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Assessment of Higher Education and Research 2020

08 June 2020 Business
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The Ministry or Higher Education, Research and Innovation has just released the 2020 edition of Assessment of Higher Education and Research 2020. This statistical and exhaustive assessment, available in French and English, studies higher education training courses in France, students and PhD students, but also the scientific profile and position of France, funding and staff.

The 13th edition of the Assessment of Higher Education and Research 2020 in France (“L'Etat de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation”) has just been released. In continuity with previous editions, but thoroughly complete this year, the study is a “figured benchmark”, thanks to many charts, tables and notes, and presents the latest data available about all aspects of higher education and research in France. According to the Ministry in charge of higher education, this publication expresses the “determination of transparency from the ministry about data and public action”.

Reliable tools and indicators

As foreword to this study, the minister of higher education wrote: “it’s an unfailing commitment to the production of reliable, detailed and comparable in time data to make international comparisons”. To this end, the figured assessment published in this study presents a complete overview of the French higher education system and various developments, implemented means, and results. Besides, for specific indicators, an international contrast was made. 

Among the 80 indicators available, the most relatable are those about French research worldwide and the international mobility of foreign students in France.


The part of French research worldwide

According to this new statistical study, France is ranked 6th worldwide for scientific publications: their number and impact grew over the last 10 years, despite a contraction due to “the rise of new countries on the international scientific landscape, such as China, India or Brazil”. However, 60% of French publications are written in cooperation with non-French scientists, which puts the “French co-publication rate among the strongest worldwide”.

As to the object of research, France presents a “strong specialization in mathematics, and a marked specialization in Basic Biology, Medical Research and Universe Science”. According to the authors of the publication, “France is clearly different from the UK or US, which are more focused on Human and Social Sciences, and Asian countries, which are more uneven because they’re highly specialised in various disciplines, and poorly in others”.

To be also noted that France is one of the best nations in terms of patterns, since the country was ranked 4th worldwide in 2018 in the European pattern system.


Students in international mobility in France

The international mobility of foreign students is also an interesting section. In French higher education, the number of international students is about 283,700 in 2018, i.e. one student out of ten, roughly. This figure is constantly rising: it grew by 20.7% between 2013 and 2018, from 235,100 to 283,700 international students.

Since 2013, the share of foreigners in international mobility in the student population grew from 9.7% to 10.6%. According to the ministry, students in international mobility are however “overwhelmingly present in universities and business schools”, because seven out of ten are registered in universities, against six French students out of ten. Finally, doctoral courses (PhD) still attracts a strong share of international students in France: 40% of them are from a foreign nation.



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