Education System

Higher education is divided into three cycles or stages: the Premier cycle, two-year course up to DEUG (Diplôme universitaire d’enseignement général) level; the Deuxième cycle, third year up to the licence followed by the one-year maîtrise; and the Troisième cycle or higher postgraduate study beginning with the Diplôme d’études approfondies (DEA) or with the Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées - DESS (diploma in an applied subject).

Les Grandes Écoles

The Grandes Écoles of engineering and business administration, these are competitive-entrance higher education institutions offering either four or five-year courses directly after the Baccalauréat or three-year courses after two years of Classe Préparatoire (preparatory class) during which students prepare for the entrance examinations to the Grandes écoles. The usual Grande École last around 5 years. Equivalent to 3 years of undergrads and 2 years of Masters degree.

Vocational Training

Vocational training lasts two to three years after the Baccalauréat. Courses may be taken in the Sections de techniciens supérieurs - STS (Advanced technicians sections) where students prepare for the Brevet de technicien supérieur - BTS (vocational training certificate for advanced technicians) and are also taught by the Instituts universitaires de technologie - IUT (polytechnics).

Some training courses have special entrance requirements and their own organization (study of medicine, pharmacy, paramedical studies, study of art and architecture, etc.).

Entrance procedures vary depending on the educational institution and the chosen training course. For the Classes préparatoires for entrance to the Grandes écoles, IUTs (polytechnics) and Instituts universitaires professionalisés - IUP (professional university institutes) students are to enrol directly with the institution concerned. For Premier cycle enrolment at a university, students are required to file an entrance application before the start of the academic year.

It is possible to continue with one’s higher education in France and to apply for a place on a course at university. The chosen institution alone will be authorized to validate a student’s previous education.

Entry for Malaysian Students

Malaysia students must have a minimum academic qualification of A-levels, IB, UEC, STPM and equivalent to apply for an undergraduate programme in France.

Most undergraduate programmes in Frace is in French. Therefore, Malaysian students must have a minimum of B1 in French language or equivalent certificate to prove that their command of French is good enough to take the course of their choice. A French level of C1 will be required for a French Master degree programme in France.

There will be more English graduate programmes in France as compared to undergraduate programmes. Most of these English programmes do not necessarily need proven French language command. However, it is advisable to know some French before leaving to study in France.

Some private institutions in France with English program would require students to have an English language certification. The requirements vary between institutions.

Malaysian students will not need to sit for an entrance examination to most Grandes Écoles in France.

Country Facts

- France has been known as the capital of Fashion as well as the epicentre of culture.

- It is also the langest country in Western Europe.

- The official language is French.

- The official currency is Euros (€).

- Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world.

- Musée de Louvre is one of the museums in the world that holds the largest collection of galleries.

- The French language shares the common ancestors with Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. They are derived from Vulgar Latin.

Population: 65.5 million

Economy Situation

France has the sixth-largest economy in the world by nominal figures and the 3rd largest economy in Europe. The leading industries in the country are dominated by products such as machinery, metals, chemicals, automobiles, aircraft, textiles, cosmetic and luxury goods, electronics and etc. Food processing is also one of the major industry in France like wine and cheese. France has one of the biggest tourism industries in Europe, attracting more than 80 million tourists every year.

The top export goods are aircraft, machinery, chemicals, equipment, iron and steel, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and beverages. Germany is the top export partner for France, importing 16.7% of the country's goods followed by Belgium (7.5%), Italy (7.5%), and Spain (6.9%).

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