France, social portrait2016 Edition
France, Social Portrait is for everyone who would like to learn more about French society. This cross-cutting publication in the “Insee Références” collection throws the spotlight on young people in France. Three reports provide an in-depth analysis of different aspects of French society. Around forty themed information sheets summarise the main data and provide European comparisons, to complete this social panorama.
Young people and higher education: orientation, success, integration
In France there were almost 2,500,000 students at the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, a higher number than ever before. Numbers should continue to grow significantly in the coming years, driven by the demographic dynamism of young people currently in secondary education.
The higher education system in France is very diversified and for several years has offered more possibilities for educational changes. More than six out of ten students are nevertheless enrolled in universities, although enrolments in courses provided by private sector institutions have increased substantially in the last fifteen years.
In 2013, 44% of 25-34 year olds held higher education diplomas, placing France in a more favourable position than the average for OECD countries (40%).
The success rate appears uncertain in some respects in the longer university courses where it depends largely on the type of baccalaureate taken. In contrast, it is particularly high for the main higher education short courses. After leaving higher education, the level of qualification, but also the subject studied determine integration into the job market and the quality of the job held in the first few years. Although the unemployment rate for young women is the same as for young men, the types of job they occupy are on average of lower quality, in terms of stability, qualification and remuneration. Among the other major challenges that higher education is expected to face in the next ten years are the dynamic demographics of student numbers and the differences in access and level of qualification according to social background.