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6 Préparer son départ 7 Comprendre l enseignement supérieur français Understanding the French higher education system Understanding the french higher education system General introduction The French higher

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6 Préparer son départ 7 Comprendre l enseignement supérieur français Understanding the French higher education system Understanding the french higher education system General introduction The French higher education system consists of several types of establishments, which can be public or private: Universities Grandes écoles (competitive-entrance higher education establishments) and other specialist higher education establishments Higher technical education establishments for short vocational training courses: Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (BTS vocational training certificate taken after the age of 18) departments in secondary schools, and Instituts Universitaires de Technologie (IUT university institutes of technology) in universities. The Bachelor-Master-Doctorate (BMD) system (Licence-Master-Doctorat (LMD)) France, like more than 50 other European countries, is a signatory of the Declaration of Bologna (1999), which really started the construction of the European higher education area. The system is based on 3 degrees or levels: Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate. A certain number of ECTS credits are allocated to each degree: Bachelor (6 semesters) corresponds to 180 credits, and Master (4 semesters) to 120 credits. The BMD reform aims to promote student mobility in Europe. A Bachelor s degree, indeed even a semester, obtained in France can be validated in Germany, Italy, Poland, or in any other country in the European Union within the framework of an individual s study path in higher education. For further information (English and Spanish versions available) (English version available) (available in French, English, and Spanish) 9 Connaître la Bretagne et Rennes Getting to know Rennes and Brittany Getting to know Rennes and Brittany Brittany Situated in the extreme west of the European mainland, and so enjoying 2730 km of coastline, Brittany covers 27,209 km 2, i.e. 5% of the surface area of France. Extending 300 km from east to west and 150 km from north to south, this point of land which projects out so distinctively into the sea is easily identifiable on a map of France. The interpenetration of land and sea gives Brittany its diverse landscapes and interplays of light. The region s climate combines the invigorating effects of the seaside and the mildness of its seasons. With a population of over 3 million, Brittany has experienced deep-seated demographic, social, and economic changes. Although agriculture and fishing are both important activities in the Breton economy, industrial activity which has developed around food-processing, telecommunications, car manufacturing, and services has experienced significant and extremely rapid development. There are five nationally designated pôles de compétitivité (competitive clusters) in Brittany: the Image & Réseaux (image and networks) information technology pôle in Brest, Rennes, and Lannion, the sea-based Sea-nergie pôle in Brest, and the Brittany-wide Valorial food processing pôle. Brittany is also involved in two other important areas of economic activity, one of which is concerned with the top-of-the-range car industry, and the other with meat and meat products. These areas of economic and industrial excellence depend on collaboration between businesses, research units, and education and training establishments in order to promote innovation in the service of economic development. Tourism also has a very important place within the Breton economy. More than 12 million visitors come to discover Brittany each year, making it the second most important tourist region in France. Degemer mat! Welcome to Brittany, land of legends and traditions For further information 11 Connaître la Bretagne et Rennes Getting to know Rennes and Brittany The city of Rennes Rennes is the tenth largest city in France with a population of 213,000, but is a city on a human scale, and is a friendly and pleasant place to live. Rennes and the other 38 towns and villages of the Rennes Métropole area (a number which will soon swell to 43) have a total population of about 416,000. The quality of life offered in Rennes, the wide range of activities that take place there, its cultural life, its historical and architectural heritage, and its economic and social dynamism all make it a city that is much appreciated by its residents and its visitors alike. In 2012, Rennes was awarded the title of France s pleasantest city to live in by L Express magazine. Rennes is one of Brittany s unmissable tourist destinations because of its historical and cultural wealth and its position as the Breton capital. It is only 2 hours away from Paris by high-speed train (TGV), and is near many internationally famous places of interest, such as Saint-Malo, the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, the Côte d Émeraude (the Emerald Coast between the bays of Mont- Saint-Michel and Saint-Brieuc), and the Gulf of Morbihan - to name but a few. Rennes is also the largest student city in western France. With its two universities and many higher education institutions, Rennes is a major university and research cluster. In 2012, Rennes was awarded the title of France s pleasantest city to live in by L Express magazine. For further information Some important dates in Rennes history 57 B.C.: Conquest of the city by Julius Cæsar. Rennes, which was called Condate during the Gaulish period, became Civitas Riedonum (city of the Riedones). 1491: Duchess Anne of Brittany married King Charles VIII of France. 1532: The incorporation of Brittany into the kingdom of France, following the marriages of Anne of Brittany to Charles VIII and then Louis XII of France. 1720: On 22 December, a fire, which lasted for six days, destroyed all the city centre of Rennes. Almost 900 half-timbered houses were reduced to ashes and thousands of people lost their homes. 1789: In January, riots, which brought into conflict students and members of the aristocracy broke out in the Place du Parlement. These were the first signs of the French Revolution. 1899: The retrial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was of Jewish origin, and who had been found guilty of spying for the Germans at a first trial in The world s press descended on Rennes to follow the trial. 1944: On 4 August, Rennes was the first major French city to be liberated by American troops, under the command of General Patton. 1994: During the night of 4 and 5 February, a fire destroyed two-thirds of the Parlement de Bretagne (Brittany Parliament). It has now been reconstructed, and is one of the most visited places in Rennes. 13 Connaître la Bretagne et Rennes Getting to know Rennes and Brittany Economic dynamism Rennes is a particularly attractive city in terms both of job creation and of the continuing increase of its population. The Rennes area has gained 45,000 new inhabitants in 15 years, a figure expected to rise to 60,000 by This is the third greatest population increase in western France. The tertiary sector is by far the most dynamic, but Rennes traditional industries are equally important, with Ouest-France, France s most widely-read daily newspaper, and the François-Charles Oberthur printing works being of particular importance. Finally, the presence of the PSA Peugeot Citroën car factory makes Rennes Métropole one of the most important car manufacturing regions in France. In addition, Brittany is also France s leading agri-food region, with the department of Ille-et-Vilaine being the most important French dairy farming area and the home of four major foodprocessing groups - Brient, Bridel, Coralis, and Le Duff. It is important to note that the food-processing industries within the Rennes Métropole area enjoy very strong links with its higher education establishments. The information and technology sector is one of the most thriving and successful in the Rennes area as far as employment, research, and training are concerned. The Rennes Atalante science and technology park has attracted a large number of research and development centres, components manufacturers, and telecommunications companies, such as Orange, R&D, Thomson, Canon, and Texas Instruments. Today, Rennes Atalante is one of Europe s leading telecommunications centres thanks to the close collaboration that has been developed since 1984 between higher education, research laboratories, and businesses. The Image & Networks sector is one of nine state-designated pôles de compétitivité, which are competitive clusters of worldwide importance. Openness to Europe and the world Rennes, the capital of Brittany, is an open-minded city, and as such is active in the setting up of initiatives and partnerships at both European and international levels. It is twinned with 12 foreign cities: 1957: Exeter (United Kingdom) 1958: Rochester (United States) 1964: Erlangen (Germany) 1965: Brno (Czech Republic) 1967: Sendai (Japan) 1980: Leuven (Belgium) 1982: Setif (Algeria) 1983: Cork (Ireland) 1991: Almaty (Kazakhstan) 1998: Poznan (Poland) 1999: Sibiu (Romania) 2002: Jinan (China) The large number of related associations form an excellent means of increasing the awareness of Rennes Métropoles inhabitants of its commitment, not only to Europe but also to the whole range of international relations. Rennes also has first-class resource and information centres, such as the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry s Euro-Info-Centre, and the Centre de Documentation Européenne (European Documentation Centre) at the University of Rennes 1 s Faculty of Law and Political Science. Rennes Institut Franco-Américain, a binational linguistic and cultural information and training centre, was founded in 1961 by the United States Embassy and Rennes City Council. For further information The Maison Internationale de Rennes (MIR) s role is to make the general public aware of what is happening in the world today, and to support individuals and associations in the implementation of projects based on cooperation, solidarity, and cultural exchanges. MIR 7 quai Chateaubriand Rennes Tel Connaître la Bretagne et Rennes Getting to know Rennes and Brittany Culture Rennes has been officially designated a Métropole d Art et d Histoire (City and Region of Art and History), and has many historic buildings, such as the Parlement de Bretagne (Brittany Parliament), the Hôtel de Ville (town hall/city hall), the Opéra (Opera House), the Palais Saint-Georges, and the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre (St Peter s Cathedral). The great variety of architectural styles and periods which stand together right in the centre of the city makes up the wealth of historical and architectural heritage that gives Rennes its distinctive character as the capital of Brittany. This wealth of culture can also be found in Rennes museums and art galleries, as well as in its theatres, concert halls, cinemas, and other cultural venues. In this respect, the Champs Libres constitutes a cultural facility which is unique of its type, since it groups together Rennes Métropole s Central Library, the Brittany Museum, and a Science Centre. Finally, several important annual festivals make Rennes a leading player on both the national and international cultural scenes but with a distinctive Breton character. The Transmusicales is a festival which celebrates the discovery of new musical talent, Travelling is a film festival, and the Festival Mythos centres around the spoken word and the arts, while Mettre en Scène focuses on dance and theatre. For further information : Office de tourisme de Rennes 11 rue Saint Yves Rennes Tél Les Champs Libres Cours des Alliés Rennes Tél Find out about the main cultural events that take place every year in Rennes, p Connaître la Bretagne et Rennes Getting to know Rennes and Brittany A major university and research cluster Rennes has had a university since the 18th century, and has become one of the most important French university cities with more than 60,000 students at the Universities of Rennes 1 and Rennes 2, 26 grandes écoles (prestigious competitive-entrance higher education establishments), and other higher education institutions. Rennes is also a major centre for scientific and technological research, with 4,000 researchers working in both public and private research establishments; the main sectors being electronics, image and communication, biotechnology, fine chemistry, health, and the environment. Higher education in Rennes is becoming increasingly international in outlook. More than 6000 international students come to study in Rennes every year, whilst more than 1200 Rennes-based students take part in overseas mobility programmes. The UEB-linked Rennes International Mobility Centre provides services which are shared by all Rennes universities and grandes écoles in order to help them to give an even better welcome international students and researchers on mobility programmes, and to develop the international mobility of students, PhD students, and researchers. For further information: Université européenne de Bretagne Centre de mobilité internationale de Rennes 5 bd Laënnec Rennes Tel the université européenne de bretagne A scientific cooperation institution for research, technology transfer and innovation, and doctoral studies in Brittany The UEB brings together Brittany s universities, grandes écoles, university teaching hospitals, and research organisations. This officially-designated Pôle de Recherche et d Enseignement Supérieur (PRES research and higher education cluster) manages scientific cooperation activities on behalf of its member establishments. With 72,000 students and over 6,000 teaching and nonteaching staff, the UEB is a scientific hub which is European in scale. The Rennes International Mobility Centre The Rennes International Mobility Centre s mission is to support the international mobility of students, doctoral students, and researchers in Rennes university and grandes écoles. ITS AIMS To boost the welcome to Rennes of people on international mobility programmes: - international students - international PhD students and researchers To contribute to the development of mobility for students from Rennes: - awareness-raising activities and information on international mobility - linguistic and cultural activities in preparation for mobility. - educational mobility ITS MAIN INITIATIVES The welcoming of international students at the beginning of the academic year The personalised welcoming of exchange students, help in the preparation of the application for a residency permit, welcome days in partnership with TAM-TAM, a cultural programme of excursions in Brittany, etc. A personal welcome for international PhD students and researchers Assistance in dealing with the first procedures in France, including legal, administrative, linguistic, and cultural help and advice, etc. Helping Rennes students to prepare for mobility Preparatory linguistic and cultural sessions, country information evenings, country databases, student experiences, etc. 19 Se porter candidat dans un établissement Applying to study in a higher education establishment applying to study in a higher education establishment In order to study in France, you must start, quite a long time beforehand, to obtain all the necessary authorisation for a possible stay. To help you, this guide outlines the main procedures that you need to follow in order to apply to study in a higher education establishment. Two steps are essential: Apply for admission to the establishment(s) in which you are interested, Then, if the reply is positive, apply for a student visa. (This only applies to students who are not citizens of member states of the European Economic Area). APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION Applications for admission vary according to whether you intend to study within the framework of an exchange programme or whether you arrange your stay on an individual basis as a so-called free mover. Admission to university for students participating in an exchange programme, e.g. erasmus, isep, crepuq, and bilateral agreements. Admission to a higher education establishment takes place as follows: Selection of your application by your home establishment. Finalising of your study programme in consultation with the academic supervisor of your home establishment. Application request made by your home establishment to the French exchange partner. Registration and payment of tuition fees in your home establishment. Admission to university for students arranging their stay on an individual basis (who are not part of an exchange programme) Admission to the 1st and 2nd years of a Bachelor s degree If you are a student from a country outside the European Economic Area: The admissions procedure is organised on a national basis and requires a demande d admission préalable (DAP preliminary request for admission). The DAP application form must be obtained by the applicant between 1 December and 31 January of the academic year preceding that for which the application is being made: directly from the French Embassy s Cultural Service in their country of origin / residence. directly, in France, from the first-choice university (3 choices are possible) if the applicant has a residency permit (titre de séjour) of one year or more, or by downloading it from the following website: (Headings: Prepare for your stay / Enrol in higher education / How?) This last option has been made compulsory for about 30 countries listed on the CampusFrance website. The demande d admission préalable application form must be received before the 31 January before your arrival in France: either at the Cultural Service of the French Embassy, if you live outside France, or at your first-choice university (3 choices are possible) if you live in France and have a residency permit which is valid for one year or longer. If you are a student from a European Economic Area country: University admission conditions are the same as for a French student. N.B. A French language assessment test (TCF) may be required (see p.23). Admission for the 3rd year of a Bachelor s degree, a Master s degree, or a Doctorate Each establishment has its own requirements for the enrolling of foreign students, and has its own specific admissions form. You must therefore contact your chosen establishment directly (see Useful contacts, p.96/97). For further information: (heading: studying in France) Admission into the grandes écoles Each grande école has its own requirements as regards its foreign student admission policy. Here again, you have to contact the international relations service of the grande école in which you are interested for information (see Useful contacts, p.96/97). 21 Se porter candidat dans un établissement Applying to study in a higher education establishment Language assessment tests Your admission to a French higher education establishment finally depends, among other conditions, on the quality of your fluency in the French language. In order to assess the level of their French, candidates who are not native French-speakers have to take a Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF knowledge of French test). A charge of 60 is made for this test, which can be taken in numerous TCF-approved centres throughout the world. The list of TCF-approved centres is available on Internet: Who has to take a language assessment test? 1st and 2nd years of a Bachelor s degree: the TCF is compulsory. 3rd year of a Bachelor s degree, and Master s degree: the TCF is not compulsory. However, so as to enable the French establishment to check the level of your French, your application form will often include a request for an attestation, such as the TCF, of your knowledge of French. In order to know the precise language requirements of your chosen establishment, contact the International Office or the registrar s department (scolarité) directly. (Their addresses and telephone numbers are listed in Useful contacts, p.96/97). You a
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