French educational institutions and study programmes

Below, we explain what types of educational institutions and degree programs there are in France. We also explain how we check whether these are accredited. We check the to make sure that the quality is sufficient. We give the necessary information per educational sector.

Secondary education | diplomas

For secondary education diplomas, you should pay particular attention to whether a student has a national diploma. These are the national diplomas in upper secondary education:

There is a baccalauréat in secondary vocational education as well; see Diplôme du baccalauréat professionnel.

Secondary education | schools

Pupils follow upper secondary education at a lycée d'enseignement général et technologique (LEGT). Sometimes, the name of the school only includes 'général': this means that the school only offers education for the Diplôme du baccalauréat général. If the school name only has 'technologique' in it, then the school only offers education for a Diplôme du baccalauréat technologique.

Higher education | educational institutions

There are different types of higher education institutions in France:

  • public universities;
  • specialised educational institutions, such as grandes écoles, institutes and lycées. These educational institutions can be public or private.

Public universities

Public universities offer bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and PhDs. These can be HBO and WO study programmes. Public universities are relatively large educational institutions. Smaller educational institutions often belong to a public university, such as Écoles Normales Supérieures (ENS), instituts and mines-télécom.

Specialised educational institutions

Specialised educational institutions are often smaller than public universities. The study programmes of these educational institutions are often not accredited, even if the educational institution itself is accredited.

In France, a higher education institution usually has to be accredited by the Ministère de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. You can check this in the following way:

Please note:

  • If an educational institution is accredited, this does not mean that the study programmes (and the diplomas) of that institution are automatically accredited. You have to check the accreditation for each study programme/diploma; see Higher education | diplomas.
  • The other way around is also possible: the higher education institution is not accredited, but a study programme from that institution is. In that case, too, you must check the accreditation per study programme/diploma; see Higher education | diplomas.

Higher education | diplomas

There are different categories of higher education diplomas in France:

  • a national diploma;
  • an institutional certificate (diplôme d'université); and
  • proof that study programmes have been followed in preparation for a state examination, such as for the profession of accountant.

National diplomas are accredited by the French government. The other diplomas, such as institutional certificates, are not.

We can only compare national diplomas to Dutch diplomas. That is why, for a credential evaluation, we always check whether a diploma is a national diploma. You can check this yourself in the following way:

  • Go to the website of the French educational institution.
  • Search for information about the study programme of the diploma.
  • Check if it is mentioned that the diploma is a national diploma. They use 1 of the following terms for this in France:
    • Diplôme national
    • Diplôme d’État
    • Diplôme visé par le ministre/par l’État
    • Diplôme d’Ingénieur, accredited by the Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur (habilitation CTI)
  • If you are not sure, contact the French educational institution.