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

📄 Source:MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES.

 Coverage:Whole of France.

The indicators are produced from data taken from the Student Monitoring Information System (SISE), which counts enrolments (SISE-Inscrits) and graduates (SISE-Résultats). They are calculated on the basis of administrative enrolments, not actual attendance by the student.

The data presented here cover all French universities (including the University of Lorraine, which has major institution status, and university centres for education and research (CUFR), and includes New Caledonia and French Polynesia).

The population used for each of the qualifications (cohort) consists of students enrolling for the first time on the first year of the corresponding course in a given year. Students who have enrolled at STS, DUT or CPGE at the same time are excluded from the Bachelor's degree cohort. A student is considered to have passed as soon as the degree is awarded, whether or not this is from the institution or discipline in which they enrolled the first year. Bachelor's degrees include vocational Bachelor's degrees (LP).

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18 student trajectories and pass rates in university Bachelor's degrees, vocational Bachelor's degrees and Master's degrees

This page has been updated. Read 19. student trajectories and pass rates in university bachelor's degrees, vocational bachelor's degrees and master's degrees in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

At university, 28% of students obtain their Bachelor's degree 3 years after enrolling in the first year and 40% after 3 or 4 years. These rates have changed little in recent years. Nearly three-quarters of Bachelor's degree graduates enrol on a Master's the following year. Pass rates for Master's degrees have significantly increased since 2007; around 54% of students now obtain their degree in two years and 65% in two or three years.

Just over a quarter of Bachelor's degree students obtain their degree after three years: 28% of students enrolled in the first year of a Bachelor's degree (L1) in 2010 achieved a degree after three years, in the 2013 session. One year later, the proportion grew by nearly half to reach 40%. Two years later, it reached 44% for students who enrolled in 2009 (table 18.01). These relatively low rates are essentially due to the many students who give up the course: 46% of students enrolled in L1 for the first time in 2011 were no longer enrolled on a Bachelor's degree course two years later. Some of them had changed to other university courses (4%), mostly technology university diplomas (DUT) (2%), but the great majority had left university (43%) (table 18.02). These trajectories are not necessarily synonymous with failure as some of those leaving university change to other study tracks, such as Advanced technician's section (STS), engineering, management, healthcare or arts schools.

The prospects for success on a Bachelor's degree course are strongly linked to the type of Baccalaureate held by the student: although over half of general Bac holders achieved their Bachelor's degree after 3, 4 or 5 years, only 19% of technological Bac holders and 6% of vocational Bac holders did the same. Correlatively, technological and vocational Bac holders are much more likely than general Bac holders to give up their course before the third year: 84% of vocational Bac holders and 71% of technological Bac holders are no longer enrolled on a Bachelor's degree course in the third year, compared to 36% of general Bac holders (table 18.02).

The pass rate for students enrolled on a vocational Bachelor's degree is high: 89% of students enrolled for the first time on a vocational Bachelor's degree in 2012 achieved their degree at the end of the year (chart 18.03). This rate significantly exceeds the figures for the final year of a general Bachelor's degree (77% of students enrolled for the first time in L3 were awarded their degrees within one year). The pass rate for vocational Bac holders on a vocational Bachelor's degree (87%) is not very different from that of general Bac holders (91%). The difference in success between students from DUT or STS, which each represent a quarter of the numbers, is also low: 93% for the former and 89% for the latter.

Around three-quarters of general Bachelor's degree graduates enrol on a Master's the following year, 10% on a teaching Master's (chart 18.04). Students are more likely to continue on a Master's course if they have a Bachelor's degree in Law (87%), Fundamental Sciences or Life and Earth Sciences (78%) than other disciplines (between 63 and 71%).

Among those students enrolled for the first time on the first year of a Master's (M1) in 2011, 54% achieved their degree after two years, and 65% with an additional year (chart 18.05). Only 56% of students enrolled for the first time on M1 in 2007 passed within 2 or 3 years. The increase is linked to a rise in the rate of transition from the first to second year of a Master's, going from 53% to 60% between the 2007 and 2011 cohorts (chart 18.06).

 Coverage:Whole of France.

How to cite this paper :

MAETZ Isabelle. Student trajectories and pass rates in university Bachelor's degrees, vocational Bachelor's degrees and Master's degrees. 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 18 [Accessed 06/16/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-151572-7. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/9EN/EESR9EN_ES_18-student_trajectories_and_pass_rates_in_university_bachelor_s_degrees_vocational_bachelor_s_degrees_and_master_s_degrees.php

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The indicators are produced from data taken from the Student Monitoring Information System (SISE), which counts enrolments (SISE-Inscrits) and graduates (SISE-Résultats). They are calculated on the basis of administrative enrolments, not actual attendance by the student.

The data presented here cover all French universities (including the University of Lorraine, which has major institution status, and university centres for education and research (CUFR), and includes New Caledonia and French Polynesia).

The population used for each of the qualifications (cohort) consists of students enrolling for the first time on the first year of the corresponding course in a given year. Students who have enrolled at STS, DUT or CPGE at the same time are excluded from the Bachelor's degree cohort. A student is considered to have passed as soon as the degree is awarded, whether or not this is from the institution or discipline in which they enrolled the first year. Bachelor's degrees include vocational Bachelor's degrees (LP).

 

18.01 Changes in pass rates for Bachelor's degree programmes in three, four and five years (as a %)

 
Number of students in cohort Pass in 3 years (%) Pass in 4 years (%) Pass in 5 years (%) Cumulative pass in 5 years (%)
2007 cohort 160,137 27.5 12.1 5.1 44.7
2008 cohort 156,225 27.7 12.6 5.2 45.5
2009 cohort 169,178 26.6 12.2 5.2 44.0
of which Baccalaureat holders 160,256 26.8 12.4 5.2 44.4
general 120,679 33.3 14.7 5.9 53.9
technological 29,077 8.7 6.7 3.5 18.9
vocational 10,500 3.0 2.0 1.3 6.3
2010 cohort 169,652 27.8 12.0 1 1
2011 cohort 173,783 27.2 1 1 1
 

1 As the degree results for the 2015 session are not yet known, the data are not available.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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18.02 Progression by the third year of students who started the first year of a Bachelor's degree in 2011-2012, broken down by academic background (as a %)

 
General Baccalaureat Technological Baccalaureat Vocational Baccalaureat All Baccalaureat holders
Still on a Bachelor's degree course 64.4 28.6 15.5 53.6
3rd year of Bachelor's degree (general or vocational) 39.5 11.0 3.9 31.2
2nd or 1st year of Bachelor's degree 24.9 17.6 11.6 22.4
Switched to a different university course 4.1 2.4 0.6 3.5
in IUT 2.3 1.7 0.3 2.1
on another university course 1.8 0.6 0.3 1.5
No longer enrolled at university 31.5 69.0 83.9 42.9
 

64.4% of students holding a general Bac were still enrolled on the Bachelor's degree course in the 3rd year of observing the cohort. 39.5% were enrolled on the 3rd year of a Bachelor's degree course (general or vocational).

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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18.03 Proportion of students who enrolled in 2012-2013 and obtained a vocational Bachelor's degree in 1 or 2 years, broken down by the course they had taken the previous year (as a %)

DUT
Bachelor's degree
Other university coursesSTS
Not in education
Total
  
Pass in 1 year
Pass in 2 years
 
 
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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18.04 Proportion of general Bachelor's degree graduates in 2013-14 who went on to do a Master's degree or teaching Master's, according to the subject of their Bachelor's degree (in %)

Law
Economics
Economic and Social Administration
Humanities-Arts
Languages
Human Sciences
Life sciences, Health care, Earth sciences, Astrophysical sciences
Physical education and sports science and techniques
Pure and applied sciences
Total
  
Proportion of Bachelor's graduates continuing on to a Master's degree (excluding Master of education) (as a %)
Proportion of Bachelor's graduates continuing on to a Master of Education (as a %)
 
 
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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18.05 change in the Master's degree pass rate in two years and three years (%)

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012 1
  
Pass in 2 years (%)
Pass in 3 years (%)
 
 

1 As the degree results for the 2015 session are not yet known, the pass rates in three years for M1 entrants in 2012 is not yet known.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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18.06 Progression in the second year of M1 entrants from 2007 to 2013 (%)

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
  
Transition to M2
Retaking M1
Change of course
Left university
 
 
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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Related statistical publications

 Note flash - Enseignement supérieur & Recherche 15 - Parcours et réussite aux diplômes universitaires - Isabelle Maetz - November 2016
Cette note de synthèse présente les principaux indicateurs sur le parcours et la réussite des étudiants à l’université. Elle est accompagnée de la publication d'indicateurs complémentaires, l'ensemble étant décliné par université (voir encadré). Ces informations sont publiées pour la cinquième année consécutive.
 Note flash - Enseignement supérieur & Recherche 01 - University degree trajectories and pass rates: indicators from the 2014 session - Isabelle Maetz - February 2016
The pass rate was stable for Bachelor's degree programmes, with 40% of students graduating in 3 or 4 years, as well as for University technology diplomas (DUT), where 3 out of 4 students graduated in 2 or 3 years. The pass rate, which correlates strongly with the type of baccalauréat held, does not include qualifications obtained following course reorientations outside universities. The pass rate for Master's degrees was 65% in 2 or 3 years, demonstrating a constant increase.

Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
19 - student trajectories and pass rates in university bachelor's degrees, vocational bachelor's degrees and master's degrees - Isabelle Maetz
At university, 27% of students obtain their Bachelor's degree 3 years after enrolling in the first year and 39% after 3 or 4 years. These rates have changed little in recent years. Nearly three-quarters of Bachelor's degree graduates enrol on a Master's the following year. Pass rates for Master's degrees have significantly increased since 2007; around 53% of students now obtain their degree in two years and 65% in two or three years [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 8th edition - November 2015
17 - student trajectories and pass rates at universities - Samuel Fouquet
Slightly fewer students who started the first year of a Bachelor's degree in 2009 obtained their degree in three years, compared with those who went into the first year in 2005 (-1.7%). However, the proportion of those obtaining a Bachelor's degree in 3 or 4 years remained stable at nearly 40%. 47% of students on Master's degree programmes obtained their degree in two years and 57% in three years, an increase of eight points in four years [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°9 - Juin 2016
18 - les parcours et la réussite en Licence, Licence professionnelle et Master à l'université - Isabelle Maetz
À l’université, 28 % des étudiants obtiennent leur Licence 3 ans après leur première inscription en L1 et 40 % après 3 ou 4 ans. Ces taux évoluent peu au cours des dernières années. Près des trois quarts des licenciés s’inscrivent en Master l’année suivante. La réussite en Master a fortement progressé depuis 2007 ; près de 54 % des étudiants obtiennent désormais leur diplôme en deux ans et 65 % en deux ou trois ans [Consult the following page in french]


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