct projects in collaborative mode at a distance.

These skills are to be acquired through teaching activities involving one or several or cross-cutting through different disciplines. The aim is to pass the C2i® level 1 before the end of the "licence" (bachelor degree) cycle.

Teaching Methods

As for the curricula, each institution is responsible for its teaching organisation. For university teaching, there are nevertheless national regulations setting the general provisions for the organisation of teaching. Training is mainly dispensed in the form of lectures, tutorials and practical work which the university is required to balance according to the purposes of each course.

Progression of Students

In order to guarantee consistent teaching, universities define the rules of progress within the framework of the courses they organise, in particular the conditions whereby a student can take various teaching units (UEs) proposed. This organisation allows reorientation by setting up gateways.

Studies can start with a guidance semester. It allows students to discover university and the subject chosen, but also check the relevance of their choice and, if necessary, change direction early enough so as not to lose a year. The decision to continue to study or change direction after the end of the initial semester lies with the student. In the second semester he or she may choose:

• to continue with the "licence";
• to continue with another "licence";
• to ask to change course: STS, IUT, etc.

In universities, teaching is organised in the form of teaching units (UE) that are added up. UEs are definitively acquired and may be added up on condition of the student achieving the average grade. The acquisition of UEs and diplomas is organised according to the principles of building up and compensating for units within the framework of the European credits system. The acquisition of the EU automatically leads to acquisition of corresponding European credits (ECTS).

Student Assessment

Diplomas are gained through passing written and oral examinations on the content of teaching units (UE) making up each cycle. Assessment of aptitudes and knowledge is defined in compliance with the provisions of the law of 1984 by the president of the university or head, after the opinion of the Conseil des études et de la vie universitaire (CEVU). All students take two examination sessions, separated by two months, usually in June and September.

In non-university institutions, a continuous assessment system or annual examinations may assess students' progress from the first year of studies, until the end diploma is completed. Usually, training includes a practical placement which results in a report or technical project, taken into consideration in the assessment of the diploma.

The most frequent assessment template is as follows:

In each teaching unit (UE) aptitudes and acquisition of knowledge are evaluated either by continuous assessment or by an end-of-year examination.

Continuous assessment is the normal study system It is the most appropriate framework for in-depth and progressive acquisition of knowledge. It is organised in the form of tests taking into account a series of work; personal work, unlimited in time, timed tests, presentations, etc. and partial examinations at the end of the semester. These assessment methods are specified for each subject.

"Partial examinations" are taken in a closed room, under the teacher's responsibility. The marks obtained in the tests are tallied by taking into account the weighting factor allocated to them.

Continuous assessment requires regular attendance of lectures and tutorials: partial absence or non-attendance in one of the continuous assessment tests leads to the score of 0/20 for the relevant exercise. After examination of the student's personal situation, the teacher can, if he/she desires, propose a replacement solution, if not the student may ask to benefit from a dispensation with a view to being able to take the final examination.

Absence from a final examination leads to the score of 0/20 for the relevant examination.

The two annual assessment examinations are organised as follows:

• The examination conditions guarantee anonymity of written examinations;

• Material organisation and roll-out of examinations are covered by a circular available to students from each of the component's offices;

• The conditions of assessment of aptitudes and knowledge are decided by the university's president after opinion of the Conseil des études et de la vie universitaire (CEVU) and students are informed about them one month after the start of teaching at the latest.

Moreover, the validation of semesters (echelons in the European credit system) leads to the number of corresponding European credits (ECTS):

• An echelon (semester) can be acquired:

○ either by validating each of the UEs making it up (a mark above or equal to 10 in each UE);

○ or by compensation between these UEs (weighted average of the UEs above or equal to 10), the compensation being automatic only if the candidate has obtained a mark above or equal to 7 in the different UEs.

• The echelon mark (semester) is equal to the weighted average of the marks of the UEs making it up. The respective weights of UE marks are proportional to the number of credits of these UEs. The UEs validated individually are definitively acquired. However, the student is entitled to refuse validation of an echelon acquired by compensation if he/she believes it possible to improve his/her results of UEs not acquired (mark lower than 10) the following year.

• Finally, "echelon" and "diploma" juries can be led to attribute "jury points". The diploma jury, which decides on the attribution of the diploma on the basis of decisions by the different echelon juries can, over and above scheduled validation patterns, reconsider, at the end of the course, the whole student's progress, even if some echelons have not been acquired.

Certification

The "licence" as well as intermediate diplomas are attributed by universities and, possibly, by other scientific, cultural and professional public institutions (EPCSCP) qualified for this purpose by the Minister of Higher Education. Authorisation to attribute the diploma is granted or renewed by the Minister of Higher Education on the basis of an application filed by the institution, assessed by the scientific and technical mission composed of experts and examined by a comité d'expertise pédagogique des projets d'établissement (CEPPE - teaching expert committee on the institution's projects) or a national committee, after approval by the Conseil national de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (CNESER).

National diplomas that can be attributed during studies leading to the "licence" (bachelor degree) are as follows:

• capacité en droit (law capacity);

• diplôme d'études universitaires scientifiques et techniques (DEUST-university and technical studies diploma);

• diplôme d'études universitaires générales (DEUG - general university studies diploma) if requested by the student;

• diplôme universitaire de technologie (DUT - technological university diploma);

• diplôme national de technologie spécialisé (DNTS - national specialised technological diploma) currently being phased out;

• diplôme d'études universitaires générales attributed within the framework of professional university institutes.


Short-Cycle Higher Education


Branches of Study

These two-year courses, corresponding to a first cycle level, mainly concern the industrial, service and paramedical sectors.

Courses leading to the following diplomas may be cited:

• Diplôme universitaire de technologie (DUT - technology university diploma) prepared in two years in instituts universitaires de technologie (IUT - technological university institutes). There are currently 25 specialisms (including one experimental) 15 of which are in production and 10 in services. Teaching units (UEs) acquired by students can now be added up and lead to the attribution of European credits (ECTS). It takes 120 credits to obtain the DUT, at a rate of 30 European credits per validated semester. Moreover, decree no. 84-1004 of 12 November 1984 relating to technological university institutes states that admission is automatic for students having received the "bien" (good) or "très bien" (very good) grade in the technological baccalauréat whose professional field is consistent with the university institute department to which the student has applied.

• Diplôme national de technologie spécialisée (DNTS - national specialised technological diploma), created in 1994, obtained after a specialised technological course, alternating between university training and placement in a company. It corresponds to year's training after a DUT or BTS and specifically meets the requirements of professional sectors. DNTS courses are currently being phased out in favour of professional "licences".

• Diplôme d'études universitaires scientifiques et techniques (DEUST - university and technical studies diploma), prepared in two years, allows students to enter professional life directly. The number of these courses has tended to drop owing to the development of IUTs and STS (advanced technical institutions). Some universities, as well as schools supervised by the Department of Social Affairs, also run paramedical courses leading to a diploma qualifying for the following professions: speech therapist, orthoptist, hearing aid specialist, midwife, social worker, etc. Some of these courses are jointly organised with the Department of Health: masseurs - physiotherapists, nurses. This diploma will be phased out with the introduction of the new university diploma structure, LMD.

• Brevet de technicien supérieur (BTS - Advanced Technician's Diploma), prepared in advanced technician sections (STS) open in more than 2,000 lycées (public, private under contract and private non-contract). The course lasts two years, is more specialised than courses leading to the DUT (see above) and corresponds to precise functions. BTS specialisms are broken down into domains: Art and applied art, Agriculture-food processing, mechanics, chemistry, electronics, electricity, Services/Business… The integration of BTS courses within the framework of the European higher education area was confirmed by decree 2007-540 of 11 April 2007. The BTS has thus been integrated within courses leading to the "licence" (bachelor degree) and it has been confirmed that passing the diploma earns the holder 120 ECTS credits. The same decree stipulates that admission is automatic for pupils and apprentices having obtained in the same year a "bien" (good) or "très bien" (very good) grade in the technological baccalauréat whose professional field is consistent with the DUT to which the student has applied.

• The Professional "Licence" (professional bachelor degree) satisfies European commitments to set up a course to obtain a diploma adapted to the requirements of the European employment market as well as demand for new qualifications between the advanced technician and engineer-executive manager. It should enable students to rapidly acquire a professional qualification satisfying clearly identified requirements and professions. In initial training, the course is open to diversified groups of students coming from STS or IUT but also second year of general "licence". Differentiated courses lead young people from different backgrounds to the same qualifications. The professional "licence" is prepared in one year (or two semesters) after the DUT, BTS or 2 years of general "licence" (bachelor degree) and leads to the awarding of 18 European credits (ECST). It is also open to continuing training and thus offers working technicians the possibility of developing their career. It also accepts the validation of experience acquisition (VAE).

Admission Requirements

Admission main depends on institutions and the diplomas prepared. Nevertheless, all institutions demand that the applicants hold the baccalauréat or an officially accepted equivalent or dispensation.

However, access to instituts universitaires de technologie (IUT - technological university institutes) is selective, based on an application dossier and interview with baccalauréat holders.

Access to the different levels of post-baccalauréat training dispensed by an institution supervised by the Department of Higher Education and Research - whether a university, institute or public-sector school - can also be authorised after validation of acquired experience. Holders of foreign qualifications or diplomas may apply for their validation. The president of the university or head of the institution decides on that validation after recommendation by the teaching commission.

Although very diversified, public or private institutes or "grandes écoles" all admit holders of the baccalauréat after a high level entrance exam, prepared over a two-year period (with, in the case of failed admission to the schools applied to, offer a possibility of staying back, if justified by the student's record) in "classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles" (CPGE - classes preparing for admission to Grandes Ecoles) which are themselves highly selective.

"Classes préparatoires" are accessible with a baccalauréat or equivalent level after acceptance of the application by the head. They are for students with a good academic record, capable of working hard and regularly to deal with a high workload and the demands of this type of education. The best holders of the technical baccalauréat also have places in "classes préparatoires" specially set aside for them. All "classes préparatoires", most often located in lycées but also universities, dispense courses corresponding to the first cycle of higher education.

They are broken down into three categories:

• economic and business classes preparing for business and management schools and écoles normales supérieures. • literary classes preparing for entrance examinations to écoles normales supérieures, école nationale des chartes, business and management schools and instituts d'études politiques (IEP - political studies institutions).

• scientific classes preparing for entrance examinations to engineering colleges, écoles normales supérieures and national veterinarian colleges.

• No diplomas are awarded at the end of these preparatory years, but the students who fail to gain admission in the schools of their choice may obtain dispensations from a university by decision of the university president. Agreements signed between each lycée and a university allow them to validate acquired knowledge to obtain a 1st cycle diploma described in the form of ECTS (European credit transfer system) credits.

Curriculum

The order of 23 April 2002 bearing on university education leading to the "licence" (bachelor degree) structures training into six semesters and organises it into domains in the form of standard initial and continuing training courses. The courses target the objectives defined for the following diplomas: DEUG and "licences" (bachelor degrees) governed by the order of 9 April 1997, multidisciplinary "licences" (order of 7 June 1994), public administration "licence" (order of 11 April 1985), DUT (order of 20 April 1994), DEUST (order of 16 July 1984 -destined to disappear), professional "licence" (order of 17 November 1999), national guide-interpreter diploma governed by the order of 13 October 1995.

The training combines theoretical, methodological, practical and applied teaching, to various degrees depending on the courses. Depending on training objectives, while ensuring that students acquire general culture, it can include elements of pre-professionalisation, professionalisation, individual or collective projects and one or several work placements. The law of 31 March 2006 on equal opportunities includes a compulsory work placement agreement, a limitation in the length of work placements outside educational courses to six months and compulsory remuneration for courses longer than two consecutive months.

Signed on 26 April 2006, the "Charter of student placements in companies" clarifies the role of the higher education institution, the host company and the student required to put his/her knowledge into practice. The placement charter also provides three new guarantees aimed at securing work placement: statutory mentoring by a teacher and a member of the company; a standard agreement binding the three signatories: the teacher, the member of the company and the student; the introduction of assessment and monitoring methods. Pursuant to the principles of the placement charter, each teaching institution, within the framework of its training policy, elaborates a placement policy that will be assessed as part of the contract binding the State and the institution.

Curricula include teaching of university work methods and documentary resources. The courses are organised as compulsory teaching units (UE) chosen freely by the student and optional teaching units if applicable. Training includes include appropriate modern languages and the use of IT tools (see the Certificat de Compétences en Langues de l'Enseignement Supérieur (CLES - Higher Education Language Competence Certificate)). In order to guarantee consistent teaching, universities define the rules of progress within the framework of the courses they organise, in particular the conditions whereby a student can take various teaching units (UEs) proposed. This organisation allows reorientation by setting up gateways

Studies can start with a guidance semester. This semester allows students to discover university and the subject chosen, but also check the relevance of their choice and, if necessary, change direction early enough so as not to lose a year. In addition, the organisation of the first year of "licence" should allow real guidance at the end of the first semester. The decision to continue to study or change direction after the end of the initial semester lies with the student. In the second semester the student may choose:

• to continue with the "licence";

• to continue with another "licence";

• to ask to change course: STS, IUT, etc.

The order of 23 April 2002 modified by order of 26 August 2008 sets a certain number of principles guaranteeing the rights of students in terms of testing of knowledge and aptitudes.

Teaching Methods

As for the curricula, each institution is responsible for its teaching organisation. For university teaching, there are nevertheless national regulations setting the general provisions for the organisation of teaching. Training is mainly dispensed in the form of lectures, tutorials and practical work which the university is required to balance according to the purposes of each course.

Progression of Students

To ensure consistent teaching, institutions define the rules of progress within the framework of courses they organise over a period of two years.

Generally speaking, admission to the second year depends on the student's results in continuous assessment during the year.

Employability

All short higher education diplomas are designed with the aim of the student's integration in the employment market. Curriculum content is defined by taking into account the needs of the economy. Consultation are organised nationally and regionally to define this content and the location of courses.

Students Assessment

Diplomas are obtained by successfully passing written and oral tests on the course content. In non-university institutions - for example in lycées teaching BTS - a continuous assessment system or annual examinations may assess students' progress from the first year of studies, until the end diploma is completed. Usually, training includes a practical placement which results in a placement report, taken into consideration in the assessment of the diploma.

Certification

Short higher education leads to the following national diplomas:

• diplôme d'études universitaires scientifiques et techniques (DEUST-university and technical studies diploma);

• diplôme universitaire de technologie (DUT - technological university diploma);

• diplôme national de technologie spécialisé (DNTS - national specialised technological diploma) currently being phased out;

• brevet de technicien supérieur (BTS - advanced technician diploma).

Authorisation to attribute university diplomas is granted or renewed by the Minister of Higher Education on the basis of an application presented by the institution, assessed by the scientific and technical mission composed of experts and examined by a comité d'expertise pédagogique des projets d'établissement (CEPPE - teaching expert committee on the institution's projects) or a national committee, after approval by the Conseil national de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (CNESER).


Second Cycle Programmes


Branches of Study

Courses offered at the master's degree level satisfy a dual objective of preparing students for research and providing courses leading them to high level professional integration. The master's degree is awarded after acquisition of 120 credits after the "licence" (bachelor degree) on the basis of training organised in four semesters.

The first 60 credits (M1) can, by request of the student, receive an intermediate level national "maîtrise" diploma.

The remaining credits lead to the awarding of the national "master" diploma.

Universities are now bound by the Bologna process and have integrated their old courses into these new ones. Decree no. 2005-450 of 11 May 2005 stipulates that the national "licence" (bachelor), master and "doctorat" (PhD) diplomas can be issued within the framework of international partnerships. International partnerships are organised by an agreement signed between one or several French high education institutions and one or several foreign higher education institutions. The agreement in particular defines the training methods, constitution of teaching teams, testing of knowledge and aptitudes and certification methods.

Admission Requirements

Access to the first year of "master" is automatic for all students holding a "licence" (bachelor degree) in the same field. The "maîtrise" diploma, an intermediate qualification between the «licence" (180 European credits) and the master (300 European credits), is issued to students who apply for it and having obtained the first 60 European credits after the "licence". In addition, access to the different levels of post-baccalauréat training dispensed by an institution supervised by the Department of Higher Education and Research - whether a university, institute or public-sector school - can also be authorised after validation of acquired experience. Holders of foreign qualifications or diplomas may apply for their validation. The president of the university or head of the institution decides on that validation after recommendation by the teaching commission.

For information about tuition fees please refer to chapter 3 "Funding of Education".

Curriculum

Training provided in view of obtaining a Master is theoretical, methodological and applied and, when required, involves one or several work placements. It also includes an introduction to research, in particular, the drafting of a dissertation or other personal study work. The organisation of training as well as knowledge and aptitude testing methods are featured in the authorisation request filed by the institution with the Department.

The Master diploma can only be issued after validation of the student's aptitude in at least one foreign language. Standard training courses therefore need to include teaching time to enable students to acquire this aptitude.

Teaching Methods

As for the curricula, each institution is responsible for its teaching organisation. For university teaching, there are nevertheless national regulations setting the general provisions for the organisation of teaching. Training is mainly dispensed in the form of lectures, tutorials and practical work which the university is required to balance according to the purposes of each course.

Progression of Students

In universities, teaching is organised in the form of teaching units (UE) that are added up. UEs are definitively acquired and may be added up on condition of the student achieving the average grade. The acquisition of UEs and diplomas is organised according to the principles of building up and compensating for units within the framework of the European credits system. The acquisition of the EU automatically leads to acquisition of corresponding European credits (ECTS).

Access to the second year of the master's degree is decided by the head on recommendation of the director of studies.

Employability

Please see Licence (bachelor degree), Employability.

Student Assessment

Diplomas are gained through passing written and oral examinations on the content of teaching units (UE) making up each cycle. Assessment of aptitudes and knowledge is defined in compliance with the provisions of the law of 1984 by the president of the university or head, after the opinion of the Conseil des études et de la vie universitaire (CEVU). All students take two examination sessions, separated by two months, usually in June and September.

As far as the master's degree is concerned, knowledge testing is defined by the institutions within the framework of their autonomy. It should be stated in the authorisation application. This diploma is awarded to students having been successfully tested in knowledge and aptitudes on the basis of teaching dispensed, the research dissertation or any other personal study work, thus starting work that will be required for PhD students and, one or several work placements, if required by the course. Finally, the Master diploma can only be issued after validation of the student's aptitude in at least one foreign language.

In non-university institutions, a continuous assessment system or annual examinations may assess students' progress from the first year of studies, until the end diploma is completed. Usually, training includes a practical placement which results in a report or technical project, taken into consideration in the assessment of the diploma.

The most frequent assessment template is as follows:

- In each teaching unit (UE) aptitudes and acquisition of knowledge are evaluated either by continuous assessment or by an end-of-year examination.

- Continuous assessment is the normal study system It is the most appropriate framework for in-depth and progressive acquisition of knowledge. It is organised in the form of tests taking into account a series of work; personal work, unlimited in time, timed tests, presentations, etc. and partial examinations at the end of the semester. These assessment methods are specified for each subject.

- "Partial examinations" are taken in a closed room, under the teacher's responsibility. The marks obtained in the tests are tallied by taking into account the weighting factor allocated to them.

- Continuous assessment requires regular attendance of lectures and tutorials and partial absence or non-attendance in one of the continuous assessment tests leads to the score of 0/20 for the relevant exercise. After examination of the student's personal situation, the teacher can, if he/she desires, propose a replacement solution, if not the student may ask to benefit from a dispensation with a view to being able to take the final examination.

- Absence from a final examination leads to the score of 0/20 for the relevant examination.

The two annual assessment examinations are organised as follows:

• The examination conditions guarantee anonymity of written examinations;

• Material organisation and roll-out of examinations are covered by a circular available to students from each of the component's offices;

• The conditions of assessment of aptitudes and knowledge are decided by the university's president after opinion of the Conseil des études et de la vie universitaire (CEVU) and students are informed about them one month after the start of teaching at the latest.

• Moreover, the validation of semesters (echelons in the European credit system) leads to the number of corresponding European credits (ECTS):

• An echelon (semester) can be acquired:

○ either by validating each of the UEs making it up (a mark above or equal to 10 in each UE);

○ or by compensation between these UEs (weighted average of the UEs above or equal to 10), the compensation being automatic only if the candidate has obtained a mark above or equal to 7 in the different UEs.

• The echelon mark (semester) is equal to the weighted average of the marks of the UEs making it up. The respective weights of UE marks are proportional to the number of credits of these UEs.

• The UEs validated individually are definitively acquired. Students are however entitled to refuse validation of an echelon acquired by compensation if they believe they can

• Improve the results of UEs not acquired (marks lower than 10) the following year.

Finally, "echelon" and "diploma" juries can be led to attribute "jury points". The diploma jury, which decides on the attribution of the diploma on the basis of decisions by the different echelon juries can, over and above scheduled validation patterns, reconsider, at the end of the course, the whole student's progress, even if some echelons have not been acquired.

Certification

With 300 credits, the national master's degree is awarded. The university grade of master can be conferred by the state, after a national assessment and examination at the Conseil National de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (CNESER) to holders of other diplomas such as:

• qualified engineers, after assessment by the commission des titres d'ingénieurs (CTI - engineers' diploma committee);

• the end of course diploma awarded by an Institut d'études politiques (IEP - political studies institute);

• the veterinarian surgeon's state diploma;

• the end of course diploma of certain business and management schools;

• the architect's state diploma;

• the heritage restorer's diploma;

• the Ecole du Louvre second cycle diploma;

• the Saint-Cyr military academy diploma;

• certain diplomas awarded by Paris-Dauphine university and featured on the list drawn up by the Minister of Higher Education mentioned in article 2 of the Decree of 30 August 1999 bearing on the grade of master.


Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes


Organisation of Doctoral Studies

The "doctorat" (PhD) is prepared in six semesters (it corresponds to a baccalauréatdiploma + 8 years of study). The diploma is awarded after presentation of a thesis.

This third level is one of high specialisation and research training. After the master's degree or a recognised equivalent, students showing aptitude for research can access PhD studies within the framework of doctoral schools. These schools allow the preparation of a doctorat (PhD) in three or four years (presentation of a thesis or of a set of work). In compliance with the commitments taken in the " Pacte pour la recherche ", expressed by the planning law for research no. 2006-450 of 18 April 2006, doctoral training has been renovated: the new order of 7 August 2006 bearing on doctoral training is consistent with the orientations set out in the "European Charter for Researchers" especially as regards the status of PhD students. Moreover, attention paid to the implementation of the "thesis charter", a genuine moral contract between the PhD student, his or her thesis supervisor, the doctoral school head and the director of the host laboratory, guarantees quality insofar as it defines the rights and duties of each party. The preparation of a thesis should be part of a personal and professional project clearly defined in its objectives and resources.

Consecutive to this reform adopted by the order of 7 August 2006, PhD training should offer young PhDs excellent training, attractive nationally and internationally, and the best possible career prospects. Four major orientations are defined: reassertion of doctoral schools as places to structure French doctoral training; primacy given to "quality assurance"; recognition of the doctorat (PhD) as "a professional research experience" and strengthening of measures to guarantee excellent training; creation of doctoral schools made accessible to all higher education institutions.

Moreover, doctoral studies allow:

• a scientific framework guaranteed by recognised research units or teams;

• training useful for steering their research project and elaborating their professional project;

• international opening;

• the possibility of doing a work placement;

• integration monitoring.

During their doctoral training, PhD students take support training courses and pictograms in teaching sessions, seminars, missions or placements organised within the framework of the doctoral school.

Admission Requirements

Admission to a doctoral school with a view to preparing a PhD is open to holders of a national master's diploma or another diploma conferring the grade of master, an engineering diploma or equivalent diploma through the validation of acquired experience. Enrolment is confirmed by the head after proposal by the doctoral school head and validation by the thesis supervisor and research unit director. It confirms admission to the training dispensed by the doctoral school. Enrolment should be renewed at the start of every university year.

For the first PhD enrolment:

• the head of the doctoral school ensures that the scientific, material and financial conditions are brought together to ensure the smooth operation of the candidate's research work and this preparation, after validation by the director of the research unit supervising the quality of the project;

• the thesis charter is signed by the PhD student, thesis supervisor, head of the doctoral school and manager of the host unit or team.

For information about tuition fees please refer to chapter 3 "Funding of Education".

Status of Doctoral Candidates

Since 2007 the Minister of Higher Education is committed to ensuring that the PhD becomes the flagship diploma of the national and European training system and has taken various initiatives in application of the planning law for research of 18 April 2006 which recognises PhD students as young research professionals

To reinforce the appeal of the PhD further, a new contract for PhD students has been proposed with more guarantees and which can be adapted for each individual case. This new "doctoral contract", created by the decree dated 23rd April 2009 is therefore a unique contract for all public higher education or research institutions (universities and research organisations) and provides better protection than previous measures. In one single contract, it covers all activities directly linked to the preparation of the PhD but also additional activities of interest for the student's professional prospects (teaching, corporate missions, promotion of research, circulation of scientific and technical information). Agreed for a three year period, it can be extended by one year, for specific reasons linked either to the thesis or personal life of the PhD student like maternity or sick leave. The doctoral contract will provide the welfare cover of a real employment contract, in compliance with public law. In particular, the employer should offer the PhD student training needed to perform his/her missions whether for the preparation of the thesis or additional activities assigned to him/her.

The doctoral contract in particular stipulates that the wage may be negotiated above a minimum and without a ceiling. In this way, universities and research organisations may be really competitive to attract the best into their laboratories even on the thesis level. Young master graduates or young engineers may also really commit to a thesis without having to give up any wage claims.

The other status for PhD students may be students benefiting from a study grant (scholars). There are several sources of grants for PhD studies:

1. Grants or Allowances from the Department of Higher Education and Research

Every year, the Department awards a continent fund of allowances to the Doctoral School which it makes available after having defined the thesis subjects and host teams. Allowances are attributed by the Doctoral School to the best candidates after examination of their applications: the results of the master's degree are particularly decisive. The aim is to allow PhD students to dedicate themselves fully to research work for the preparation of their thesis. The allowances are for three years. Applicants should be aged under 25 but a dispensation is possible for under 30s. Prerequisite diplomas are: master's degree or an equivalence/dispensation. Applicants should be French (or naturalisation in process) or citizen of a member state of the EU or have gained the Master's degree in France.

It is possible to work as a supervisor/tutor (see below). For social security, the general system applies as for pension contributions. 2. Grants through the Convention Industrielle de Formation par la Recherche (CIFRE - Industrial training research agreement) These are agreed as part of a partnership between a public research laboratory and a company. A laboratory receiving a CIFRE grant usually publishes a call for applications from students liable to be interested. The aim is to be able to prepare a thesis while working for a company in a research and development programme in liaison with a research team outside the company and at the same time reinforce the company's technological capability. The candidate should be under 26 but may be of any nationality. Two directors (an HDR teacher-researcher and person working in the company's studies or research department) should supervise the PhD. The allowances are for three years.

3. Bourses de Doctorat pour Ingénieurs (BDI - Engineer PhD grants)

These are awarded by the CNRS which totally or partially funds them with another research organisation (a company) or a public local authority (e.g. a region). They are awarded (or not) to laboratories associated with the CNRS which have filed an application to the CNRS detailing the thesis subject, host team and the CV of the PhD candidate. The candidate should be under 27 and preferably should have an engineering or equivalent diploma (in addition to the DEA).

4. Regional grants or public authority allowances

Public local authorities (mainly Regions) can offer thesis grants or allowances to research laboratories on subjects deemed to be of priority to them. Depending on the region, allowance awarding conditions are subject to the same aforementioned BDI process (subject, laboratory, candidate's CV).

5. Grants from other research organisations

Like the CNRS, other research organisations or agencies (INSERM, INRIA, INRA, INED, CNES, IFREMER, ONERA, ADEME, ANVAR…) can fund or jointly fund thesis grants. Allowance awarding conditions are subject to the same aforementioned BDI process (subject, laboratory, candidate's CV).

6. Funding by private organisations

Within the framework of their partnership with the private or semi-public industrial sector, some laboratories can benefit from grants or wages for PhD students. To obtain this type of funding, candidates are invited to contact laboratories and consult the websites of major state-of-the-art industrial companies: automotive, aeronautics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, petroleum, etc.)

7. Grants for foreign students

The Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) awards a grant to foreign Master's graduates. Furthermore, depending on the country, it is possible for certain foreign students and in certain conditions to obtain a thesis grant from their government and/or the French government. 8. CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique - Atomic Energy Agency) grants

The CEA can sign a thesis contract with PhD students preparing their thesis in its laboratories. This thesis contract is designed to allow selected young PhD students to conduct a research project in one of the CEA's many fields of expertise: fundamental research in physics and life science, technological research for industry, R&D for nuclear energy, nuclear defence, protection and safety activities (research themes of CEA laboratories). The fulfilment and performance of the research project, supervised by a confirmed engineer or researcher, as well as a thesis supervisor approved by the University (universities having signed a framework agreement with the CEA) allow the presentation of a thesis and awarding of the University PhD diploma. In all cases, the thesis contract is 3-year fixed term work contract for which the CEA is the employer.

Supervision Arrangements

The order of 7 August 2006 opens PhD training to all scientific partners with the sole goal of achieving excellence in research. Attention paid to the implementation of the "thesis charter", a genuine moral contract between the PhD student, his or her thesis supervisor, the doctoral school head and the director of the host laboratory, guarantees quality insofar as it defines the rights and duties of each party. The preparation of a thesis should be part of a personal and professional project clearly defined in its objectives and resources. In the preparation of his or her thesis, the PhD student is an integral part of the research unit.

A thesis may be supervised jointly by two thesis supervisors.

The order of 6 January 2005 stipulates that to consolidate the construction of the European higher education and research area and develop international cooperation, a French higher education institution authorised to award the PhD can sign an agreement with one or several foreign higher education institutions, benefiting in their countries from the same status, aimed at organising joint international thesis supervision as per the terms set in the order hereto. International joint supervision aims to strengthen the international dimension of doctoral schools, favour mobility of PhD students in different scientific and cultural environments and develop scientific cooperation between French and foreign research teams. The agreement can either be a framework agreement accompanied, for each thesis, by an application agreement or an agreement signed specifically for each thesis. These agreements should specify the name of the contracting higher education institutions and, for each thesis, the name of the student in question and thesis subject. They bind contracting institutions on the basis of a reciprocity principle. PhDs awarded within the framework of the order hereto are rightfully recognised in France. Agreements should mention the forms of recognition in the other country or countries. When the rules applicable to PhD studies in the relevant countries are incompatible with each other, French institutions are authorised to dispense from the provisions of the aforementioned order of 25 April 2002 on these specific aspects, while respecting the provisions of the order hereto as per the terms defined by the agreement. PhD students conduct their work under the responsibility, in each relevant country, of a thesis supervisor who undertakes to exercise his or her supervisory role in cooperation with the other thesis supervisors. The thesis supervisors and PhD student sign the agreement mentioned in article 3 for the relevant thesis. The thesis is prepared in periods alternating between the relevant institutions according to a balance and terms defined in the agreement.

Employability

PhD training consists in training through research, in research and innovation. It is a genuine professional research experience, opening up the way to a career, in variable conditions and with variable responsibilities depending on the sector.

Obtaining a PhD can also be followed up by registration with a view to approval to supervise research, a diploma confirming the aptitude to implement original high level research and ability to supervise young researchers. The key purpose of this diploma is to allow access to the profession of "university lecturer'.

Assessment

PhD students conduct their work under the control and responsibility of their thesis director.

The functions of thesis supervisor or co-supervisor can be occupied by:

• lecturers and assimilated staff as set out by the provisions bearing on the designation of members of the Conseil national des universités (national university council) or by equivalent ranking teachers not supervised by the Department of Education; by personnel of higher education institutions, public research organisations and research foundations, qualified to supervise research; • other personalities, PhD holders, chosen owing to their scientific competence by the head, as proposed by the head of the doctoral school and validated by the institution's scientific committee.

The institution's scientific committee decides on the maximum number of PhD students to be supervised by a thesis supervisor, possibly according to the relevant subject fields, after approval from the doctoral schools' boards. With respect to this, the provisions agreed by the institutions are taken into account in the regular assessment of doctoral schools.

Certification

Authorisation to present a thesis is given by the head, after approval from the head of the doctoral school head and proposal by the thesis supervisor. The candidate's work is previously examined by at least two assessors appointed by the head, approved to supervise research or belonging to one of the categories set out in article 17 above, by proposal of the doctoral school head after approval from the thesis supervisor. The assessors should not belong to the doctoral school and the candidate's institution. Assessors belonging to foreign higher education or research institutions could be called in. The assessors will notify their decision in written reports on the basis of which the institution's head authorises the thesis, after approval from the doctoral school's head. These reports are given to the jury and candidate before the presentation of the thesis.

The thesis jury is appointed by the head, after approval from the doctoral school head and the thesis supervisor. The jury can be composed of 3 to 8 members. At least half of them are French or foreign personalities, external to the doctoral school and candidate's enrolment institution and chosen owing to their scientific competence, subject to provisions bearing on international thesis co-supervision. When several institutions are qualified to jointly award the PhD, the jury is designated by the relevant heads of institution as per the conditions set out by the agreement that binds them. At least half of the jury should be composed or lecturers or assimilated as per the provisions bearing on the designation of members of the Conseil national des universités (National university council) or teachers of equivalent rank not supervised by the Department of Higher Education. The members of the jury choose a chairperson from their members and, if applicable, a thesis reporter. The chairperson should be a lecturer or assimilated teacher or teacher of equivalent rank as per the previous paragraph. The thesis supervisor, if he/she participates in the jury, may not be chosen as the thesis reporter or chairman of the jury.

The thesis is presented publicly, unless a dispensation is exceptionally issued by the head if the subject of the thesis contains proven confidential material. Before the presentation, the summary of the thesis is circulated within the institution or institutions benefiting from joint accreditation. After the presentation, the thesis is circulated within the university community. As part of its deliberations, the jury assesses the quality of the candidate's work, his or her aptitude to position it in its scientific context and his/her presentation qualities. When the work corresponds to collective research, the personal share of each candidate is assessed by a dissertation that he/she drafts and presents individually to the jury.

The admission or adjournment is announced after the jury's deliberation. The chairman signs the thesis report which is countersigned by all the members of the jury. This report can indicate one of the following grades: honourable, very honourable, very honourable "cum laude". The highest grade, which is reserved for candidates with exceptional qualities demonstrated by their work and presentation, may only be awarded after a secret and unanimous ballot of members of the jury. In this case, the chairperson of the jury drafts an additional report justifying this distinction. The thesis report specifies, if applicable, that the institution does not award a grade. The thesis report is communicated to the candidate.

The national PhD diploma is awarded by the head or heads after the compliant proposal by the jury. The name and seal of the institution or institutions awarding the PhD are featured on the certificate. The subject field, title of the thesis or name of the main work, the name of the doctoral school and the names and titles of the members of the jury and, if applicable, indication of an international thesis joint supervision are also mentioned.

The awarding of the national PhD diploma confers the grade of PhD or Doctor.

In the specific field of healthcare, the total term of training, also organised into three cycles, varies, depending on subjects, and leads to the awarding of the following diplomas:

• In medicine: 9 to 11 years of study are required to obtain the State doctor of medicine diploma and specialised study diploma (4 years for medical specialisms and 5 years for surgical specialisms).

• In odontology: the State diploma in dental surgery is obtained after 6 years of study or 8 years when completed by a certificate of further dental surgery studies (training taken by house physicians).

• In pharmacy: the State diploma in pharmacy is obtained after 6 years of study or 9 years when completed by a certificate of specialist studies.

Besides these national diplomas approved by the Department of Higher Education, universities can set up diplomas under their own responsibility (university or institution diplomas). These diplomas fall under the exclusive competence of institutions without the State being able to intervene on their recognition or control their quality. Institutions can resort to this practice to satisfy specific or transitory needs, professional in particular. However, the policy conducted by the Department of Higher Education aims to favour the national diploma system which provides students with better guarantees.


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