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France:National Reforms in Higher Education

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Overview France

Contents

France:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

France:Historical Development

France:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

France:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

France:Political and Economic Situation

France:Organisation and Governance

France:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

France:Lifelong Learning Strategy

France:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

France:Organisation of Private Education

France:National Qualifications Framework

France:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

France:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

France:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

France:Funding in Education

France:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

France:Higher Education Funding

France:Adult Education and Training Funding

France:Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Primary Education

France:Organisation of Primary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

France:Assessment in Primary Education

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

France:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Higher Education

France:Types of Higher Education Institutions

France:First Cycle Programmes

France:Bachelor

France:Short-Cycle Higher Education

France:Second Cycle Programmes

France:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

France:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

France:Adult Education and Training

France:Distribution of Responsibilities

France:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

France:Main Providers

France:Main Types of Provision

France:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

France:Teachers and Education Staff

France:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

France:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Management and Other Education Staff

France:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

France:Management Staff for Higher Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Quality Assurance

France:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

France:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

France:Educational Support and Guidance

France:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

France:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

France:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

France:Mobility and Internationalisation

France:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Mobility in Higher Education

France:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

France:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

France:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

France:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:National Reforms in School Education

France:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

France:National Reforms in Higher Education

France:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

France:European Perspective

France:Legislation

France:Glossary

2016

New organisation of programmes leading to the Master’s degree

Timeframe: Announced on October 4th, 2016 by the presentation of the joint proposal of unions and the Department, presented to and validated by the Conseil National de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche (CNESER - National Council for Higher education and Research) on October 17th, 2016, to be set up in September 2017.

Status: Approved by the CNESER on October 17th, 2016, implementing decree soon to arrive.

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research

Reasons / Objectives: 

Since the implementation of “LMD reform” (Bologna process reform in France) in 2002, programmes that lead to the Master’s degree present a wide range of situations for the student, some masters’ programmes being compliant with the 2002 reform, and others are still in a system that reflects the situation when the old degrees of Maîtrise, DEA et DESS still existed.

This leads to decisions and orientation choices that are more based on habits than a clear regulation. If certain programmes that lead to the Master’s degree were already in a two-year-programme format, most of them were still doing a students’ selection between the 1st and the 2nd year of the programme.
 
Main measures adopted: The proposition consists in retaining two main principles in the organisation of a programme leading to a Master’s degree that is complying with the 2002 reform:

  • The programme leading to the Master’s degree is a 4-semesters’ programme (thus without an intermediary student selection), that has to be based on a one-and-only recruitment process before the 1st semester;
  • Every holder of a Licence’s degree (Bachelor’s degree) has to have a possibility to continue his studies in a programme leading to a Master’s degree.

If a student (that is a Licence’s degree holder) receives no proposal in a master’s degree programme, he/she will be able to assert his/her right for studies’ continuation. This right may be immediate (as soon as the student obtains the Licence’s degree) or delayed (through the means of the Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience).

The Recteur of the Région académique (the one where the student did pass his Licence) will be responsible for this right under the regulations that will be given in the implementing decree. The Recteur will have to make the student three proposals after discussions with the higher education institutions that provide recognized master’s degree programmes (Universities or Grandes Écoles) in the region or even in accordance with other recteurs de region académiques.

These proposals will have to take into account the master’s programmes offer, the number of places available, of the student’ career choice, of the Higher Education Institution where the student did pass his Licence’s degree and finally, the programme’s prerequisites.  

Funding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and monitoring: Unknown

References: Position commune du Ministère et de 9 syndicats sur la réforme du cursus menant au DNM ; Le CNESER approuve la réforme du cursus menant au DNM

2015

Framework conditions for hiring trainees in companies

Timeframe: decree no. 2015-1359 of 26 October 2015 has been active since 29 October 2015.

Status: Latest decree no. 2015-1359 of 26 October 2015 implementing law no. 2014-788 of July 10th 2014 on the framework conditions for hiring trainees completes decree no. 2015-284 of 11 March 2015 on the requirements for the recognition of internships within the general pension scheme, in force since 15 March 2015.

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research, Department of Labour, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue.

Reasons / Objectives: 

In the 2012 presidential campaign, Francois Hollande pledged to set a framework on internships to prevent abuse. The latest decree no. 2015-1359 of 26 October 2015 aims at minimizing wrongdoings related to an excessive number of trainees in a company.

It completes two former decrees implementing law no. 2014-788 of July 10th 2014,  namely decree no. 2015-284 of 11 March 2015 on the requirements for the recognition of internships within the general pension scheme and decree no. 2014-1420 of 27 November 2014 on framework conditions for training periods and internships. 

Main measures adopted: 

  1. The maximum number of trainees must not exceed 15 % of the workforce in a receiving institution with over 20 employees. It is limited to 3 trainees in those with fewer than 20 employees.
  2. Tutors from receiving institutions cannot supervise more than 3 students at a time.
  3. The educational or receiving institution may be asked to provide labour controllers or inspectors a copy of internship agreements on request.
  4. The decree specifies the procedures for implementing administrative sanctions for non-compliance with the rules governing internships by the Regional Director of businesses, competition, consumption, labour and employment.

Funding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and Monitoring: The Labour Inspectorate is entitled to carry out checks.

References: decree no. 2015-284 of 11 March 2015 on the requirements for the recognition of internships within the general pension scheme, decree no. 2015-1359 of 26 October 2015, Press release.

Action plan for medical reasearch

Timeframe: Mission given to Alliance Nationale pour les Sciences de la Vie et de la Santé (Aviesan – National Alliance for Life and Health Sciences) during April 2014, conclusion handed to the Ministers in July 2015, plan set in motion before the end of 2015.

Status: conclusion handed to the relevant Ministers in July 2015, plan to be set in motion before the end of 2015.

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research, Department of Social Affairs, of Public Health and of Women’s Rights.

Reasons / Objectives: In April 2014, the French President wished for the Alliance Nationale pour les Sciences de la Vie et de la Santé (Aviesan – National Alliance for Life and Health Sciences) to develop an action plan in order to reinforce synergies between actors in the medical research.

To this end, a mission was given to the President of Aviesan by the Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research and the Minister of Social Affairs, of Public Health and Women’s Rights, in order to establish an action plan in accordance with the National Public Health Strategy and the National Research Strategy orientations. It aims at a better usage of structures, calendars and funding for clinic research, since the growing number of funding sources and actors affects visibility of the French national effort each year towards clinic research (800 projects and 200 million euros in 2013).

Main measures adopted: Developed by a steering committee which regroups many state administrations directions, the Aviesan, the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (A.N.R – National Research Agency), the Institut National du Cancer (INCa – National Cancer Institute), the Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida et les hépatites virales (A.N.R.S – National Agency for Research on AIDS and viral hepatitis), this report redefined the principles of the clinic research programming around three axes:

  • Sharing of call for projects logistics procedures;
  • Standardization of evaluation norms on funding;
  • Identification of national priorities in the national strategies frameworks.

Current funds will stay under the responsibility of entities such as the INCa, the A.N.R.S. or the Hospital Clinic Research Program (P.H.R.C). These proposals aim to enhance national and international legibility of the strategies as well as ease research teams’ work. The steering committee seeks to continue this work in 2015 with objectives such as:

  • A standardization  scientific evaluation of the projects with a common framework of procedures and good practices;
  • A logistic rationalisation with the setup of a common “web portal” which would make publications, a calendar and submission forms easily available (proposition of the A.N.R);
  • A consistency in scientific research programing under consultation with steering committee members, in order to reinforce the continuum between fundamental research, clinic research and public health research. The goal is to regularly identify in a coordinate manner priorities in the different fields of medical research.

This action plan will allow, by the end of 2015, a more consistent organization, which is a necessary condition for better governance and stronger international visibility, two strategic issues for the French medical research.

Funding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and Monitoring: Unknown

References: Recherche en Santé : un plan d’action pour une programmation plus lisible; Rapport Aviesan sur le Plan d’action pour l’organisation de la programmation de la recherche en santé

2014

Framework conditions for hiring trainees in companies

Timeframe: Law no. 2014-788 of July 10th 2014 for developing internships, improving internship regulation and the status of trainees has been active since 12 July 2014. It is supplemented by decree no. 2014-1420 of 27 November 2014, in force since the December 1st, 2014.

Status:Law No. 2014-788 was adopted on 10 July 2014, implemented as of 1 December 2014 by the implementation decree no. 2014-1420 of 27 November 2014, and is in line with law n° 2013-660 of 22 July 2013 on Higher Education and research.

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research, Department of Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations

Reasons / Objectives: 
In the 2012 presidential campaign, Francois Hollande pledged to set a framework on internships to prevent abuse.

The aim of law no. 2014-788 of July 10th 2014 for developing internships, improving internship regulation and the status of trainees, along with decree no. 2014-1420 of 27 November 2014, is threefold:

  • promote the development of quality internships;
  • protect students' rights and ensure internships do not replace real jobs;
  • improve the status of trainees.

The new legislative and regulatory framework applies to all internships, all receiving institutions (public or private), and all trainees (pupils and students).

Main measures adopted: 

Quality internships to support training:

  • Each institution is responsible for helping pupils/students find internship in identifying internship positions and preparing for interviews.
  • Internships are integrated into real training which has to reach a minimum of 200 hours per year. The skills to acquire or develop and the activities assigned to the trainee must be specified in the internship agreement 
  • Each student is supervised by 2 tutors: one in the receiving institution and one in the educational institution. Tutors in educational institutions cannot supervise more than 16 trainees at a time. Monitoring procedures of trainees must appear in the placement agreement.
  • Internships must exceed 6 months in the same institution 

New rights for trainees:

  • Trainees’ monthly allowance is mandatory for over two-month internships. It will be upgraded and reach a minimum of 554 €/ month as of 1 September 2015. The bonus received by trainees is now exempt from income tax.
  • It is prohibited to use a trainee to perform a regular task corresponding to a real job. The Labour Inspectorate's powers are strengthened. An administrative fine for non-compliance to regulation has been set up. The enforcement of the Labor code, particularly against moral and sexual harassment, is extended to trainees.
  • The number of trainees in the same institution is limited. In case of non-compliance, the employer is liable to a maximum fine of € 2,000 per trainee and 4000 euros if second offence within a year. Trainees must be enrolled in the Single Registry staff to better trace their presence and give them visibility.
  • The presence time set by the placement agreement cannot be higher than that of the employees of the receiving institution (35 or 39 hours per week). Trainees cannot be entrusted with dangerous tasks for his health and safety.
  • Trainees are entitled to absence and leave which must appear in the placement agreement. In case of pregnancy, paternity or adoption, students have the same rights as employees for over 2 month internships.
  • Trainees have access to the receiving institution’s restaurant; they are entitled to meal vouchers and reimbursement of travel expenses under the same conditions as the employees of the receiving institution for over 2 month internships.
  • Internships abroad are supported.

Funding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and Monitoring: The Labour Inspectorate is responsible for carrying out checks.

References: Law n° 2014-788 of 10 July 2014 for developing internships, improving internship regulation and the status of trainees , Department of Labour, decree no 2014-1420 of 27 November 2014 on framework conditions for training periods and internships, Department for National Education, Higher Education and Research infographics.