Latest Issue

France profonde

France's two-tier university system contributes to the country's stagnation. The graduates of the grandes écoles are at last starting to tackle this

By Tim King   July 2006

Early summer in France sees anxious sixth formers and their more anxious parents wondering about the future as they wait for the results of this year’s baccalauréat. But here, unlike in Britain with its A-levels, the waiting is not accompanied by agonised family discussions about which university. Come September, nine out of ten French baccalaureates will simply shuffle along to the university nearest home. In France there is no selection for a place at university any more than there is at school: anyone with the bac can have a stab at any subject—in theory, a beautiful and generous public service…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect