The basic principles of an education system in France have already centenary history, and were put in the 1880-90th years. Education is free, has no religious contents and it is obligatory for children from 6 to 16 years. In France private and state education systems coexist. In private educational institutions about 20% of all pupils of France are trained. The state approves all school programs for private and public schools, will organize competitions and examinations. Only the state has the right for issue of diplomas to the level of the bachelor (baccalaureat).
The educational system in France has the following structure:
1. Preschool education (till 6 years)
2. Primary education (6 – 11 years)
3. The secondary education (11 – 18 years) which is coming to an end with examination on the bachelor’s degree
4. The higher education
Kindergartens accept children from 2 to 6 years. Education to initial schools is not obligatory. Children in gardens are divided into three age groups. The first from 2 to 4 years where children only play. Second (average) from 4 to 5 years – are trained in a molding, drawing and other practical skills, and also oral communication. The third (senior) from 5 to 6 years prepares for training in reading, the letter and the account.
Gardens work five days a week, for six hours a day (rub in the morning and three after a lunch). In the large cities gardens work since early morning till 18 – 19 o’clock, and during vacation.
Elementary school trains children till 14 years and is the last stage of compulsory education. After the termination of a cycle of training at elementary school pupils take examinations for obtaining the certificate on primary education (certificat d’etudes primaire, CEP). Primary education is continued five years, from 6 to 11 years and shares on:
1. Preparatory course (CP)
2. Initial course 1st year (CE1)
3. Initial course 2nd year (CE2)
4. Average course 1st year (CM1)
5. Average course 2nd year (CM2)
Secondary education in France consists of two blocks: first cycle of training (college) and second cycle of training.
The 6th and 5th classes – a supervision cycle. All children come to a college, pass the identical program of training and without fail learn one of “live” languages.
The 4th and 3rd classes – an orientation cycle. Children begin studying of the second “live” foreign language and can choose in addition Latin, Greek or other languages.
At the end of the 3rd class pupils take examinations for obtaining the certificate on the termination of a college (earlier this document was called BEPC). After the 3rd class orientation of further training does not depend on existence of the certificate on the termination of a college. It is a main goal and the main direction in training since further pupils will be able to continue the study either on “short”, or on a “long” cycle of training.
The decision on the further direction (orientation) of study of pupils takes out council of a class after consultation with pupils and their families. Parents can demand revision of the decision if it seems to them unreasonable.
In some colleges special sections for training of children with different types of deviations of development and behavior (SEGPA) are created.
2nd “short” cycle of professional education
Professional lyceums LEP (analog of our technical training colleges) train pupils within 2 years for the professional diploma.
– CAP (the certificate of vocational training), is given by the pupil who seized a certain profession
– BEP (the certificate of the general professional education) which prepares for work in a certain sphere of activity, for example, in hotel economy, transport, etc. Among the pupils receiving BEP, nearly a half continues training to pass examination for degree of the bachelor (“tank”), thanks to existence of “transitional” classes.
In system of the French education the professional and general education are more divided, than in other countries, and because of it professional education has low value in the opinion of society and pupils.
LEP has bad image in society as it is considered in the direct way to a low social status and a low wage. It is caused by the fact that for many years the most badly in time pupils went to this cycle of training.
2nd “long” cycle of training: lyceum
The lyceum prepares within 3 years for examination on the bachelor’s degree:
The second class is an “uncertain” class, that is not having a certain specialization yet
The first class has many directions – the branches of training conducting to different types of a bachelor degree. After the first class pupils take a test on French for which assessment is considered at passing an examination on the bachelor’s degree.
“Terminal” or the last class of lyceum comes to an end with passing an examination on the bachelor’s degree.
The higher education
The higher education is available only in the presence of the bachelor’s degree. The French education system has various forms: a “short” and “long” cycle, training at the higher schools (Grandes ecoles), universities.
The higher education, “short” cycle
Training lasts usually two years and therefore is called a “short” cycle of the higher education. It is in demand in society as gives the chance of real and fast employment.
There are following types of educational institutions of a “short” cycle:
1. Offices of the higher technical education in lyceums. They prepare for receiving BTS (brevet de technicien superieur) – the diploma about the higher technical education.
2. University institutes of technology (institut universitaire de technologie) exist at universities and lead to receiving DUT (diplome universitaire de technologie) – the university technological diploma.
3. Specialized schools are prepared within 2 or 3 years on specialties of health care and for social services: midwifes, nurses, massage therapists-kinezioterapevtov, etc.
The higher education of a “long” cycle
Universities are the only establishments which accept all candidates without preliminary selection (though secretly and illegally there is a selection by estimates on the bachelor’s degree) and for this reason at universities often there are students who simply did not be admitted to other schools. Entering a university without existence of degree of the bachelor, by delivery of special examination in university (ESEU) is possible, but it is possible only in limited quantity of cases and only for the skilled experts having a long standing of practical work. Practically all universities are state, except for several confessional.
University education has three cycles:
The first cycle within 2 years prepares for receiving DEUG (the diploma about the general university education), but this diploma has no practical value in labor market.
The second cycle prepares for the license (license) within one year after DEUG and maitrise (year after license). Recently the possibility of professional education was also created: MST (maitrises des sciences et techniques) and a magistracy (les magisteres) in which three years are trained.
The third cycle is divided into two branches:
DESS (the diploma of the higher specialized education) which is the professional diploma, preparation for which lasts for 1 year after receiving degree of maitrise and includes training and practice.
DEA (diploma of profound studying) this training in research work.
After receiving DEA (within one year) it is possible to prepare scientific work (these), it is minimum within two years.
The French analog of MBA – DESS
Training on the diploma of DESS is equated to the third, last cycle of the higher education (analog of our postgraduate study and the Candidate degree). DESS are received not only by students, but also the staff of the companies who concluded the agreement on professional development with the enterprise.
At receipt test interview (concours d’entre) is carried out selection. An indispensable condition for receipt – the higher education (the diploma of Maitrise) in any specialty. Not less (and sometimes and more) experience of administrative work is important. In some cases this experience can be included as the first four university courses. Similar issues are resolved by the commission on equivalence. She is engaged in recognition of the qualifications received by you in the Ukrainian higher education institution. For all foreigners there is one more general requirement – good knowledge of French. As confirmation of this fact the document about successful passings an examination of DELF is accepted.
The following specializations are most known and popular: business management, international marketing, design and quality, human resource management, strategy and management of small and medium-sized enterprises. Training in the DESS program of any specialization is focused on practice. Except unconditional usefulness for the student, it also peculiar “the answer in reciprocity” to the enterprises which send employees to the formation continue programs (postuniversity education so is called) and is paid on 20 thousand francs for a year of training of everyone. 3-4-month training is included in any DESS program.
The purpose of postuniversity training one – to train the high quality expert in the field of economy and management. Therefore there is nothing surprising that at universities on an equal basis with other there are departments with “speaking” AIDE abbreviation (aide – the help). Here the student of university can pass training on own project and even to open own business (in it it will be promoted by regional council of businessmen). Besides, schools regularly publish offers of training, calendars of job fairs, recommendations about drawing up CV, etc. in the specialized Figaro GEU editions (Grands Ecoles et Universites), Les Echos.
On the diploma of DESS usually prepare institutes of management of the enterprises (Institut d’Administration des Entreprises, IAE – the French analog of business schools) which are created at large educational institutions. Such institutes now in France 27, and they are rather evenly distributed over all country. These are public institutions, and training here is completely regulated by the Ministry of national education. As business specializations of DESS in the state register more than 10, each institute, caring first of all for training level, offers not everything at once, and on average 4-5 specializations. The state in turn watches that on average over the country there was no “surplus” or “deficiency” any of specializations.
Besides IAE, it is possible to receive the French MBA also at business schools. It should be noted that not so long ago five most prestigious French schools of management, among them the Higher business school (BORE), the Higher school of economic and commercial sciences (ESSEC) and the Higher business school of Paris formed consortium within which it is possible to gain for 2 years the diploma of MBA in English. At everything at the same time legendary INSEAD remains the most known French business school by right.