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France, Higher Education in

The tertiary level of the French educational system encompasses a variety of institutions, including universities, technological institutes and higher professional schools (e.g., business schools, engineering schools). This entry presents the specificities of the sociohistorical development of the French system and brings to light the main transformations, past and current, of the relations of higher education institutions (HEIs) with the public authorities, the market and the broader state of society.

Past and Persistent Features

France is one of the Western European countries where university institutions first appeared, at the beginning of the 13th century, founded as groupings of teachers wishing to regulate their activity autonomously. It was under the ancien régime that universities progressively gave way to the control of the state, which regulated curricula and examinations ...

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