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Diagram of the education system

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  • Diagram of education system in country language


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  • > Notes on the education system in France
    Education system in France

    France
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2020)
  • On average, 39% of all upper secondary students enrol in VET programmes in France, a lower proportion than the OECD average of 42%.
  • In 2019, 48% of 25-34 year-olds had a tertiary degree in France compared to 45% on average across OECD countries.
  • In France, in 2016, 25-64 year-olds with a tertiary degree with income from full-time, full-year employment earned 46% more than full-time, full-year workers with upper secondary education compared to 54% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2017, France invested a total of USD 12 080 per student on primary to tertiary institutions compared to USD 11 231 on average across OECD countries. This represents 5.2% of GDP, compared to 4.9% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2018, all 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in France, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
  • Statutory salaries of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of their salary scales are 76% - 111% higher than those of teachers with the minimum qualifications at the start of their career at pre-primary (ISCED 02), primary and general lower and upper secondary levels in France compared to 78-80% on average.
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Educational outcomes

    The proportion of 25-34 year-olds who have attained a general degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.7 %, rank 34/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The level of short-cycle tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (13.8 %, rank 6/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The level of short-cycle tertiary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (11.2 %, rank 10/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from general programmes in France is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data (17.2 Years, rank 33/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Attainment by gender

    France has one of the largest share of women among 25-34 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education. (45.5 %, rank 9/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Attainment by field of education

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of educaton is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (3.2 %, rank 32/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of business, administration and law is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (30.7 %, rank 4/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (5.5 %, rank 5/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The percentage of three-year-olds in early childhood education in France is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of four-year-olds in early childhood and primary education in France is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of 40-64 year-olds in France is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.4 %, rank 37/39 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the average age of new entrants in doctoral programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28.2 Years, rank 36/37 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the proportion of new female entrants in master's long first degree (LFD) programmes is relatively low. (47 %, rank 23/24 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of new entrants in short-cycle tertiary programmes younger than 25 is relatively high. (90.2 %, rank 8/36 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of upper secondary 20-24-year-old students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96.3 %, rank 4/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of students enrolled in programmes providing full completion and access to tertiary education among all students enrolled in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (62.5 %, rank 25/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    In France, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law is relatively high. (51.1 %, rank 10/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4.1 %, rank 43/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (34.3 %, rank 5/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8 %, rank 5/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of education in France is relatively small. (1.3 %, rank 42/45 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of arts and humaties in France is relatively large. (14 %, rank 10/45 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in France is relatively large. (42.8 %, rank 1/45 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of health and welfare in France is relatively small. (3 %, rank 42/45 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of health and welfare is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19.1 %, rank 10/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of business, aministration and law is relatively low. (7.5 %, rank 20/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (2.7 %, rank 22/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of services is relatively low. (0.5 %, rank 25/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Adult learning

    In France, the proportion of adults employed in the private sector and participating in non-formal education and training is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (55.6 %, rank 10/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The proportion of adults employed in enterprises of 1-9 persons and participating in non-job-related non-formal education and training sponsored by the employer is is relatively low in France. (1 %, rank 14/19 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In France, the number of annual hours of participation of adults in formal and/or non-formal education and training is comparatively low (106 %, rank 19/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The annual training costs per participant are one of the highest across OECD countries and partner countries. (2895.6 %, rank 3/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In France, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high compared to other OECD countries and partner countries. (2.5 %, rank 2/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of 10-49 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (1.4 %, rank 8/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of ver 249 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (3.2 %, rank 2/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In France, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of education is relatively low. (3.5 %, rank 36/36 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is relatively low. (3.8 %, rank 29/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (44.7 %, rank 30/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of education among all national tertiary students in France is relatively low. (3.8 %, rank 34/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the share of female among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of education is relatively small. (60.6 %, rank 26/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the share of female among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of health and welfare is relatively small. (57.3 %, rank 28/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the share of new entrants in short-cycle tertiary programmes in the field of education is relatively small. (3.5 %, rank 36/36 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the share of new entrants in short-cycle tertiary programmes in the field of information and communication technologies is relatively small. (3.8 %, rank 29/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    France is one of the most attractive destinations to foreign students compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (4.1 %, rank 6/81 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of arts and humanities among all international or foreign tertiary students in France is relatively high. (16.4 %, rank 6/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics among all international or foreign tertiary students in France is relatively high. (12.5 %, rank 5/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    In France, the share of current expediture on post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (91.6 %, rank 12/17 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    In France, between 2012 and 2017, the average annual expenditure per full-time equivalent student from primary to tertiary education is one the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.3 %, rank 22/30 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    In France, total public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively low. (8.4 %, rank 35/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Total public expenditure on education as a percentage of total government expenditure, for primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low in France compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.3 %, rank 34/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In France, the share of private expenditure on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education from final source of funds is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.6 %, rank 26/29 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Tuition fees

    Compared to 2007/2008, in 2017/2018 the amount of tuition fees at bachelor's or equivalent level are relatively low. (102 Index, rank 11/13 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially low. (162 Days, rank 30/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in primary school is especially low. (162 Days, rank 36/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in pre-primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (91.1 %, rank 39/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (40.5 %, rank 19/20 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (65.6 %, rank 19/21 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The ratio of pre-primary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.83 Ratio, rank 5/21 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.9 Ratio, rank 7/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The salaries of 25-34 year-old general lower-secondary teachers relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is high in France. (0.97 Ratio, rank 7/21 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of 55-64 year-old lower-secondary teachers is one of the highest in France. (56351 USD Equivalent, rank 7/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    In lower secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively high. (2.11 Ratio, rank 9/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In upper secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is relatively high. (2.11 Ratio, rank 9/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Principals' salaries

    Lower-secondary school heads' salaries relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is high in France. (1.38 Ratio, rank 7/21 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the average actual salaries of 25-34 year-old lower-secondary school heads is relatively low compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (50078 USD Equivalent, rank 12/16 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The number of pupils per teacher in pre-primary schools is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23.3 Ratio, rank 3/36 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The number of students per teacher in primary schools is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner countries with available data. (19.2 Ratio, rank 7/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    The number of instruction days per year for lower secondary students is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (162 Days, rank 37/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The number of instruction days per year for primary students is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (162 Days, rank 37/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Classes in lower secondary private institutions are comparatively large in France. (26 Students, rank 3/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (76.5 %, rank 28/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (72.7 %, rank 29/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    Among the unemployed population aged between 25 and 64, with below upper secondary education, the share of those who have been unemployed for less than 3 months is one of the smallest in France, compared to other OECD countries. (16.2 %, rank 26/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Among the unemployed population aged between 25 and 64 with below upper secondary education, the share of those who have been unemployed for at least 12 months is one of the largest in France, compared to other OECD countries. (55.6 %, rank 9/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Among the unemployed population aged between 25 and 64 with tertiary education, the share of those who have been unemployed for less than 3 months is one of the smallest in France, compared to other OECD countries. (25.5 %, rank 26/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the highest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (11.6 %, rank 6/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the highest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (11.2 %, rank 7/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with vocational upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (9.9 %, rank 4/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old women with vocational upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (13.9 %, rank 5/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (26 %, rank 26/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (32.1 %, rank 26/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (54.8 %, rank 26/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The earnings of adults without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of adults with an upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education. (93 Index, rank 4/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (78.5 %, rank 29/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Social outcomes

    In France, the proportion of adults who reported being interested in politics is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (40.6 %, rank 22/28 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the proportion of adults without an upper secondary education who reported being interested in politics is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (23.7 %, rank 20/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the proportion of adults with an upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education who reported being interested in politics is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (32 %, rank 23/28 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In France, the proportion of adults without an upper secondary education who reported that the political system allows people like them to have a say in what the government does relatively is low. (17.6 %, rank 21/25 , 2018) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    
                            
    • While 37% of 15-19 year-old upper secondary students are in vocational programmes, the share increases to 61% among students over 25.
    • The most popular fields of study among vocational graduates vary at different levels of education. While engineering, manufacturing and construction is the most common broad field at upper secondary level, at short-cycle tertiary level, most students graduate from business, administration and law, or health and welfare.
    • Combined school and work-based learning can help students transition smootly into the labor market. However, only one -third of all upper secondary vocational students are enrolled in school and work-based programmes on average across OECD countries.
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    • Between the age of 3 to 5, 88% of children are enrolled in pre-primary and primary education, on average across OECD countries.
    • The estimated expenditure on all children aged 3 to 5 enrolled in ECEC and primary education amounts to an average of 0.6% of GDP. Only in Iceland and Norway does it equal or exceed 1.0%.
    • The ECEC workforce is at the heart of high-quality education. On average across OECD countries, there are 14 children for every teacher working in pre-primary education (ISCED 02).
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    • In 2019, 45% of 25-34 year-olds held a tertiary degree, compared to 28% among 55-64 year-olds, on average across OECD countries.
    • On average across OECD countries, 17% of first-time tertiary entrants enter short-cycle tertiary programmes. The employment rate of adults with a short-cycle tertiary degree is 4 percentage points higher than those with an upper secondary vocational attainment and they earn 16% more, on average across OECD countries.
    • Based on current patterns, it is estimated that 38% of young adults across OECD countries will graduate from tertiary education for the first time before the age of 30 (excluding international students).
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    • In 2017, total expenditure amounted to approximately USD 9 100 per student in primary institutions and USD 10 500 in secondary institutions on average across OECD countries.
    • After increasing between 2005 and 2012, total expenditure on primary to tertiary institutions as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen to 4.9% in 2017 on average, below its 2005 value of 5.1%. This is due to educational expenditure rising more slowly than GDP over this period, growing by 17% while GDP grew by 27%.
    • Private sources financed more than 30% of the expenditure, on average, at tertiary level compared to 10% at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level.
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    • There are relatively few young teachers (under the age of 30), and the proportion decreases with the level of education. Young teachers make up 12% of the teaching population in primary education, 10% in lower secondary education and 8% in upper secondary education, on average across OECD countries.
    • While instruction time for students increases at higher educational levels, statutory teaching time in public institutions decreases: teachers in OECD countries and economies are required to teach on average 778 hours per year at primary level compared to 680 hours at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • Between 2005 and 2019, the statutory salaries of primary and secondary general teachers - with 15 years of experience and the most prevalent qualifications - increased by 2-3%, despite salaries falling after the 2008 economic crisis, on average across OECD countries and economies with available data.
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    Key
    Country Reviews for France

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    Reference years displayed in the Education GPS correspond to the most common year of reference among countries for which data is available on each variable. Some countries may have provided data refering to another year, to know more about possible exceptions on data please click on the "Download Indicator" link on each variable. When a year of reference corresponds to a school year encompassing two years, the reference reads as follows: 2018 for school year 2017/2018.

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2019 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.