France has long been a center of the arts, science and philosophy, having produced great thinkers and innovators such as Descartes, Voltaire, Foucault, Sartre and Derrida to name a few. Given this cultural heritage, it comes as no surprise that an education in France is internationally acclaimed and attracts 300,000 international students annually.
France has more than 3,500 institutions of higher education, including the following:
77 publicly-funded universities, offering degrees in all disciplines and serving as the primary academic research centers
A parallel system of Grandes Ecoles offering scientific, business, art and other specific programs, which offer 5-year diplomas which are equivalent to a Masters degree
More than 3,000 specialized schools offering degrees in a wide variety of subjects, including hotel management, culinary arts, tourism and social work.