|The various reputed universities and 'grande ecoles' offer very high standards of higher education to the native as well as international students coming to study in France from the various regions of the world. When it comes to a comparison between the two, the grande ecoles generally rank much higher than the universities and are considered better places of learning and definitely maintain very high standards of quality. However study in France for the natives begins much early.
The Ministry of National Education is responsible for all educational schemes and programs in the country. It is headed by the Minister of National Education and besides him even the teachers and professors of the primary as well as secondary schools are also civil servants. Although a high percentage of all schools and universities are government owned, there are nevertheless private universities and institutes as well that are expensive and independent as compared to the public schools and universities.
Schooling in France begins early. Nearly all 2 and 3 year olds are enrolled into schools that are known as 'maternelle'. While they are essentially seats of learning, introducing the kids to reading, writing and also developing other skills, they are also day care centers to take care of the 2 year olds. A student generally completes his/ her primary schooling by the time he/ she reaches the age of 10- 11 years. 6th grade to 12th grade is called as the secondary education in France. It is mandatory for the students in France to clear the baccalaureat or bac that qualifies one for seeking admission into higher educational institutes like universities and grande ecoles.
Unlike universities the grande ecoles concentrate on imparting education on a particular subject. A preparatory course known as the CPGE train and prepare students aiming to enroll themselves in to the grande ecoles. A student qualifies to sit for the CPGE tests on the basis of the performance of the last two years in high school. Besides written exams, oral examination as well as assignments keeps the students busy throughout the week. All said and done, the high standard of teaching and strict norms regarding the attending of classes as well as completing of assignments and clearing of tests on a regular basis make the French students better professionals and experts in the various related fields at the international level.