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Updated: September 1, 2009 16:19 IST

Study in France for quality content

B. S. Warrier
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The French attraction: Universities in France offer a lot of flexibility in the programme structure. Photo: AP
The French attraction: Universities in France offer a lot of flexibility in the programme structure. Photo: AP

The degrees awarded in the French higher education system are harmonized with the European system of higher education, which is based on the LMD degree ladder.

There is a large scope for international students in France as students can choose from several academic programmes in diverse disciplines. There is lot of flexibility in the programme structure in French universities.

The French government has a system for checking and confirming that the educational institutions in France maintain quality in the content and delivery of programmes.

The institutions in France are broadly divided into universities and specialised schools. The universities are public institutions, and one can join them after attaining the bachelor’s degree.

The specialised schools prepare students for professional practice up to the highest levels in areas such as engineering, fine arts and management. Some of the specialised schools are public and others are private. The fees in the private schools are in general higher than those in the public sector.

The LMD system

The degrees awarded in the French higher education system are harmonized with the European system of higher education, which is based on the LMD (licence, master, doctorate) degree ladder.

Degrees are awarded based on the successful completion of a specified number of semesters or years of study, expressed in credits as defined by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS):

Licence: 6 semesters-180 ECTS (baccalaureate+3 years)

Master: 10 semesters-300 ECTS (baccalaureate+5 years)

Doctorate (PhD): 16 semesters (baccalaureate+8 years)

+9 years: State diploma of doctor of medicine

+6 years: State diploma of doctor of dental surgery/pharmacy

+5 years: 300 ECTS; research master/professional master/graduate engineer/ graduate of school of business and management

+3 years: 180 ECTS; Licence (bachelor)/(professional bachelor)

+2 years: University diploma in technology/higher technical certificate

The baccalaureate mentioned above is comparable to the A level of secondary schools.

Admission protocol

In 20 countries including India, the students have to follow an online procedure for registering and obtaining a visa. You can interact with a CampusFrance office and the participating French education institutions. CampusFrance is an agency responsible for promoting French higher education, functioning under the aegis of the Embassy of France in India and is present in nine major Indian cities. The centres are Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkota, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chandigarh, and Pune. The addresses of four centres are given below:

French Cultural and Resource Centre

Alliance Francaise de Chennai, 24 College Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600006; Ph: 044-42028773: email:

Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, PB 108, Thimmaiah Road, Bangalore 560052; phone: 080-41231340; email:

Alliance Francaise d’Hyderabad, Plot no. 9, Lane no. 1, Street no. 6, Road no. 16, West Marredpally, Secunderabad- 500 026; phone: 040-2770 0734; email:

Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi-110011, phone: 011-30410062; e-mail:

If you desire to contact the embassy, you may use the following address: Embassy of France in India, 2/50-E Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi–110 021; phone: 011-24196100; email:

France does not recognise formal equivalences between its post-secondary degrees and degrees in other countries. Each French institution makes its own admission decisions based on the applicant’s background and the demands of the programme.

If you visit the site and click ‘Programmes taught in English’, you can get a full list in various disciplines. They include engineering, technology, business management, law, economics, mathematics, humanities, languages, literature, hospitality and tourism management, sciences, environment, health science, agriculture and agro-industry, arts and fashion design.

Although the CampusFrance catalog contains programmes taught in English, knowledge of French will help you to benefit more fully from your stay in France.

Application procedures

Nearly 2,000 students from India would go to France this year for higher studies. The number is steadily rising — 970 in 2007, 1,757 in 2008, and nearly 2000 now. Roughly 60 per cent of Indian students go for management, and 30 per cent for engineering. Normally, you may have to start from India in the month of September. You have to initiate your application procedure for admission in January of the year of departure.

The offices of CampusFrance usually organise pre-departure orientation programmes for the students on aspects of their smooth transition to the French environment. Such programmes touch areas like visa application, finding accommodation, budgeting, travel arrangements, packing, and insurance.

The students would also receive information on administrative procedures that they need to be aware of when they arrive in France, teaching methods used in French educational institutions, inter-cultural aspects, and other relevant information.

CampusFrance also offers CampusArt, an online application process for students who have already completed at least three years of art studies in the home country, say India.

This can be used by students interested in areas such as art, architecture, design, and multimedia. The English version for online submission is available in the site

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Look before you leapOctober 5, 2009



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