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Are foreign qualifications recognised in France?

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You must carry out the necessary steps to ensure that your qualifications are recognised in France. The Bachelor, Master, Doctorate system, European recognition of qualifications: here is some advice to help you find your bearings.

There are no automatic equivalents between French and foreign qualifications. However, foreign qualifications may be recognised in France. Each educational institution sets its own admission criteria according to the previous schooling of each student and the requirements of the planned course.

The keys to the Bachelor, Master, Doctorate system

Most French universities have adopted the Bachelor, Master, Doctorate system with a view to building up a European area for higher education: three years for a Bachelor’s degree, then two for a Master’s degree and three additional years for a Doctorate. Qualifications obtained in France are also better recognised in other European universities and the system facilitates more exchanges between universities.
Within the European Community, qualifications and courses are recognised through the European Credit Transfer System (E.C.T.S.).
You can obtain information on this issue from the E.N.I.C-N.A.R.I.C  (European Network of Information Centres – National Academic Recognition Information Centres). These centres issue certificates of the level of study attained by a student so that qualifications obtained abroad can be recognised in France.

Requests can be sent by post from abroad to:
E.N.I.C-N.A.R.I.C France –C.I.E.P
1 Rue Descartes, 75231 Paris cedex 05 - France

Tel. : +33 (0)1 70 19 30 31

More info 

Your application must include a photocopy of the qualification(s) to be recognised, the translation of these certificates by a sworn translator and a description of the course attended. The list of sworn translators is available from foreign embassies in Paris, prefectures and town halls.

Steps to take according to your qualifications

Requests made by people living in Paris must be sent to the Paris rectorat (education authority). Those with qualifications from general secondary schools (school leavers certificate, A levels) must also send their requests to the rectorat. For vocational secondary qualifications (vocational training certificates, technical school certificates, etc.) must contact the French Ministry for Education, Higher Education and Research. 

If you already have a higher education qualification and you wish to continue studying in a French higher education institution, you can request an exemption from the institution of your choice by presenting your file. The head of the university or of the institution will decide at which level you should be admitted onto a course after a proposal from an educational commission. This exemption is intended to enable you to benefit from all or part of your previous academic qualifications.

Some disciplines have a different admission procedure (medicine, pharmacy, etc.), find out more from the Ministries concerned by the profession.

The E.C.T.S. (European credit transfer System) was set up for European university exchanges, such as the Erasmus programme. This common scale enables qualifications to be recognised in Europe. An E.C.T.S credit corresponds to a unit value allocated to a class according to the workload involved. 

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