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Ariadne Pfad:


Education in France

The French flag with the national colours blue, white, and red in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The French flag with the national colours blue, white, and red in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Update 17.05.17: Macron presented the ministers for his new government. In the field of education, there will again be two ministries. Only in 2014, higher education and school had been merged into one ministry. The new ministers are: Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, until now director of the elite ESSEC Business School, one of the leading schools of its kind in the world; Minister of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal, until now the president of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

Update 08.05.17: In the run-off election on 07 May 2017, Emmanuel Macron won over Marine Le Pen.

On 23 April 2017, the first round of the presidential elections took place in France. As no candidate won the absolute majority, a run-off election between the top two candidates, Emmanuel Macron (En Marche) and Marine Le Pen (Front National) was carried out on 7 May 2017. Traditionally, the issue of education plays an important role in the French electoral campaign as school and higher education are meant to instill the values of the French Republic, especially liberty and equality, but also secularism (the separation of state and church) into its students. While the characteristical French pre-school and basic education seem to be able to put into practice the principal of equal opportunities to a certain degree, an increasing selection takes place starting with the Collège (secondary school). This unequal selection culminates in the elitist higher education system with its Grandes Ecoles (elite universities) having much more prestige than the simple normal universities. So far, non of the several educational reforms that almost every new French president puts on his agenda has succeeded in ...


solving this problem of increasing inequality. The current president François Hollande (2012-2017) had even declared education one of the three key issues of his mandate (besides "production" and "taxation"). The educational reform "Refondons l`école" (Let`s re-establish school) he initiated was first introduced by the minister of education Vincent Peillon (05/2012 to 03/2014) and further put into practice by his successor Najat Vallaud-Belkacem who took over in 08/2014 (see also our dossier on this educational reform).

To know what the candidates to the presidential election 2017 say about educational issues, we invite you to take a look at our section Education & Presidential Election 2017. For general aspects on the education system in France, we compiled the following resources for you in the respective categories:

We wish you a good time browsing these resources!

Your Education Worldwide team

General Information on Education

Eurydice is the "Network on education systems and policies in Europe". Amongst others, it provides very comprehensive country profiles on on education systems in Europe (formerly know as "Eurypedia"). All areas of education are covered from early childhood to adult education, as well as overarching issues. Each country participating in [...]

The German Federal Agency for Civic Education provides country dossiers that also contain a section on the educational system of the respective country. The article is only available in German. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

This site provides structured information on education in France in German language. The single chapters deal with school, higher education, and degrees.
"anabin" is an information database of the German Conference of Ministers of Education - Central Office for Foreign Education (Kultusministerkonferenz - Zentralstelle für [...]

France; Germany
The website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides ample information on academic exchange and cooperation with France. Information only available in German. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

France; Germany
The country reports on this website provide a broad overview of research and education in countries worldwide, including information on the education system, research landscape, policy or cooperation with Germany and other countries. The superordinate country page additionally provides news, events, documents, general country [...]

Educational Policy (ministries & authorities)

The website of the French Ministry of National Education provides an overview of the activities and educational constituents of the Ministry, information about the educational system including educational reports and statistics, information on educational policy and development (including official documents etc) and information for [...]

The website of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, which unfortunately is only available in French, provides information on the three foci of the ministry, that is Higher Education, Research and Innovation. You will also find information on the ministry's strategy, on international cooperation, on questions [...]

IGEN and IGAENR are the principal authorities of the French education inspection which evaluates and controls all types of educational institutions, its personnel and contents, and supplies the Ministry with proposals for education policy. The website informs about the organizational structure and the activities of IGEN and IGAENR and [...]

The database Planipolis provides official fulltext documents on educational policy and planning from UNESCO member states. For France you can find documents starting in the year 2000. Planipolis is provided by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP). [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Educational Reports, Statistics, Assessments

Cnesco is composed of researchers, parlamentarians, and members of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council. It is in charge of doing analyses, studies, and evaluations of the French educational system and give advice based on their results. The website, which is also available in English, provides fulltext documents of reports [...]

The Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) provides the most recent basic data on education in France. You will find information on the following issues:
* General information
* Education System
* Participation in education
* Progress and completion in education
* Education expenditures
* Illiterate [...]

The country dossiers, compiled by the International Bureau of Education of the Unesco (IBE), provide information on statistics (from the World Data on Education - WDE), national education reports, education plans and policies, a bibliography (partly with fulltexts) and links to other sources. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

This interactive website is provided by the OECD. It can be used to compare France's results from different international educational assessments (PISA, TALIS, PIAAC ...) as well as their educational statistics (EAG) with that of the average OECD results or with the results of other countries. You can create graphs, tables and others, [...]

The OECD provides some data from assessments or educational policy for France that can be compared to other countries taking part in these assessments (Click on "Trend" or "Ranking" - Please note that this only functions automatically if you open the link in the same tab. Otherwise, please choose your country under "Highlighted [...]

The National Statistical Office in France offers key figures, detailed data, studies and analyses on education that can be selected by geographical level. The data is also available in English. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

The French Ministry of Education has its own department for statistics, reports and evaluation, the Depp. It offers a wide variety of statistical data and educational reports on specific topics or educational sectors. Some publications are available in English. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

"Since its first edition in 1991, the State of Education reports on key indicators to analyse [the French] education system and assess the impact of policies implemented. Structured around the means used, conditions of schooling and pupil and student results, the publication highlights main developments and provides [...]

This website of the French Ministry of Education offers a brief overview of key figures on education (quantity of pupils, teachers, certificates, institutions, and finances). You will furthermore find links to the following publications: "Repères et références statistiques sur les enseignements, la formation et la recherche" und [...]

Organisations & Associations

France; international
A list of associations that work in the field of education and are officially accredited and sometimes subsidised by the French Ministry of Education. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

The Association of French University Staff and Researchers in Education was founded in 1971 and has more than 400 members. The website provides information about its tasks and organisational structure, about events, conferences, publications and journals in educational sciences, as well as on other associations and research institutions [...]

The website of the French conference of university presidents provides information about the mission and work of the organisation, its views of higher education policy, its members and publications. The official name actually is "Conférence des chefs d'établissements de l'enseignement supérieur". The CPU is one of two components of [...]

Formerly know as Association Française des *Administrateurs* de l`Education (AFAE) founded in 1978, AFAE is open to all persons working in the educational sector and willing to improve the quality of education in France. The website provides information on the association's organisation and goals, news, events and publications (a [...]

The FCPE, a Federation of parents` organisations in France, was founded in 1947. According to their own statement, FCPE is the "most representative parents` council" of France because the majority of persons in the parents' participation bodies of the French school system are members of the FCPE. The homepage gives access to statements [...]

This French Wikipedia article provides an overview of the history of teachers' unions in France as well as of current developments and existing unions in the field of education. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

UNSA Education, known as Fédération de l`Education nationale (FEN) from 1930 to 2000, is the federation of more than 20 teacher unions which represent teachers and other education staff. Besides FSU Enseignement and FNEC-FP FO, it is one of the biggest federations of teachers' unions in France. The website provides information on [...]

The FSU was created in 1993. Besides UNSA Education and FNEC-FP FO, it is one of the biggest federations of teachers' unions in France. The website provides information on the FSU's organisation, its education policy goals and programmes for the next years, and the general union policies including current developments and news. [...]

Besides UNSA Education and FSU, FNEC-FP FO is one of the biggest federations of teachers' unions in France. The website mainly provides news from the respective unions of FNEC-FP as well as general union news. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Universities & Educational Research

List of public institutions in higher education and research in France that are subject to the Ministry of Education. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

The "National Institut of Education" (formerly Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique INRP) is the central institution for organisation, implementation, coordination and evaluation of French educational research. The website provides information on educational research and infrastructure in France: information on the organisation [...]

IREDU is located at the University of Bourgogne and has a focus on the sociology and economy of education. Furthermore, IREDU is a partner institute of the Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur les Qualifications (CEREQ). The website provides information on the structure and activities of IREDU, study opportunities, research projects, [...]

Education & Presidential Election 2017

As the focus of our portal is the German public, please bear with us that we can only offer you one article in English on the issue of education during the French presidential election 2017. The other resources are in German or French, but we provide you with an English summary of the resource.

Selected sections on education in the electoral programme of Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the right-wing nationalist party Front National to the presidential elections in France in 2017, translated into German by Education Worldwide. You will find the original electoral [...]

Selected sections on education in the electoral programme of Emmanuel Macron, an independent candidate to the presidential elections in France in 2017, translated into German by Education Worldwide. You will find the original French texts on the official website of Macron: [...]

Besides Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron there were three more candidates with good prospects whose positions on educational policy issues you can find here (in French):

In its dossier on the French presidential election 2017, the German Federal Agency for Civic Education provides an article on the permanent topic of education in the French presidential elections. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Blog article by a Londoner college principal on the issue of education in the French presidential election 2017. The article explains and compares the positions of the most important candidates on educational policy. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Provided by the centre-right French journal "Le Figaro", you can have a rather simple and visual insight into positions of the candidates to the French presidency 2017. The candidates are clustered around "in favour", "against" or "in between" in answer to several questions for different political issues. For education you will find 5 [...]

Among others, this website provides videos of the candidates to the French presidency 2017 explaining their position on educational issues, a table which compares the position of the different candidates on education, an explanatory video for children, as well as several articles on the subject of education during the presidential [...]

A scientific analyses by two sociologists comparing positions on educational issues in the electoral programmes of the candidates to the French presidential election 2017. The analyses also comprises a table listing the different positions for a better comparison. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

eduscol, the informational website of the French Ministry of Education, provides links for teachers to prepare their courses on the French presitential election 2017. The links are mainly to be found within two subjects: EMC - Enseignement moral et civique (moral and civic education), and histoire-géographie [...]

This site is provided by the French public national television broadcaster France Télévisions. It compiles videos concerning educational issues or having an educational goal. More specifically, this sub-category offers videos on the French presidential election 2017. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

As of May 2017: Education under the new government Macron

French president Emmanuel Macron (since May 2017) standing at a lectern which says
"Presentation of the programme" - Emmanuel Macron, French president since May 2017, standing at the lectern.

This is a small insight into the developments in educational policy since the new president Emmanuel Macron and his government have started work in May 2017. This insight does not intend to be exhaustive. For further news on education in France please also take a look at our blue box on the right.

Overall News
Higher Education
A protest banner that says in French:
"Law Vidal, vital insurrection" - a play with words using the name of French Minister for Higher Education, Frédérique Vidal, who is responsible for the unpopular new higher education law in 2017/18. Officially, the law is called "Loi d'ori­en­ta­ti­on et réus­si­te des étu­di­ants" (Law on orientation and academic success). But it is also known as "loi Vidal" by the general public.

We have a whole webdossier on higher education policy under Emmanuel Macron which you can find here: 50 Years after May '68 - Higher Education Reform & Student Protests in France 2017/18


Official website of the French Ministry for Education concerning the plans of the new government for school education. The website provides statistics, graphics, videos and more.

Summary of the official bulletin by the French Ministry for Education on the occasion of the new school year 2017. It addresses all staff working in the public educational sector and lines out the educational ideas of the new minister. You can find the full version at: "Le coin des tailles-crayons" (The [...]

Article by the French Federation of parents` organisations - FCPE on the "school of trust", the slogan an title of the educational plans of French Minister for Education Blanquer starting 2017/18. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

The French federations of teachers' unions complains that the draft for the Budget Act 2018 does not consider national education. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Open letter by the French trade union UNSA Éducation to the French president Emmanuel Macron. In its letter, the union outlines its expectations concerning the educational policy under Macron. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Last Update: 28.01.2021  -

Educational News for France

  1. University World News: France
  1. France teacher attack: Rallies held to honour beheaded Samuel Paty (BBC 18.10.20)
  2. Culture, Education, Research, and Mobility in the new German-French Friendship Treaty (22.01.19)
  3. Marine Le Pen's niece to open training school for far-right leaders (The Guardian 20.04.18)
  4. 50 Years after May '68: Higher Education Reform & Student Protests in France 2017/18
  5. France: A decade of reforms under three presidents rolls on (Uni World News 06.04.18)
  6. Enjeux, débats et perspectives : 50 ans de sciences de l'éducation [en France]
  7. Mêlées et démêlés, 50 ans de recherches en sciences de l'éducation [en France]
  8. Emmanuel Macron, choose minister of education who knows his job! [courtesy translation]
  1. Macron - Le Pen : le match des programmes pour la jeunesse et l`éducation (RTL 28.04.17)
  1. Des propositions pour l’éducation aux antipodes entre Macron et Le Pen (Libération 28.04.17)

    Presidential Elections 2017

    1. Education & Presidential Election 2017 (Education Worldwide)
    1. French presidential election, 2017 (Wikipedia)
    1. France presidential election 2017 (BBC News)

    Further Information

    1. Frankfurt Book Fair 2017: Guest of Honour France


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