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научное издание МГТУ им. Н.Э. Баумана


Издатель ФГБОУ ВПО "МГТУ им. Н.Э. Баумана". Эл № ФС 77 - 48211.  ISSN 1994-0408

Техническое образование во Франции (часть II) (англоязычный вариант)


New Educational Paths for engine

New Educational Paths for engineers in France

The «NFI's»

NFI (literally : «Nouvelles Formations d'Ingйnieurs», New Engineering Programs), also called «Decomps Programs», were created after 1990 through partnerships with companies in order to train more technologically oriented engineers. Creating these programs was a strong innovation : new programs were designed on the entirely new idea - at that level - of alternating academic periods and long internships within companies. .

Compared to other engineering programs, NFIs have shorter and lighter courses, and much greater periods within companies under the leadership of advisers (alternating education ).

NFI studies organisation

Initial education leads to entering the NFIs at the Baccalaurйat level: in this case, studies last 5 years and include 3 years of academic training and 2 years within companies.

Other NFIs may be entered at the bac+2 level, after DUT or BTS graduation ; in this case, studies last 3 years, including 2 years in companies.

Training curricula in NFIs differ from traditional curricula essentially on three points :

  • periods of training within companies alternating with academic education, under joint leadership of an industrial adviser and faculty members ,
  • specific, tangible, lightened education, built upon experimentation,
  • specialized programs adapted to the needs of companies : NFIs cover the largest job-offering sectors, mainly electronics and mechanics.

Academical teaching approximately represents 3.200 hours of training after Baccalaurйat, or 1.600 hours after bac+2. In a 5-year program, the first two years are usually based upon an existing training cycle (first university cycle, IUT or STS) and aim at consolidating fundamental knowledge (mathematics, physics) and introducing the specialty. In the second cycle (the 3 last school years), courses are mainly focused on the specialization domains, methods, engineering methodology and management training. NFI graduates get an engineering degree recognized by CTI ("Commission des Titres d'Ingenieur").

Other higher technical programs

IUP : «Instituts Universitaires Professionnalisйs»

IUPs were created in 1991 within universities, according to a general policy aimed at increasing the amount of graduates able to hold leadership positions.

IUPs offer three-year programs beginning at the bac+1 level.

These programs include :

  • a scientific and technical basic education,
  • a complementary education preparing for insertion within companies,
  • internships in relevant domains

Basic training includes at least 1600 hours and at most 2000 hours of courses.
Complementary training includes teaching in foreign languages (at least one), communication techniques, management techniques (law, economic and financial aspects).
Courses are partly taught by company staff .
Internships last at least 19 weeks. They are either spread over the entire program or organized in the last year.

A degree of «ingйnieur-maоtre» at the level bac + 4


The following degrees are being delivered by IUPs :

  • DEUG after the 1st study year,
  • Licence after the 2nd study year,
  • Maоtrise after the last year.

The title of "ingenieur-maоtre" may be delivered by the dean to students, when proposed by a special jury that looks at the exam results.
The title of "ingenieur-maоtre" may appear confusing. It is not an engineering degree (bac+4 instead of bac+5), even if the quality of education is good.
It may be decided in a near future to allow the "ingenieur-maоtre" to get a true engineer degree after two years of professional experience.

Specialized «Mastиres» («MS»)

MSs first opened their doors in 1986, as complementary, business-oriented, specialized education for engineering school graduates whose initial training was not specialized enough.
These high level programs are being organized within engineering or management "Grandes Ecoles". They have close relationships to companies. Pedagogy is flexible and evolutionary, thanks to the use of small groups of students and quality in teaching.

MS is not a degree; it is a label given by the "Conference des Grandes Ecoles" (CGE) to specific graduate programs organized by engineering or management "Grandes Ecoles". The use of this label is protected by law. The authorization to use the label is given by a special committee, composed of professional and academic representatives.

Duration and program :

MSs last at least 12 months, but they may last 18 months or 2 years.

The curriculum includes :

    • at least 350 hours of theoretical and practical courses,
    • a personal study or research work, which lasts at least 4 months within a company ; this work leads to the submission of a professional thesis.

International Dimension of French Engineering Schools

Some general data and trends

Receiving foreign students in France is part of a long tradition of hospitality: France is the European country with the highest percentage of foreign students in higher education. In the last twenty years, foreign students have also come not only from French speaking countries, but from Asia or Latin America under the influence of scientific cooperation agreements (initiated in 1976). More recently, the international overture policy of engineering schools has been strongly oriented towards Europe, under the influence of European Community educational programs.

Almost all French educational institutions offer their students opportunities to stay abroad (mainly in Europe, Canada, USA) for internships lasting several months, or courses lasting one or more years leading sometimes to double degrees when partnerships with European or American universities allow them. Student population interested in such programs ranges between 10 % and 50 %, up to 60 % in some schools (ESIEE, UTC).

Some indications for foreign students wishing to pursue engineering studies in France


1.    Preparing an engineering degree

Because of the selective French engineering schools admission system, students need a very good high school level in mathematics and physics, which generally makes it difficult for foreign students to prepare French engineering degrees.




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