France is among one of the oldest nations is a country in western Europe, borders Germany and Switzerland in the east, Luxembourg on the northeast, Monaco and Italy in the southeast, Spain and Andorra in the south, North Sea in the north, the English Channel in the northwest, the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Mediterranean sea in the southeast. France’s population in 2022 is estimated to be 67.6 million, with combined area of 640,679 sq. km (247,368 sq. mi), twentieth populous country in the world. Paris is the capital of France and most popular city of the world, other major cities are Lyon, Marseille, Nantes and Bordeaux. France officially French Republic has several coastal territories in Americas, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Oceans. France overseas territories include French Guiana in South America, the French West Indies, Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the North Atlantic and several islands in Oceania and the Indian Ocean. France uses the Euro (€) for its currency. French is its official and national language.
France is not just a wonderful place to visit, but it’s also a great country for studying. After all, it has a lengthy tradition of academic excellence which is reflected by the historical and a lot of top-ranking universities in the country.
In today’s article ,we will focus on France’s Higher Education System, cost of living, admission requirement, tuition fees and the list of low tuition universities in France.
France’s Higher Education System
- France has 71 public universities and they are all funded by the national government, offering excellent education at a very affordable price to all students, domestic or international. There are also a number of private universities
- The academic year begins in September/ October and ends in May or June, depending on the program and institution.
- There are two semesters, divided by a break following final examinations at the end of the first semester
- .There are two main types of courses offered at French universities :large lecture courses, where the professor speaks and students take notes, and sections & labs, designed for smaller groups of students where the material covered in lectures is explored in greater detail. Usually, attendance in sections & labs is mandatory.
- When it comes to degrees, French universities use a format popular throughout EU: license, master, doctorate.
- License refers to undergraduate studies and it lasts for 6 semesters (3 years), with 180 ECTS earned.
- Master studies last for an additional 4 semesters (2 years), for a total of 5 years of study and 300 ECTS earned.
- Doctorate can be obtained after the additional 6 semesters (3 years).
Cost of Living
Cost of living in France is quite higher compare to other European nations. Most students need average 800 to 1,000 Euros each month to cover the costs of food, transportation, and housing. The amount you will need depends on many factors, including where you live and the type of educational course. While most students will benefit from special meal and accommodation facilities, some will be paying very high tuition fees. For example, a minimum monthly food budget will be somewhere between (EUR) €150 to 250. A cinema ticket costs (EUR) €9 on average, a soft drink in a café costs about (EUR) €3.50, and a meal in a restaurant costs at least (EUR) €10 (more often around (EUR) €14 to 17).
General Admission Requirements
While most of the French institutes begin their academic year from mid-September until the end of June the following year, some also have enrolments throughout the year as well. If you have decided on an institution, you should preferably submit an application two months in advance of the start date of your chosen course. In order to attend an undergraduate course, you need:
- to have a French baccalaureate, the equivalent of which in our country is 10+2.
- to pass specific entrance exams required for the institution of your choosing.
There are two types of post-graduate programs in France:
- Taught Master’s (MAs/MScs/MEng)
- Research Master’s (MRes/MA by Research)
‘Taught Master’s’ are courses with similar patterns as undergraduate studies while ‘Research Master’s’ are often seen as prerequisites for entering into a doctorate or PhD program. Students in Research Master’s are required to research and produce a dissertation or final project at the end of their study term. The application process for a postgraduate program in the country is the same as a graduate program. Do remember that the international students who wish to attend a French college or university need their passports available when completing the application process.
Doctoral programs in France are delivered in French with language requirements being set individually by each institution. Candidates looking to move beyond a master’s degree are required to sit for a French proficiency test unless you have studied French academically or have an equivalent proficiency certificate. All other application processes are handled through the Campus France portal. Many institutes also conduct Skype interviews with prospective international candidates.
Despite expensive living costs, tuition fees are very affordable, both for European and non-European students. If you are a European student, you are expected to pay only 170 EUR per year for a Bachelor’s degree, 243 EUR for a Master’s and 380 EUR for a Doctorate – or 610 EUR at engineering schools.
As a non-European international student, the French state can cover the two thirds of your tuition fees. How can that happen? If you are able to prove that you are not permanently settled in France, you will get a fee reduction. The school at which you’re studying must fall within the scope of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. In that regard, you will be only asked to pay 2,770 EUR per year for a Bachelor’s degree, 3,770 for a Master’s and 380 EUR for a Doctorate.
As for private institutions, tuition fees are much higher, ranging among 3,000 to 10,000 EUR per academic year. The same applies for the prestigious Grande écoles where the tuition fees in France fluctuate among 450 to 1100 EUR per year.
Low Tuition Universities in France
- Toulouse 1 Capitole University
- Université de Montpellier
- University of Strasbourg
- Université de Paris
University of Angers
Jean Monnet University