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France and its overseas possessions are divided into 35 educational districts, or Académies, each of which is responsible for all levels of education. .

Country Overview

France remains a leader in world affairs even though it lost its status as a dominant state after World War II. While it has retained a number of territories, its colonial past is evident chiefly on its streets, in the form of ethnic diversity. France, which has long pushed for economic integration in Europe, now proposes to strengthen the military capabilities of the European Union. The government is also in the midst of reducing its influence over the domestic economy through privatization. The French cultural legacy is apparent throughout the world, from writers, thinkers, and painters to cuisine. France is the most visited country in the world.

Climate

Three types of climate may be found within France: oceanic, continental, and Mediterranean. The oceanic climate, prevailing in the western parts of the country, is one of small temperature range, ample rainfall, cool summers, and cool but seldom very cold winters. The continental (transition) type of climate, found over much of eastern and central France, adjoining its long common boundary with west-central Europe, is characterized by warmer summers and colder winters than areas farther west; rainfall is ample, and winters tend to be snowy, especially in the higher areas. The Mediterranean climate, widespread throughout the south of France (except in the mountainous southwest), is one of cool winters, hot summers, and limited rainfall. The mean temperature is about 11°  C  (53°  F  ) at Paris and 15°  C  (59°  F  ) at Nice. In central and southern France, annual rainfall is light to moderate, ranging from about 68 cm (27 in) at Paris to 100 cm (39 in) at Bordeaux. Rainfall is heavy in Brittany, the northern coastal areas, and the mountainous areas, where it reaches more than 112 cm (44 in).

Annual rainfall
Monthly average rainfall: Jan 54 mm (2 inches); April 38 mm (1.4 inches); July 55 mm (2 inches); October 49 mm (1.9 inches).

GDP

$2,133,000,000,000 (2008 est.)

Population

64,057,792

Overview of Higher Education

France and its overseas possessions are divided into 35 educational districts, or Académies, each of which is responsible for all levels of education. Spread throughout the districts are 91 universities, a classification that includes institutes of technology. Since 2002 the government has gradually put into effect the terms of the Bologna Process, even as universities have become more autonomous. The standard undergraduate degree is the three-year Licence (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree). Students may pursue a master’s degree on either a research track or a professional track. Both require two years of study. A research master’s is required for doctoral studies, which typically last three more years.

In 2007 some 265,000 students were pursuing higher education in France and its possessions.

(Sources: BBC, The Europa World of Learning)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 603

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: 1,979,445

Number of international students enrolled: 246,369

Contact Information

Ministry of National Education, Advanced Instruction, and Research

110 rue de Grenelle, 75357 Paris SP 07

Web site: http://www.education.gouv.fr/

Phone: 01.55.55.10.10

E-mail: sup-info@education.gouv.fr

Contact: Luc Chatel, Minister of Education