Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe


Stakeholder Survey Overview

As part of our research we carried out a survey of Education & Training stakeholders. Find the results of this survey below or download it..

Legislation & Policy Overview

The following section gives an overview of the national PHE environment within France. The profile was completed by Association of University Institutes of Technology Directors.

Section A: General Profile of PHE

1. How is PHE defined in your country?

Article 123 of The Code of Education defines Higher Education (AHE and PHE in universities) It defines the missions of universities: Les missions du service public de l’enseignement supérieur sont : 1° La formation initiale et continue tout au long de la vie ; 2° La recherche scientifique et technologique, la diffusion et la valorisation de ses résultats au service de la société. Cette dernière repose sur le développement de l’innovation, du transfert de technologie lorsque celui-ci est possible, de la capacité d’expertise et d’appui aux associations et fondations, reconnues d’utilité publique, et aux politiques publiques menées pour répondre aux défis sociétaux, aux besoins sociaux, économiques et de développement durable ; 3° L’orientation, la promotion sociale et l’insertion professionnelle ; 4° La diffusion de la culture humaniste, en particulier à travers le développement des sciences humaines et sociales, et de la culture scientifique, technique et industrielle ; 5° La participation à la construction de l’Espace européen de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche ; 6° La coopération internationale. Law on Technological Education: Law 71-577 of 16 July 1971 Law on Higher Education: Law 84-52 of 26 January 1984 Law on Technological and Professional Education: Law 85-1371 of 23 December 1985- Sections de techniciens supérieurs (STS) (in lycées, secondary schools): (80+ specialities) Award prepared: Brevet de technicien supérieur (BTS) Decree 95-665 of 9 may 1995 – Institutes of Technology (within universities): Instituts universitaires de technologie (IUT) (113 institutions) Award prepared: Diplôme universitaire de technologie (DUT) Decree on IUT’s: Decree 84-1004 of 12 November 1984 Order (Arrêté) on the DUT in the EHEA: Arrêté of 3 August 2005 – Engineering Schools: Ecoles d’ingénieurs (200+ institutions) Awards prepared: Diplômes d’ingénieurs Code of Education: Article L642 – Management and business Schools are mostly private institutions Awards prepared: Bachelor at EQF 6 and Mastère (d°) at EQF 7 – Licence professionnelle are Technological Degrees prepared in Universities Order (Arrêté) of 17 November 1999 – Master’s Degrees: Universities (mostly) deliver Professional Master’s Degrees: Master’s Degrees with a varying amount of Professional and or technological input (as opposed to Research or Academic oriented Master’s Degrees) Order (Arrêté) on Master’s degrees: Arrêté of 25 April 2002.

Commentary: A Law on Higher Education and Research is presently before Parliament (June 2013) Passed 22 July 2013 STS and IUT operate at EQF 5 Ecoles d’ingénieurs operate at EQF 7, some at EQF 8 There is in effect no professional diploma at EQF 8 Health and Nursing, Social work, Architecture and Art all have their own higher institutions.

1.1 What is your nationally recognised definition of a PHE Institution?

A Law on Technological and Professional Education (Law 85-1371 of 23 December 1985) provided a unifying description of Professional Education. It was abrogated and included in the Code of Education under Articles 641 to 642 (2 chapters dealing with B- and M- level Higher Education) to which a third Chapter is added concerning Short cycle PHE.

1.2 Are there any specific requirements towards PHE Curriculum/Course?

All institutions wanting to create new study programmes must provide documented evidence of the corresponding need for qualification in the Labour market. PHE curricula are now written in terms of learning outcomes and competence-based description of the corresponding diplomas must be validated by accreditation authorities within the relevant ministry. All PHE Curricula have to be assessed according to a quality assurance and accreditation system that is prescribed by Law and defined by Decrees according to each PHE provider: STS are assessed by the Inspectorate-General IUT by Commission Consultative Nationale Engineering schools by Commission du titre d’ingénieur (CTI) Master’s by Agence d’évaluation de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur (AERES).  The Law on Higher Education and Research of 22 July 2013 introduces a new Accréditation mechanism.

2. Which EQF Levels does PHE cover?

EQF Level 5 – Yes
EQF Level 6 – Yes
EQF Level 7 – Yes
EQF Level 8 – No

Commentary: Enter commentary or delete line if none.

3. Which governmental bodies are responsible for governance of the PHE sector? Do these differ from the governance of AHE? Is there any engagement of any other public authorities and which, if so?

MESR, DGESIP: Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Directorate-General for Higher Education and Employability The Directorate-General administrates PHE and AHE. STS are administered by the Directorate-General of education, DGESCO.

Commentary: Some institutions and awards fall under other Ministries such as Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Social Affairs.  Heath and Medicine Education is administered jointly by MESR and Minsitry of Health.

4. Quality assurance: Please provide information on quality-related legislation (national QA/accreditation system, regulations concerning QA at institutional level etc.). Are there any specific QA criteria for PHE? If so, which (if necessary, refer to specific EQF levels or institutions)?

No answer provided.

5. Are there any specific funding mechanisms/principles/criteria for PHE, different from general HE principles?

No answer provided.

6. Are there any formal requirements for stakeholders, in particular from the part of the professional sphere/employers’ representatives concerning their engagement in PHE steering and provisions? If so, in which areas (governance, quality assurance, curriculum development, students’ placement etc.)?

No answer provided.

7. Are there any other legislative differences between PHE and other HE institutions (e.g. partnership with enterprises, regional involvement etc.)?

No answer provided.

8. Is PHE limited to some specific branches and/or fields of study? If yes: Which ones?


Section B: Teaching & Staffing

1. Are there any formally set requirements for academic staff teaching at different levels in PHE (e.g their qualification, expertise, selection & appointment)? Are they different from AHE?

The requirement are exactly the same as for AHE, including for the qualifications of Associate (professional) professors, professionals recruited on a short-term basis.

Commentary: PHE Institutions have a higher proportion of professionals therefore a lower proportion of Doctors but that is not prescribed by Law.

2. Are there any specific requirements for PHE staff work (teaching/research) arrangements and workload? If so, which? How do they differ from AHE?

No – no difference is made: the recruitment, arrangements, workload are identical.

3. Are there requirements to include non-academia (professionals) to teach in PHE institutions? What qualifications must they have if any?

There are no specific requirements. The statute of Associate Professor of Sciences and Technology Articles L. 413-1 to L. 413-11 and L. 951-3 of the Code of Education applies for all types of HE in universities.

Section C: Curriculum

1. Are there any specific requirements as regards contents/structure (e.g. percentage of practically oriented modules) as regards PHE? If so, which? What are the differences with respect to AHE?

– BTS: no specific requirements but each STS specialty has a specific curriculum – DUT: 20% of teaching must be undertaken by professionals – – Licences professionnelles: 25% of teaching must be done by professionals – Engineering schools, Master’s: each or faculty defines its professional input

Commentary: All curricula (both AHE and PHE) are validated by the Institutions’ Administration Board on which a proportion of professionals and representatives of local business sit.

2. Are there any specific requirements as regards practical elements of PHE study programmes (e.g. work experience/Practical placements/Internships)? If so, which? What are the differences with respect to AHE?

– BTS: no specific requirements but each STS course of study has a specific curriculum – DUT: an internship of 350 working hours is mandatory – Licences professionnelles: an internship of between 600 and 1000 working hours is mandatory – Masters professionnels: The 2-year M-cycle comprises an internships totaling an average of 600 hours – Engineering schools, Management and Business schools: The 3-year Engineering cycle comprises 2500 taught hours and internships totaling an average of 1000 hours.

3. Are there any other legal requirements specific for PHE programs?

Licences professionnelles: 50% of teaching within the professional modules must be done by professionals with a total of 25% of teaching globally done by professionals.

Section D: Research & Technology Transfer

1. What is the involvement of PHE in R&D&I&TT activities? Are there any formal differences at different levels/institutions of PHE?

STS are not involved in research, do very little in I&TT. STS trainers are not researchers; no provision is made for research (applied or otherwise) in STS.  R&D&I&TT are all missions of HE (AHE and PHE) although in fact PHE participates in I&TT to a higher degree. TT centers are organised at university level and provide those services for both AHE and PHE.

2. Are public research programs restricted to some types of HEIs (e.g. academic sector)? If so, what are the criteria?

STS have no research activity.  No other restriction apart from that.

Section E: Recognition & Credit Transfer

1. Are there formal differences in the enrolment process into PHE and AHE?

AHE is open to all holders of the Baccalauréat.  PHE is always selective; selection is organized by each institution according to its own criteria according to Laws and decree regulated each type of institution (see supra).

2. Are there formal paths for transfer from PHE into other HE programmes (for graduates, during the study)? Are there automatic transfers for students between PHE and AHE? Do students need bridging programmes or other means of transition?

There are no formal paths for transfer from PHE to AHE for graduates. All types of HE select their students after EQF 5 so no formalised bridging programmes are required between PHE and AHE No provision is made for transfer from PHE to AHE during courses (even 2- and 3-year courses) although the opposite does not apply.

3. Are there any specific regulations concerning employment of PHE graduates? Do you need to justify delivery of certain PHE studies? e.g provide evidence of labour market needs or collect data on employability of graduates).

All HE institutions and programmes are required to provide data on employability. PHE have had to show evidence of employability for a longer time.

Best Practices

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