Universities are state institutions dedicated to scientific, cultural and professional training. They admit (in principal without selection procedures except in the fields of medicine and pharmacy) all applicants who hold a Baccalauréat or other qualification judged to be equivalent. They are totally independent and determine their budget, pedagogy and curricula. However, the diploma delivered are of national status and, regardless of the university, hold the same credibility. French universities deal with 1,500,000 students. Among them, 13% come from foreign countries.
Universities are state institutions dedicated to scientific, cultural and professional training. They admit (in principal without selection procedures except in the fields of medicine and pharmacy) all applicants who hold a Baccalauréat or other qualification judged to be equivalent. They are totally independent and determine their budget, pedagogy and curricula. However, the diploma delivered are of national status and, regardless of the university, hold the same credibility. French universities deal with 1,500,000 students. Among them, 13% come from foreign countries.There are 96 universities in France, distributed among 28 academic areas: Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Antilles-Guyane, Besançon, Bordeaux, Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Corse, Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Limoges, Lyon, Montpellier, Nancy-Metz, Nantes, Nice, Orléans-tours, Paris- Région Ile de France, Poitiers, Reims, Rennes, Réunion, Rouen, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Territoires d’Outres Mer. Universities provide a wide variety of study programs, including science and technology, literature, languages, arts, human science, law, economics, management, health and sport. Students who will be permitted to continue their education are gradually selected in the course of succeeding cycles of study. The list of universities can be found at: http://www.education.gouv.fr/cid2600/liste-des-universites.html You can find a course catalogue on the Campusfrance and Egide websites (see the links below).
- students receiving scholarships from the French government, from other governments or from international organisations
- stateless persons, refugees and residents who have not yet obtained this status - children of diplomats
If you are not in one of those categories, unfortunately you need to go through the pre-inscription procedure. Here is what you have to do and when: Between 15 th November and 15 th January Obtain the pre-inscription application form (dossier de demande d’admission préalable) from the cultural section of the French Embassy in your own country. If you are resident in France - you must have been in possession of a residence permit for at least a year - obtain the application form the university which is your first choice. Before 1 st February Return the completed application form to the service you obtained them from. Make sure you’ve filled it accordingly to instructions and that you’ve joined all the required documents, otherwise your file won’t be examined. In February Unless you qualify for an exemption, you will be given a date to take the compulsory French test. The test will cost you 59 euros. Between 1 st March and 15 th March Your application form and the results of your language test will be sent to your first choice university. In April/May The first university will inform you if your application has been accepted or not. If the application has not been accepted, the university sends your application to your second choice university. In May/June The second university informs you if your application has been accepted or not and tells you what mark you obtained. If you do not receive a reply from this university, send a recommended letter and keep a copy of it. If your application is accepted, you must send a letter confirming your application to the host university before the 31 st July for the administrative enrolment. Please note that you are NOT registered at the university until your administrative enrolment is completed!
If you don’t have to follow the pre-inscription procedure, you can enrol directly in the university of your choice. Here is what you must do and when: In March On Internet, you formulate your wishes! What you want to study and where… This procedure is compulsory in some universities: get informed as early as January on the University website to be sure not to miss the date requirements! In June You get your admission file and fill it in. You’ll be given a date for your administrative enrolment. In July You comply with the administrative enrolment and you’re in! However, you should always stay informed… French language test Whatever enrolment procedures you follow, you will have to prove that your level of French is sufficient to enable you to study in France. The test sessions are held in February; they are organised by the cultural sections of the French Embassy in each country. If you are in France, you will take the test in the first university you have chosen. The following are not required to take the test: - residents of Countries where French is an official language, - German students with the “Allgemeine Hochschulreife” who have followed bilingual studies or who have achieved pass level or higher in advanced French (Leistungskurs), - students who have followed French bilingual studies, - those who have obtained the French language diploma, DALF. Recognition of diplomas If you already have a higher education degree, you can ask to be exempted from certain courses of study. The application is made to the university where you wish to study. You must provide the following documents: - the degree you obtained abroad
- a translation of this degree
- a description of the educational programme followed.
In France, higher education institutions decide for themselves what level of study a foreign diploma may correspond to. Each institution is autonomous and the level at which diplomas are accepted can vary depending on where the application is made. To simplify the procedure, you can ask for a certificate indicating the level at which your diploma is recognised (Attestation de reconnaissance de niveau de diplôme) which can be obtained from the Ministry of Education (Ministère de l’Éducation nationale). If you come from the European Union, you can obtain further information from the NARIC network:
NARICMINISTÈRE DE L’ÉDUCATION
NARICMINISTÈRE DE L’ÉDUCATIONNATIONALE Service DRIC B4 110, rue de Grenelle 75007 - PARIS Tel: 01 55 55 04 15 or 01 55 55 12 15
Sources: Eurydice, Studyrama, CIDJ, Ministry of Education Photos: © F. de la Mure / Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs