Universities In France

Admission To Universities In France

The birthplace of haute couture and culinary arts, fine wines, and famous perfumes, as well as a country with a legendary history and rich culture, is, of course, beautiful and romantic France. To acquire knowledge and skills in a field where the French are considere leaders is the dream of many young people from different regions of the world, and therefore France accepts an impressive number of foreigners to study – 8-20% of students in each educational institution come from other countries.

Briefly about the system of higher education in France

Admission to universities in France is possible after reaching the age of 16 based on the results of the competition for certificates or entrance exams. Higher education institutions in France include:

  • Universities with traditional academic education have been widely known in Europe since the Middle Ages – for example, the Sorbonne;
  • Technical universities providing higher education in engineering, civil engineering, computer science, and modern technology;
  •  Higher schools that offer serious education in prestigious and sought-after areas – for example, fashion and design, economics and banking, IT technologies, etc.

In France, the Bologna assessment system has been adopte and the distinctive local features of education are the presence of two cycles – a long and a short one.

A long cycle 

Implies the traditional acquisition of a full-fledged higher education through a bachelor’s degree (3 years of study), a master’s degree (2 years), and doctoral studies (3 years). For areas such as medicine, economics, law, etc., a long cycle of study is provided.

A short cycle 

consists of a 2-3-year of training in a certain specialty with the acquisition of a diploma of a professional specialist. Usually, after a short cycle, specialists from the industrial or service sector graduate from French universities.

For admission to a state university, a school certificate is provided – if the number of points in the major disciplines meets the conditions of the chosen university, then the applicant receives a notification of admission to the number of students. However, the apparent ease of the admission process turns into an impressive reality for a first-year student – after the first session, the ranks of students are reduced by 30-70%. French students unanimously note the difficult learning conditions – a huge amount of independent work, a lack of textbooks and classrooms in individual universities, as well as strict requirements for the required level of knowledge in examinations.

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That is why specialists with a French diploma are in steady and high demand from employers – after all, the knowledge and skills of young people acquired through such hard work are priceless in the realities of modern business, science, or art. 

Requirements for foreign applicants

For admission to the French State University, a foreigner presents a language certificate of proficiency in French or English, depending on the language of instruction in a particular direction. University requirements for the level of language proficiency fluctuate between B2-C1, while English-language programs have been expanded over the past 5-7 years, so the influx of foreign students has grown significantly.

In addition to this main condition, other requirements are set for foreign applicants:

1. For admission, 

A prospective student must provide a school certificate of complete secondary education translated into French, or an academic certificate with a list of disciplines studied at a domestic university (for admission to a master’s program), as well as a passport or birth certificate. Those wishing to obtain a French master’s or doctoral degree need to prepare an additional motivation letter, recommendations from the supervisor and draw up a complete resume. 

2. A foreigner receives

A visa permits one to visit France to pass documents or exams, so it is advisable to take care of housing in advance – sometimes the university resettlement service helps in this matter, but more often applicants rent a room or apartment on their own through the appropriate Internet resources.

3. Also, a foreign applicant 

Submits to the French Embassy proof of the availability of the amount necessary to live in the country for at least a year of study – in 2021 this amount is 7.4 thousand euros. The money is place in a special bank account, which is manage either by the student himself or by his French guardian.

4. If by the time of admission 

If the foreigner has not reached the age of majority, then the presence of a guardian. A French citizen will be require. Such a guardian will have to monitor the money spent by the ward, sign a rental agreement, act as a guarantor of solvency, etc.

5. To enter a higher school

Grandes écoles – future students undergo two years of training (some higher schools require a minimum of 2 years of study at a university) and pass difficult entrance exams. French Higher Schools are considere prestigious educational institutions, so the majority of the French political elite has a Grandes écoles diploma in economics, law, etc.

When entering a public university in France for a bachelor’s degree, a foreign student in 2021. Pays a special fee of 2,770 euros per year, although some universities have left the fee the same as for French citizens – 170-300 euros. Admission to the master’s program means paying 3,770 euros per year. Detailed information about the conditions of admission for foreign applicants is set out on the respective university websites. The information is constantly updated today due to changing quarantine restrictions.  

Admission to universities in France: features

Documents for admission are sometimes submitte in person. But mostly on the Etudes en France website in electronic form, future students. Choose 3 study areas for undergraduate and 7 for masters. After receiving an invitation to study. A visa is issue at the embassy. ​And the applicant arrives in France to take exams. Or immediately apply and start studying.

The period for submitting documents

In January-March, therefore, eleventh-graders of CIS schools enter French universities after 1-2 years of study at the university of their native country, or they graduate from high school as an external student. Particular attention is paid to the study of French and English before admission – the first one will be needed in France for communication, even if the training is planned in English. Higher schools and private educational institutions begin accepting documents in November-December, so consult with specialized agencies or follow the information on university websites.  

For the period of study, a foreigner receives a student visa, which is renewed once a year. After graduation, a graduate legally remains in the country for another year for employment. After being hired, the young specialist issues a French residence permit, and after 2-7 years (the exact period depends. For example, on the field of activity), the foreigner acquires the right to apply for French citizenship.

The main feature of the process of admission

The main feature of the process of admission to public universities in France. Is accessibility – up to 90% of applicants are enrolle. At the same time, unexpected difficulties in studying quickly weed out. An excessive number of university students who could not withstand them. The serious requirements of the French educational system – it is not for nothing that the French say. That it is easy to enter the university, but not everyone can get a diploma.

Where to go to study

The following French universities are popular with foreign and French applicants:

1.  Sorbonne or Paris-Sorbonne University 

Today consists of 13 different universities in Paris, and each of these educational institutions offers a traditional academic education.

2.  Universite Pierre et Marie Curie

Pierre and Marie Curie University, one of the former faculties of the legendary Sorbonne. Has become a full-fledged and prestigious medical university in France.       

3.  Universite de Montpellier, 

The University of Montpellier is make up of three separate universities teaching science, economics, medicine, and philosophy. Among the graduates are famous political figures and philosophers of the Middle. Ages, for example, Nostradamus, Guillaume Nogaret (Minister of Philip the Handsome), etc.

4.  UniversitE de Strasbourg

The University of Strasbourg specializes in teaching the sciences, humanities, medicine, and law. Among the graduates, there are 18 Nobel laureates. As well as Johann Goethe and Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission)

5.  Universite de Nantes, or the University of Nantes, 

Is among the top thirty universities in the country, law, the humanities, and natural sciences are recognize as priority areas. Upon admission, you will need to successfully pass two exams. But the student fee for foreigners is not increase here and amounts to 180 euros per year.

France has more than 70 universities, some of which are unite under a common name (such as Université de Montpellier). So every foreigner who is preparing to enter and study in France has a chance.

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