Education System In Europe
Educational programs in France are regulated by the Ministry of National Education. With the advent of globalization and the number of international students pursuing education from France on a rise, the government also imbibed the European education system to make it internationally competent.
Education in France is a mix of public and private institutions. Schooling is compulsory until the age of 16. The country is popular for its high level of technological development and contribution to in the fields of Science and Research.
For courses taught in French, a good level of French is a mandatory requirement, whereas it isn’t for the ones with English as a language of instruction. Please note that some French institutions or universities prescribe a certified level of language for the award of these scholarships.
Most courses are offered by multidisciplinary institutes affiliated with a university (the so-called university institutes of technology, or IUTs) or in specialized schools. All short programs include internships. Job prospects for graduates of the short programs are very good.
France has a highly centralized and organized educational system. It is divided into three different stages:
- Primary education
- Secondary education
- Higher Education
The higher education sector is further divided into:
There are around 83 public universities spread throughout the country offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses. As these universities are funded by the national government, the ‘national diplomas’ granted by the universities are closely regulated. This system allows the universities to offer students an excellent education at a very affordable price.
There are some 33 undergraduate programs entirely English-taught and a total of more than 450 at either undergraduate or Master’s level. The universities provide career oriented education which is of 2 or 3 years duration depending on the course.
These institutes offer education in almost all disciplines from the Sciences, including Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology to Technology, covering Computer Science, Engineering, Material Science and Electrical Engineering through to Literature, Language, Arts, Social Science, Law, , Management, Sports and more.
The universities and the French government undertake every effort to make the stay comfortable and hassle free for international students, with the universities providing special facilities for them.
‘Grandes Ecole’, the highest level of education in France, is also popular for selective entry for the best students and is based on national ranking in competitive written and oral exams in areas such as Business and Engineering. They were created in the 19th century to provide high standard education. These specialized education establishments operate outside the main framework of the French university system.
There are approximately 250 Grandes Ecoles in France covering subject areas like Health Professions, Paramedical Services, Audiovisual Arts, Communication, Journalism, Social Work, Fashion, Design, Tourism, Culinary Arts, Military Studies, Agronomy, Agriculture and Political Science among others.
Over the years, the Grandes Ecoles have proven their efficiency and adaptability in training engineers and managers for business. The degrees awarded by the Grandes Ecoles have the same status as public university degrees and are monitored by the French Ministry of Education.
These institutes only provide diploma to students which lasts for 2 to 5 years. Though there are some institutes which provide institutional degrees or certificate, these are not recognized or regularized by the French government.
If you want to pursue your PhD from France, you can apply to any institution housing a doctoral department. At present, France has around 300 doctoral departments in various institutes which claim to offer top quality research support, career guidance and professional training in research based occupations.
A doctoral degree from France also allows one to explore and research at a larger level. The international cooperative agreements allow candidates to conduct research abroad and prepare a jointly supervised dissertation leading to a double degree. The duration of a doctorate degree is 3 years.
Germany gives a lot of emphasis on education to all; at school level, education is compulsory from the age of 6-15 years. At higher education level, the country offers a wide variety of courses to choose from. Science and Research are the main focus of future development for Germany.
The higher educational institutions in the country are free in administrative matters and are not bound by any governmental restrictions thus making it a free environment to grow. The higher education sector is divided into Universities, Colleges of Art & Music and Colleges of Applied Sciences.
Germany requires the graduate degree ‘Abitur’ or the advanced technical college entrance qualification. International students have to show a similar graduate degree. There is no central organization to process applications because of which the applications need to be sent directly to university / advanced technical colleges.
The admission requirements are also defined by individual universities. Therefore, they can be different for the same subjects at different universities. The first graduate degree can be obtained after six to eight terms and is called Bachelor. It can be followed by the Master degree after another two to four terms.
In Germany there are three different kinds of advanced colleges or universities:
- The Arts, Film or Music advanced colleges offer practical education in the artistic subjects
- The Advanced Technical Colleges cover the scientific and social subjects.
- The third category is the university. They offer all different kinds of subjects.
Practical experience is an important aspect of the curriculum; the universities are especially famous for their firm theoretical education.
Another differentiation between public and private universities is
Public universities are financed by the government and do not charge tuition fees or just small amounts of money, whereas private universities are financed by the fees paid by students and these can be quite expensive. In Germany, the public universities are more in number as compared to private ones.
German law says that education should be offered to everyone and everyone should be able to afford adequate education. Therefore, education here is cost effective with tuition fees being waived in some areas and in other areas the fee is very low. Moreover, there are numerous possibilities to get help from the government, for example BAföG (money available to each student on a monthly basis).
The education scenario in Germany witnessed a revamp in the 1990s, with the introduction of the internationally comparable Bachelor, Masters and PhD programs.
The education system at various levels is described as below:
The new education system, unlike the earlier system, is very competent internationally. This is especially true for the undergraduate studies where the term has been reduced to 3 years.
According to the new education system in Germany, a student can acquire a Masters degree (2 years duration) after having completed his/her Bachelor’s degree.
A doctoral degree can only be achieved at universities and is of 2 to 4 years duration.It includes independent scientific research, public presentation and defence of their thesis.
1) January: submit your applications for studies beginning in the summer semester, which follows the dates below:
- March to August for Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen)
- April to September for Universities (Universitäten)
2) July: submit your applications for studies beginning in the winter semester, which follows the dates below:
- September to February for Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen)
- October to March for Universities (Universitäten)
Eligibility Criteria to Apply :
For French Universities
The general criterion for applying to French universities is given below:
- A student looking forward to pursue undergraduate studies in a French university needs to have a baccalaureate or equivalent degree.
- To get admission in Grandes Ecoles, you need to have a baccalaureate or equivalent diploma, plus a high ranking in entrance exams.
- For a Master’s degree in French universities, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent diploma.
- For a PhD program, you need to have a Masters degree or an equivalent diploma.
- Some universities or institutes may ask for work experience.
- IELTS/TOEF will be needed to secure admission into English taught subjects.
- GRE / GMATscore reports.
- French is not compulsory as most of the institutes are offering education in English but fluency in French may add to your profile.
However, it is advisable to check the criterion for every university as it may differ from institute to institute.
For German Universities
The general criterion for applying to German universities is given below.
- Certification of undergraduate study (Bachelor degree) in similar field.
- If the course is completely in German, then proof of proficiency in German Language.
- German as a Foreign Language Test (TestDaF) or German Language Test for the Admission of Foreign study applicants (DSH), is accepted.
- If the course is in English, then proof of proficiency in English –TOEFL or IELTS.
- For engineering courses, some universities may demand GRE.
- For Business management courses, some universities may ask for GMAT.
- Some universities require the student to take entrance test either online or upon arrival at the campus (in the later case conditional admission is provided).
- Work Experience
- Project Work / Thesis
- Extracurricular activities like paper presentation, participation in technical symposium, conference, etc will be highly appreciated.
However, please check the eligibility criterion for each university before you apply.