Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures
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Promoting the development and transfer of knowledge, know-how and technology is a fundamental challenge in our society. Raising the level of general education, providing a range of courses consistent with young people's aspirations and the needs of our economy, focusing research on the major challenges facing us and putting in place suitable structured, incentive-based systems are at the heart of the government's action in the field of higher education and research.

The background to this action is now framed by a set of guiding principles which were established by the Law of 23 July 2013, and defined in 2015 by the National Research Strategy (SNR) and the National Higher Education Strategy (Stranes). They were recently complemented by the Scientific, Technical and Industrial Culture Strategy (CSTI), an action plan on the digital sector and a roadmap for the main research infrastructures.

To clarify the choices made by the State, and by all the public and private stakeholders, and to support decisions by students and their families, it is vital to provide accurate, regularly updated data on the French system of higher education, research and innovation. This is precisely the purpose of this annual publication, which presents a very diverse range of indicators, analyses their development over time and proposes comparisons with neighbouring partner countries.

The 2016 edition continues the innovative use of digital publication, applying the open data policy, both to the base data and the graphics presenting the data. We are delighted with the dynamic nature of this document and are once again pleased to see a number of new features designed to improve consultation and contribute to the exhaustiveness of the information. These include an analysis of course choices and offers made on the Post-Bac Admission portal, and a new chapter devoted to Research and Development activities in the digital sector.

We would like to thank each of the contributors for these significant advances and the quality of data and analyses provided, and hope that all our readers will find this information useful when planning and considering their own actions.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem

Thierry Mandon

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