Foreign accreditations that business schools can be awarded along with the recognition they can get from the French government for their diplomas. Please note that AACSB and AMBA are accreditations from the USA while EQUIS is from Europe. These 3 accreditations are not guaranteed by the French government.

A label awarded by the Campus France agency which guarantees that accredited institutions make specific efforts in terms of welcoming, supporting international students and helping them to fit into their new university. This label is based in particular on quality and accessibility indicators: (1) information (2) recruitment and reception procedures (4) the training offer and teaching support (5) campus life and housing (6) post-graduate follow-up.

The Bachelor Universitaire de Technologie (BUT), a national diploma granted with 180 European credits (ECTS), is exactly the same as a national licence degree, both being registered as a RNCP level 6. The mode of teaching in a BUT is practical and hands-on and allows for both direct entry into the job market after three years of study, and further studies at the master’s level in engineering schools, business schools, or universities.

In France, there is a dual system dating back to the French revolution where Grandes Ecoles have been created, on the side of universities which were there for a long time, with the objective of selecting and training the engineers to strengthen the country. They enjoy specific status and were extended at the end of the 19th century to some business schools at a moment when the financial and banking system was getting more developed. Today, the dual system still exists though most of the Grandes Ecoles tend to act now as comprehensive universities, including the fact that they can train students up to the doctoral level for very few of them (which is a capacity that only universities had previously).

French association and government-recognized operator that gathers elite higher education institutions, which meet strict criteria regarding the recruitment process, educational approach, international and corporate network. To be a member of the conference, the “Grandes écoles” must be accredited for postgraduate education and apply strict criteria related to student recruitment and enrollment, instruction and programs, international research and reputation, connections with private industry and student support. A CGE diploma is a professional Title which is endorsed by the State. It usually acknowledges a highly appraised level of professional qualification which makes the students ready for the work market.

The title of “Ingénieur diplômé” (Engineering graduate) is delivered by the institutions that are accredited after the evaluation of the Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur (CTI). CTI accredits engineering degrees at the postgraduate level. This publicly-recognized diploma can be tracked and found in official records and available for anyone to read.

ECTS is a system valid in the European Higher Education Area and other countries which enables students to move between countries and to have their academic qualifications and study periods abroad recognized. ECTS allows credits taken at one higher education institution to be counted towards a qualification studied for at another. ECTS credits represent learning based on defined learning outcomes and their associated workload. 60 ECTS credits are the equivalent of a full year of study or work. A ‘first cycle’ (bachelor’s level) degree consists of either 180 or ₹ 240 ECTS credits. Usually, a ‘second cycle’ (master’s level) degree equates to 90 or ₹ 120 ECTS credits.

This Label acknowledges a level of qualification equivalent to a master’s diploma but does not confer the grade or degree of Master. Diplomas bearing the MSc Label are typically corresponding to a number of teaching hours corresponding to 120 European credits (ECTS) and are, most of the time, classified at level 7 of the Registre national des certifications professionnelles (RNCP) – 5 years post-high school.

The national diplomas are the landmark of the university grading system in France and mark progress through the following academic ladder: Baccalauréat, Licence, Master and Doctorat. The first and the last of those grades are state-protected and can only be delivered by universities. Licence and Master are now grades that can be delivered by HEI that do not have the status of public universities (public or private engineering schools, management schools, art schools) either through their direct State recognition diplomas as National Diplomas or through a governmental “visa” that confers the value of a degree to a Diploma issued by an HEI.

RNCP stands for National Register for Professional Certification and is the French qualification framework. A RNCP accreditation to a professional title and certificate gives it public recognition by the government. The RNCP is constantly updated and publicly accessible. RNCP (6): title awarded after 3 years of post-secondary education. RNCP (7): title awarded after 5 years of post-secondary education. RNCP has been extended to the level 8 for doctoral studies. Every recognized diploma in France has its RNCP level, including national degrees (like Licence or Masters).


Internationally recognized French Language Proficiency Certificate awarded by France’s Ministry in charge of higher education (MHER). It consists of a series of independent assessments based on a scale of language proficiency defined in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a framework used in second language learning around the world based on six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 or C2).

This label for French training centers provides a guarantee of quality as regards the linguistic programs in French and services offered.

The Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF), designed by France Education International (FEI) and accredited by the ministry in charge of higher education (MHER), is a French language proficiency test for non-native speakers of French who wish to evaluate and have their level of proficiency certified for professional, academic or personal reasons. The TCF grades and ranks candidates at one of the six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 or C2) on a scale defined by the Council of Europe (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Each candidate is awarded a certificate which is valid for two years.


The following glossary should help you navigate the French education system to better grasp the opportunities of pursuing studies and being recognized at a certain level of qualification.

State-recognized Diplomas can be broken down as the following:

Delivered by the institutions accredited by the ministry in charge of higher education (MHER)

Issued by public or private institutions and conferring the grade or degree of Licence or Master through the recognition of the State.

The CTI - Commission of Engineering Titles - gives particular recognition for engineering degrees which amounts to the government visa conferring grade. Only slightly more than 200 engineering schools have this accreditation and all Classes Internationales programs have it.

France has implemented a national framework for professional qualifications. All recognized degrees are evaluated against a scale that goes from 1 (low skill) to 8 (high skill, equivalent to the ones required for a PHD).

Level 3 CAP (national vocational qualification) Skilled professional
Level 4 High School qualification Technician
Level 5 BTS (vocational or technology degree – 2 years of post- High School education) Higher technician
Level 6 Bachelor-level degree (3 years of post-High School education) or BUT Middle managers / Experts
Level 7 Master's degree Managers / Experts
Level 8 PHD High profile experts

In France, technical or vocational education can be delivered in a student or in an apprenticeship mode. In the latter, students, who retain their status as students, split their time: half at the university/school and half in a company in the concerned field (could be hospitality, restaurant, car workshop or plant, insurance company …) that hires them with a contract as Apprentice. In most cases the hiring company not only pays the Apprentices, but also covers tuition fees for as long as the students are working/learning with them. A foreign national can get an Apprenticeship status after one year of presence on French soil, therefore if the university/school offers this status, any student completing a Classe Internationale can benefit from it. It is a highly sought for position and qualifies students for professional careers in a short span of time.

There is a mutual recognition of academic qualifications between France and India. All recognitions are made simple: a bachelor in India (regardless of its duration) is a Licence in France and a Master in France is a master in India (see Agreement to facilitate mutual recognition of academic qualifications)

There is a mutual recognition of academic qualifications between France and India. All recognitions are made simple : a bachelor in India (regardless of its duration) is a Licence in France and a Master in France is a master in India.