Types of institutions

Sorbonne Aula
Sorbonne Aula

In France, 3,500+ public and private higher education institutions offer study programmes.

Universities, Grandes Ecoles and schools of art or architecture: a wide choice are offered to foreign students who want to study in France.

The universities: higher education for all

Universities receive 75% of the foreign students who pick France for their post-secondary education. These public institutes of higher education are financed by the French State. Located all around France, the universities confer national degrees (Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate) that all have the same academic value.

Everyone who has a high school diploma or equivalent can enrol in first year. Science, literature, languages, arts, humanities, medicine and sport: university programmes cover all of the areas of learning and research.

The Grandes Ecoles: French touch

20% of foreign students are enrolled in a programme in the Grandes Ecoles. Écoles Normales Supérieures (ENS -Institutes of Advanced Education), Instituts d’Etudes Politiques (IEP - Political Science Institutes), engineering schools, business and management schools, veterinary schools and a few others, these Grandes Ecoles are public and private higher education institutions recognised by the State.

Admission to the Grandes Ecoles is very selective. It is based on a competitive entry exam.Tuition and fees are higher than for university so carefully check it!


Specialised schools and institutions: specific programmes

Nearly 3,000 public and private institutes of higher education offer courses in specific sectors such as medicine, audio-visual, communication, journalism, fashion and design, agronomy, political science, etc.

These institutions confer degrees and certificates that may or may not be recognised by the State. Admission is based on a competitive entrance exam.

Schools of art and applied arts

Around 50 public schools of art and design are directly overseen by the Ministry of Culture. Training in art, design and communication is provided, with national degrees awarded.

Some private schools or schools, from chambers of commerce and industry deliver their own degrees. Some are registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP - National Repertoire of Professional Certifications). These institutes of higher education in art and applied arts are very selective, and enrolment is based on the application, by competitive entry exam and / or interview. Applications may be filed online on the site Campus Art.