From 2019, it will be compulsory for all
3-year-olds to attend preschool in France. It is the
lowest age for compulsory schooling among EU countries.
The compulsory schooling then applies to the age of 16.
About two out of three students complete high school.
The preschool (maternelle) is divided into
three stages and contains a lot of teaching. Also many
of two year olds start in preschool.
The compulsory school is divided into a five-year
lower stage and a four-year high school (collège).
In the last two years, students can choose theoretical
or practical orientation. State schools are the most
common, but almost one in five students attend a private
school, most of which is run by the Catholic Church. The
state pays teacher salaries for private schools, which
usually have low fees for students.
Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of
France, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and
Country facts of France, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Until 2008, children generally went to school on
Saturdays, but had Wednesdays free. Now everyone is free
on Saturdays, but some still have holy days or half days
on Wednesdays. It is quite common for students to go to
a class to improve their results.
After primary school, students can continue in
two-year vocational schools or three-year colleges (lycée).
High school studies conclude with a bachelor's
degree (baccalaureate, " le bac
"). About four out of five pass the bachelor's degree,
which automatically gives admission to the college.
Nearly two-thirds of them then go on to universities and
colleges, but many drop out as early as the first year.
Many students also find it difficult to enter the labor
market after completing their studies. The university is
not free, but the fees are low and a relatively large
proportion of students do not have to pay at all.
France has around 80 universities with about two
million students, more than twice as many as 1980. The
oldest and most famous is Sorbonne in Paris. In
addition, there are several specialized colleges (les
grandes écoles) that educate the elite in politics,
administration and business.
The universities are open to everyone, while the
special colleges require several years of special
preparation and pass an entrance exam. The most famous
of these colleges is ENA (l'Ecole Nationale
d´Administration), founded in 1945.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
98.6 percent (2016)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
9.7 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
9.7 percent (2015)
UMP appoints new leader
After bitter internal conflict, accusations of electoral fraud and the
recalculation of votes, the conservative opposition party UMP Jean-François Copé
appoints new leader.
After extensive interrogation, President Nicolas Sarkozy is cleared of
suspicions of receiving illegal campaign contributions before the 2007
Fight against same-sex marriage
The leadership of the French Catholic Church is launching a campaign against
the Socialist Government's proposal to legalize same-sex marriage.
Tax for high income earners
The National Assembly decides on 75 percent tax on income over one million
euros. The tax will be levied for two years and is expected to affect
approximately 1,500 taxpayers. According to the opposition, it is a matter of
pure criminal tax.
Charlie Hebdo publishes Mohammed drawings
The satire newspaper publishes drawings by Prophet Muhammad, amid a wave of
protests in Muslim countries against an Islam-hostile movie clip on the
Peugeot cuts down
The car manufacturer announces that the Aulnay plant outside Paris will be
closed, which means that 8,000 jobs will be lost. The government promises new
support for the crisis-hit car industry.
60,000 new teacher jobs in five years
It is one of the government's promises. The government is also planning tax
increases for mainly large companies and high salaries of approximately SEK 115
billion over two years. Budget spending should also be cut.
The house search at Sarkozy
Police are investigating former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is suspected
of illegally funding the 2007 election campaign.
Success for the left
When both rounds of elections are finalized, the Socialist Party with allies
has 331 of the 577 seats in the national assembly, while the right-wing party
UMP together with support parties receive 229 seats. The National Front gets 2
seats, but the party leader Marine Le Pen does not enter the National Assembly.
Instead, her niece gets a place there.
Hollande takes office
15th of May
Hollande becomes France's first socialist president in 17 years. Jean-Marc
Ayrault is appointed new Prime Minister. Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici and
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who was Prime Minister in the 1980s.
Hollande wins the presidential election
In the decisive round of the presidential election, Hollande overcomes
incumbent President Sarkozy, with 51.7 against 48.3 percent.
First round of presidential elections
The Socialist Party's François Hollande wins by just under 29 percent against
just over 27 percent for Sarkozy. The National Front's Marine Le Pen is doing
better than expected and receiving support of 18 percent. Left-wing Jean-Luc
Mélenchon gets 10 percent, which was worse than expected.
11th of March
An Islamist kills seven people in the Toulouse area and is then shot dead by
police after the siege.
Judgment on the genocide
The Constitutional Court states that the Genocide Act concerning the Ottoman
Empire (Turkey) in 1915 (see January) violates the Constitution's protection of
freedom of expression.
Genocide is adopted by the Senate
Genocide is adopted by the Senate (see December 2013).
Reduced credit rating
The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's lowers France's credit rating one
step from the top AAA listing. It's a tough blow to the country.