The French Grandes Ecoles system

The Grandes Ecoles are small to medium sized institutions which have solid financial and administrative backing, are highly selective, provide high quality education and maintain close ties with the corporate world.

French higher education is characterised by the coexistence of two systems: the Universities and the Grandes Ecoles. Over the years, the Grandes Ecoles have proven their efficiency and adaptability in training engineers and managers for business.

The degrees awarded by the Grandes Ecoles have the same status as public university degrees and are monitored by the French Ministry of Education. However, they reflect an education based on two imperatives: the careful selection of applicants, and the training of those students to reach an individual level of excellence corresponding to the demands of the business world.

The Grandes Ecoles are also known for fostering a "team spirit" which unites the students in each class of each school. After they graduate, they are reunited in active alumni networks which successfully help young graduates start their careers in France or abroad.

 

The Grandes Écoles within the French Higher Education System

There are more than 200 Grandes Ecoles in management and engineering in France. These schools train over 20 000 students each year. They are grouped together within the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles , a non-profit organisation that seeks to promote their activities and contributes to the improvement of their educational programmes.

The "Conférence des Grandes Écoles"

Specific requirements to be accredited by the Conference des Grandes Ecoles

 

  • graduate degrees accredited by the Ministry of Education 
  • admission based on a nationwide competitive examination
  • degree level : 5 years of study after the end of secondary school diploma
  •  length of existence : degrees having been awarded for 3 years at least
  • autonomy in financial and educational matters
  • quality of the faculty
  • quality of the equipment
  • research activities
  • international focus

The “Conférence des Grandes Ecoles” is a non-profit organisation founded in 1973.

 
It gathers:
 
  •  145 Engineering schools all certified by the Commission for Engineering Degrees, an essential pre-requisite for prospective CGE members
  • 40 French management schools offering State-certified Master’s level degrees
  • 22 Schools in other specialties
  • 14 foreign institutions
  • 9 Companies
  • 43 Organisations operating in connection with higher education
    (source : rapport d'activité 2013 CGE) 
 
 
 

The Grandes Ecoles are small to medium sized institutions which have solid financial and administrative backing, are highly selective, provide high quality education and maintain close ties with the corporate world.

Its role is:
  • to develop information and solidarity between its members
  • to create networks and links in France and abroad in the education, research, industrial and business communities
  • to promote the “Grandes Écoles” system both on a national and international scale,
  • to encourage innovations in engineering and management education, to develop continuing education and research activities,
  • to act as a voice with government policy-makers and the research community
  • to gain international recognition for the Grandes Ecoles (qualifications, teaching, research programmes)

For more information, please visit the official website in French of the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles .