Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Sources:MENESR-DEPP
Céreq
MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES.

 Coverage:Metropolitan France or whole of France, dependng on type of data.

Two sources were used:

-The panel of baccalauréat holders 2008 monitors a sample of baccalauréat holders who were in school in 2008 in a public or private institution in metropolitan France (excluding Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry (Ministère de l’agriculture, de l’agroalimentaire et de la forêt - MAAF)).

-The Generation 2010 survey: between March and July 2013, the Centre for Study and Research in Training and Education Policy (Centre d’études et de recherches sur les qualifications - Céreq) interviewed a sample of young people who had left the school system during or at the end of the 2009-10 academic year. The purpose of this survey was to study differences in conditions of access to jobs according to initial training and individual characteristics.

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25 gender equality in higher education

This page has been updated. Read 13. gender equality in higher education in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

Women outnumber men in higher education (55%), but are less likely to enrol in selective or scientific courses and are in the minority in PhD programmes. In 2013, their unemployment rate three years after leaving was the same as for men, but their employment conditions were less favourable.

After achieving better results than boys throughout school, on average more girls than boys obtain their baccalauréat: in 2014 in one generation, 84.2% of girls passed their baccalauréat compared with 70.9% of boys.

Of those who were successful in the general baccalauréat, 57% were girls. These general baccalauréat holders are more likely to continue their studies in higher education than the others (95% against 85% of technological baccalauréat holders and 47% of vocational baccalauréat holders), according to the 2008 panel. In 2008, 90% of girls continued their studies compared with 86% of boys (chart 25.01).

Girls tend not to take the same study programmes: 36% enrol for a Bachelor's degree against 25% of boys, and 8% go into the first year of core medical studies (Première année commune aux études de santé - PACES) against 6% of boys. Conversely, girls are less likely to choose selective courses such as classes preparing students for admission to Grandes Écoles (Classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles – CPGE) (7% against 12%), Technological university institutes (Instituts universitaires de technologie - IUT) (6% against 12%) or Advanced technician's sections (Section de technicien supérieur - STS) (21% against 26%). When enrolling for Bachelor's degree programmes, they are two to three times more likely to choose Humanities, Arts, Languages or Human sciences.

From one programme to the next, there is great diversity in the proportion of women attending. Whereas in 2013-14 women represented 55% of all enrolled students, they made up barely half of students in STS, 40% in IUT, and 42% in CPGE (chart 25.02). They made up only 27% of those preparing an engineering diploma (although this figure was 22% fifteen years earlier). Conversely, paramedical and social care courses were made up of 84% women. In universities, they made up 70% of students in Arts and Humanities but only 37% in Sciences and Physical education and sports science and techniques (Sciences et techniques des activités physiques et sportives - STAPS). While they represented 56% of students enrolled in Bachelor's degree programmes and 59% in Master's programmes, they represented only 48% of PhD students. In Sciences, STAPS, they are in the minority from the Bachelor's degree level, although the proportion of women has increased slightly since 2004-05 (chart 25.03). Only one third of Research supervision accreditations (Habilitations à diriger des recherches - HDR) were awarded to women in 2013.

The proportion 1 of young people with at least a higher education diploma is 51.7% of women and 40.1% of men. This gap of about 10 points has remained stable for many years.

In 2013, three years after leaving higher education and for each level of diploma (excluding the 2- and 3-year diplomas in the healthcare/social sector), the unemployment rate for women was slightly higher than for men. Yet when they left, the proportion of women graduates was higher than for men (82% against 78%). These two factors balanced each other out and when they left higher education the unemployment rate for men and for women was the same overall.

However, women's employment conditions are not as good: they are less likely to have an open-ended employment contract (54% against 61%), they are more likely to work part-time (15% against 7%), and fewer women are managers (27% against 32%), although this last disparity had decreased sharply since the last survey carried out three years earlier (table 25.04).

 Coverage:Metropolitan France or whole of France, dependng on type of data.

1 This proportion is obtained by calculating for each age the ratio of baccalauréat holders to the total population of this age, and adding together these rates by age.

How to cite this paper :

JAGGERS Christophe. Gender equality in higher education. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 25, 60-61 [Accessed 07/20/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_ES_25-gender_equality_in_higher_education-ILL_01.php

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Two sources were used:

-The panel of baccalauréat holders 2008 monitors a sample of baccalauréat holders who were in school in 2008 in a public or private institution in metropolitan France (excluding Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry (Ministère de l’agriculture, de l’agroalimentaire et de la forêt - MAAF)).

-The Generation 2010 survey: between March and July 2013, the Centre for Study and Research in Training and Education Policy (Centre d’études et de recherches sur les qualifications - Céreq) interviewed a sample of young people who had left the school system during or at the end of the 2009-10 academic year. The purpose of this survey was to study differences in conditions of access to jobs according to initial training and individual characteristics.

 

Key figures


Share of female baccalauréat holders in a generation
76.6%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Share of female students in Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy
63.1%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of female students in classes preparing for admission to Grandes Écoles (CPGE)
42%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES, MENESR-DEPP
Share of female students in Technological university institutes (IUT)
39.2%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
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Share of female students in engineering courses
27.1%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of female students in paramedical and social care courses
84%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of female students in Arts and Humanities university study tracks
70.1%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of female students in general Bachelor's degree programmes
56.2%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
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Share of female students in Master's programmes
59.2%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of female students in PhD programmes
48.2%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of female students in general Bachelor's degree programmes in Science
39.9%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of female students in Master's degree programmes in Science
36.5%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See one more key figure  
Share of female students in PhD programmes in Science
39.6%
 
2013
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "25. gender equality in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES

25.01 2008 baccalauréat holders continuing their studies in the year following the exam

Men
 
Men
Men
Men
 
 
Women
Women
Women
 
Women
General
Technological
Professional
All
  
Not continuing
Other
CPGE
PACES
Bachelor's degree
IUT
STS
Paramedical
 
 
 Coverage: Metropolitan France.

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25.02 Proportion of women in the main higher education courses in 2013-14 (as a %)

Women
 
Men
 
Engineering courses 1
Univ. Sciences, STAPS
IUT
CPGE
Business, management and accounting schools
STH and similar
All courses
All university courses (general and healthcare)
Economics, Economic and social admin. study track
Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy study track
Arts, Humanities study track
Paramedical and social care courses 2
  
2013-2014
1998-1999
 
 

1 including engineering courses dependent on universities, National Polytechnical Institutes (Institut national polytechnique - INP), universities of technology and engineering courses run in partnership.
2 2012-2013 replaces 2013-2014.

 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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25.03 Proportion of women among university enrolments in 2013-14

All subject areas
Sciences
All subject areas
Sciences
All subject areas
Sciences
General Bachelor's degree
Master's
PhD
  
2013-14
2004-05
 
 
 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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25.04 Employment indicators for higher education leavers - Situation in 2013 of those leaving in 2010 (as a %)

 
Men Women
Unemployed 13.5 13.4
No higher education diploma 23.7 25.8
BTS-DUT, Other 2-year course 14.5 16.1
Healthcare-social care 2/3-year diploma 2.2 1.8
Graduate after 3/4 years excl. Healthcare-Social care 11.6 14.1
Master's second year, Grandes Ecoles, Other postgraduate 8.5 11.1
PhD 6.1 5.6
Rapid access to stable job 68.6 67.5
Proportion of open-ended contracts 60.5 53.9
Proportion of part-time 7.1 14.9
Proportion of managers 31.7 26.7

 
📄 Source:Céreq
 Coverage: Metropolitan France.

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Related statistical publication

 Filles et garçons sur le chemin de l'égalité, de l'école à l'enseignement supérieur 9 - Filles et garçons sur le chemin de l'égalité, de l'école à l'enseignement supérieur 2015 - Catherine Moisan, Mireille Dubois - 2015
A l’occasion du 8 mars, journée internationale des droits des femmes, cette série de données statistiques renseigne sur la réussite comparée des filles et des garçons depuis l’école jusqu’à l’entrée dans la vie active. Elle met en évidence des différences selon les sexes en matière de parcours et de réussite des jeunes, de choix d’orientation et de poursuite d’études entre filles et garçons, qui auront des incidences ultérieures sur l'insertion dans l'emploi ainsi que sur les inégalités professionnelles et salariales entre les femmes et les hommes.


Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
13 - gender equality in higher education - Christophe Jaggers
Women outnumber men in higher education, but are less likely to enrol in selective or scientific courses and are in the minority in PhD programmes. In 2013, their unemployment rate three years after leaving was higher than men for nearly all levels of qualification, and their employment conditions were less favourable [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
26 - gender equality in higher education - Christophe Jaggers
Women outnumber men in higher education, but are less likely to enrol in selective or scientific courses and are in the minority in PhD programmes. In 2013, their unemployment rate three years after leaving was higher than men for nearly all levels of qualification, and their employment conditions were less favourable [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
25 - la parité dans l’enseignement supérieur - Christophe Jaggers
Les femmes, plus nombreuses que les hommes dans l’enseignement supérieur (55 %), s’inscrivent moins souvent dans les filières sélectives ou scientifiques et sont minoritaires en Doctorat. Leur taux de chômage en 2013, trois ans après leur sortie, est identique à celui des hommes, mais leurs conditions d’emploi sont moins favorables [Consult the following page in french]


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