At the start of the 2011-12 academic year, 79,800 students were enrolled in classes preparing for admission to Grandes Écoles (Classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles - CPGE), 0.7% more than in the previous year. Numbers were up for all three study tracks: scientific (+0.2%), economics and social sciences (+0.6%) and arts and humanities (+3.1%). The CPGE recruit mainly students with a general baccalauréat (95%). However, there are more and more students with a technological baccalauréat and their share has increased since 2001, especially in the economics track, where they represent 10% of newly enrolled students. The proportion of women has increased slightly since 2001, but gender equality has still not be achieved (42%). However, the proportion of women differs between study tracks: fewer than one third of students in science are women, whereas women represent 74% of students in the humanities. 50% in CPGE are from a very privileged background and a little over a quarter are scholarship students.
Advanced technician's sections (¦Sections de techniciens supérieurs - ¦STS) are part of short vocational higher education, with 223,700 students (excluding institutions under the authority of the Ministry for Agriculture) in initial training and at school. These sections recruit after the baccalauréat and in theory offer two years' training for the Advanced technician diploma (¦Brevet de technicien supérieur - ¦BTS). At the start of the 2010-11 academic year there was a slight increase in numbers in production specialities and in service-related fields. The services sector is the one that attracts most of the students who continue their studies in an STS, but the proportion of students enrolling in this sector has stagnated since 2008. The proportion of women in STS has remained stable in all sectors of training. The number of students with a technological baccalauréat continued to decline in STS, but still represents more than half of all students (56%); the number of holders of a general baccalauréat fell for the first time since 2005. However, the number of students with a vocational baccalauréat rose by 2.8% in 2010-11.
In 2009-2010, 87,800 students were following courses in one of the 84 recognised business schools authorised to award approved diplomas. This was an increase of 18.6% against the start of the 2008-09 academic year. Newly enrolled students had either just passed their baccalauréat and were going to schools that recruited baccalauréat holders, or they came from classes preparing for admission to the Grandes Ecoles (¦Classe préparatoire aux grandes écoles - ¦CPGE), from universities, from Advanced technician’s sections (¦Section de technicien supérieur - ¦STS) or from Technological university institutes (Institut universitaire de technologie - IUT) and were entering schools that recruited students with the baccalauréat + 2 years of study. Men outnumbered women slightly, but the proportion of women was increasing steadily. More and more foreign students were following courses in business and management schools. As with women students, there were fewer foreign students in the first cycle programmes and a greater proportion in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses.
At the start of the 2009-10 academic year, there were almost 222,000 students in Advanced technician's sections (¦Sections de techniciens supérieurs - ¦STS). There was an increase in baccalauréat holders choosing production specialities and service-related fields. The proportion of students with a technological baccalauréat declined, but numbers of vocational baccalauréat holders continued to rise, with 84% of them going on to 2nd year. Box: sources and definitions.