Basic Information about France
Noted as much for its rich culture as for its illustrious scientific achievements, France is unsurprisingly one of the top education destinations for international students. In fact, in 2007, France welcomed 265,000 international students that constituted 14% of its student population.
The Higher Education System
French degrees are granted by a comprehensive network of higher education institutions and world-famous research centers. This network comprises 88 universities, some 500 “Grandes ecoles” – uniquely French institutions that cover more than 240 engineering schools and 220 schools of business and management – 59 public schools of Arts, as well as many specialized schools for specific sectors such as fashion, social work, paramedical disciplines, tourism and sports.
The French degrees awarded are based on the European system of Bachelor, Master, and PhD, expressed in credits as defined by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
France’s 88 public universities cover the entire range of academic disciplines, from the sciences to technology to literature, languages, arts, social sciences, law, economics, management etc. Tuition fees (in fact only registration fees in most institutions) are among the lowest in the world and are kept affordable as public institutions enjoy the financial support of the State. However, the quality of the degree programs is not compromised by low tuition fees; throughout, high international standards are maintained at all levels. In addition, French and foreign students have equal access to student benefits and face similar admission requirements.
Many study programs are available in English (Masters and PhDs). Please contact us to get the complete and updated information.
Private schools of art and those affiliated with chambers of commerce and industry (the latter are known as ecoles consulaires) confer certificates orprofessional titles. Those that have earned accreditation are listed in the Repertoire National de Certification Professionnelle (national registry of occupational certification, www.cncp.gouv.fr) and classified according to the level of employmentfor which they prepare their students. All such institutions admit students selectively by exam or interview.
More than 3,000 schools and institutes, public and private, are categorized as “specialized schools.” They offer degree programs in very specific areas-among them social work, paramedical fields,tourism, culinary arts, and hotel management, among others.These institutions offer government-accredited degrees as well as other credentials specific to the institution that confers them. Programs demand from 2 to 5 years of study. Admission is by examination or on the basis of the applicant’s academic record.
Research in France
An integral part of the French curriculum is the emphasis on hands-on research. More than 300 doctoral programs, in collaboration with about 1,200 research centers and laboratories nationwide, prepare students for careers in their chosen fields. France’s doctoral programs have traditionally been attended by an international student community. More than 41% of PhD students in France today are foreigners.
France is one of the forerunners of scientific and technological innovation. It owes this standing to its research capacity and its many achievements in such fields as aerospace, transportation, electronics, telecommunications, chemistry, biotechnology, health and mathematics, successes attested to by the number of French winners of the Fields Medals and Nobel Prizes.
Tuition fees and living costs
For the tuition fees, the universities and certain “Grandes ecoles” will charge approximately 400 Euro per year. For other schools, the prices vary, please visit the respective universities to get the details of current tuition fees. The business schools are the most expensive. The cost of living will depend on which city you are staying and the type of accommodation. Generally, you will need approximately 1300 Euro per month to cover all the living costs if you are based in Paris, and approximately 1050 Euro if you live outside Paris. Please take into account that the French government reimburses about one third of the accommodation fees per month to students.
Most scholarships are granted in the framework of university or institutional co-operations. Students may then contact the office of International Relations of their respective universities to get more information about the scholarships available. The French Government scholarship schemes available for students in Asia are the following ones:
· Eiffel scholarship and Eiffel Doctorate Scholarship
These scholarships are intended for gifted foreign students who wish to pursue further studies in France in four core fields: engineering sciences for the Master’s course, and sciences in a broader sense for the PhD course (engineering sciences, exact sciences – mathematics, physics, chemistry- life sciences, nano- and bio-technologies, environment sciences, and information & communication sciences); economics and management; law and political sciences; and public administration.
The applications are submitted by French higher education centres. For PhD courses, the Eiffel scholarship is awarded for a maximum of ten months, with no additional language training period.. Applications are available in September and have to be submitted by early January.
Scholarships from the Pont Neuf Association
The Pont Neuf Association grants scholarships under three core programs:
- Philippe Habert scholarship (Bourse Philippe Habert) for political science studies at the Paris Institute of Political studies (Cycle International d’Etudes Politiques, IEP de Paris)
- Scholarship for young doctors (Bourse Jeunes medecins) for medical students and young doctors who want to take a six-week-long internship at a Paris clinic
- Scholarship for medical professionals (Bourse Medecins specialistes) who want to do an internship at a French clinic for a period of four to six months
If you are interested in studying in France and if you are looking for financial support/Scholarship, we strongly recommend that you reach our counselor who would assist you to find all the information on available scholarships (section Study & Research in France). Our aim is to make it easier for those interested in studying in France as well as those providing assistance and advice in ESC’s office to find details of existing grant programmes and to guarantee that the information about these programmes is always up to date