Education System in France

Education System in France for Indian Students

  • The French education system is reputed for having a number of different options for different students under various categories of study as well as types of diplomas it offers.
  • Schools in France, are well known for being more academic oriented than their American counterparts. You will not find many extracurricular activities at schools such as school dances or festivals.
  • French schools lay a lot of emphasis on academic success and students are asked to repeat a grade if they do not pass their tests.

The Different Stages of the Education System in France

The education system consists of three stages: primary, secondary, and higher education.

Primary Education

  • Primary education is the education category that is intended for children from the age of 6 onwards.
  • Children from the age of three to six would attend day care and kindergarten. However education is not mandatory for children under six.
  • Children who are 6 years and above should be enrolled in a school.
  • Primary schooling is comprised of five years, that is for students who are between 6 and 11 years old.

Secondary Education

  • Once a student completes his or her primary education, then they move on to secondary education. In the French education system, the secondary school is divided into two stages
    • a.The middle school, or College, which comprises of four years of education for students who are between 11 and 15 years old and
    • b.The high school or lycée for students from 15 to 17 years of age. At the end of their third year, high school students take their baccalauréat exam and obtain their high school diploma

Higher Education

Once a student completes his high school he can opt to study for either a vocational diploma or an academic diploma.

Vocational Diplomas

  • There are two types of vocational diplomas that you can apply for in France.
    • a.The DUT, which is an abbreviation for the Diplôme universitaire de technologie) and is awarded by technological universities.
    • b.The BTS, which is an abbreviation for the Brevet de technicien supérieur and is a senior technologists certificate.
    • c.Both courses are oriented towards a two-year degree in technology.
  • The courses for BTS can be taken up in high schools. However, you will need to enroll in an university to get the DUT.
  • Once you obtain either the DUT or BTS, you can apply for licence professionnelle by studying for one additional year.

Academic Diplomas

  • Academic diplomas are offered by the educational institutes in France and are similar to the academic degrees offered by the universities in India.
  • The academic diplomas will allow you to pursue a career in the subject that you have studied for the diploma or opt for further studies

Types of higher educational institutions in France

There are three types of higher education institutions in France viz, universities, Grandes écoles, and specialized schools.


Grandes écoles

  • “Grandes écoles” are specialized educational institutions which can be both public and private.
  • They offer highly specialized courses of study in subjects which range from business, management, IT to public administration.
  • You will need to take and pass a competitive exam to be selected for admission to a Grand école
  • You should have completed your high school and obtained your “baccalauréat” certificate or its foreign equivalent before you can apply to a “Grandes écoles”
  • Once you graduate from a Grande école you will be awarded a master’s degree (master)

Specialized Schools

  • Specialized schools are either public or private institutions where you can apply to get training for a professional careers.
  • The courses at these institutions are typically geared towards study in specialized subjects such as social work, tourism, art and architecture.
  • You can opt to study towards obtaining a license or Master degree at these institutions.

[Read More: Le Cordon Bleu: The Best School in France for Aspiring Chefs]

Differences between Indian and French Education Systems

  • Similar to the USA, France also follows K-12 system as against the K+10+2 system that is followed in India.
  • Kindergarten in India is equivalent to Ecole maternelle in France.
  • Primary education in India, which caters to students from 1st to 5th std is known as Ecole primaire in France.
  • Secondary school in India, which caters to students from 6th to 10th is divided into two stages for students in France, which comprises of middle School or Collège for students from 6th to 9th, after which students take the Brevet exam and,
  • Lycée, which is for students from 10th to 12th. In India, students would be completing secondary education in their 10th and take 11th and 12th as Junior college or pre-university.
  • Students in France take the Baccalauréat exam, which is a centralised exam for students all across France, at the end of their 12th year.
  • Once you complete your 12th year and have passed the Baccalaureat exam you can apply to study at a university or Grand Ecole.
  • Public education is free for all. Even universities are tuition free at most public universities.

To know more about the education system in France, reach out to our abroad education advisors for France at Global Tree

Top FAQs Asked by Students Travelling to France

Grades are issued on a scale of 0 to 20 in France. A passing mark for a single topic is usually 10/20. A student is considered to have passed the year if his or her overall weighted average of all of his or her grades for the year equals or surpasses ten.

French universities offer three levels of degrees: a licence (three years), a master's (two years), and a doctorate (three years) (usually an additional three years). There are two types of master's degrees: research (for those who want to pursue a doctorate) and professional (for those who don't want to seek a doctorate) (for those intending to enter the workplace).

[Read More: Step-by-Step Process to Apply for France Universities]

Reach Our Study Abroad & Immigration Experts!

Get a FREE consultation & profile assessment at nearest branch now!

© 2024 Global Tree Careers Pvt Ltd, All Rights Reserved.
To Top