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A8 levels of educational attainment

French classification of levels of educational attainment defined by the French statistical commission on vocational training and social advancement

Level VI: those who left education in the first three years of secondary education (1st, 2nd and 3rd years) or prevocational training courses (primary education certificate (certificat d'études primaires -CEP), prevocational classes (classes pré-professionnelles de niveau - CPPN) and preparatory apprenticeship classes (classes préparatoires à l’apprentissage - CPA)) in one year.

Level Vb: those who left education in the 4th year of general secondary education, the 3rd or 4th year of a technical secondary course or shorter secondary education courses before the final year.

Level V: those who left education having completed the final year of a short vocational course or dropped out of schooling during general secondary education before the final year.

Level IV: those who left education having reached the final year of general secondary education or who dropped out of education after the baccalauréat without reaching Level III.

Level III: those who left education having obtained a 'Bac + 2' qualification marking the successful conclusion of two years of higher education following the baccalauréat (technological university diploma (Diplôme universitaire de technologie - DUT), higher technical certificate (Brevet de technicien supérieur - BTS), diploma of general university studies (Diplôme d’études universitaires générales - DEUG), nursing and social training courses, etc.).

Levels II and I: those who left education having obtained a Bachelor's degree-level or postgraduate qualification or a diploma awarded by a Grande École.

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)

ISCED level 1: primary education

ISCED level 2: lower secondary education

ISCED level 3: upper secondary education

ISCED level 4: post-secondary non-tertiary education (uncommon in France: basic legal qualification (capacité en Droit), diploma giving access to university studies (Diplôme d’accès aux études universitaires - DAEU)

ISCED level 5: short-cycle tertiary education

ISCED 5A, tertiary-type A programmes: preparation for Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes (general subjects at universities and qualifications awarded by engineering or business schools, etc.)

ISCED 5B: tertiary-type B programmes (DUT, BTS, paramedical and social care qualifications, etc.)

ISCED level 6: doctoral or equivalent level

The purpose of this classification is to produce statistics on education and training that are comparable between different countries. It is an international agreement organised by UNESCO. It makes it possible to break down the numbers of students, changes in graduate numbers and finances in terms of cycles of education. It is also used to break down the population in terms of levels of educational attainment. Only successful studies for which students obtain a qualification are taken into account.

How to cite this paper :

. Levels of educational attainment. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 50 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2016. 9th ed. Chapter A8 [Accessed 06/23/2024]. ISBN 978-2-11-151572-7.


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