1.1 Definition and scope of the study
An engineering school is an institution of higher education where the disciplines taught are mainly scientific and technological. They deliver to their students an engineering diploma at the level of Bac+5 (conferring the grade of Master). Engineering schools in France are accredited by an independent organization, the CTI (Commission des titres d'ingénieur). There are generalist schools and others that are specialized (for example in civil engineering, industrial engineering, aeronautics, chemical engineering, electronics, materials...). In 2018, French engineering schools welcomed more than 160,000 engineering students. Engineering graduates represent nearly 2/3 of the graduates obtaining the master's degree in scientific and technical training in French higher education.
The schools can be distinguished according to their status (public, private or consular) and the type of access (post-bac, post-prepa and by application after a diploma course). The types of training are divided into three categories: initial training (the student follows his or her first course of study since the baccalaureate), continuing education (the student already has experience of working life and returns to school to train again: to develop his or her career) and apprenticeship (alternating training between the company and the school).
Many rankings of French engineering schools exist. The rankings differ according to the criteria and the weighting used. However, a top 5 has been emerging for several years, consisting of the Ecole Polytechnique, Telecom Paris, Centrale Paris, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech and Mines ParisTech. In addition, there are several networks of engineering schools such as the INSAs (Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, etc.), Centrale (Paris, Lyon, Nantes, etc.), the Mines (Alès, Carmaux, Saint-Etienne) The French model of engineering schools has no international equivalent. In most other countries, engineering training is integrated into universities and leads to a Master of Sciences (MS) or Master of Engineering (Meng) degree.
The global market is dominated by American and British schools with institutions such as MIT, Cambridge and Stanford. Schools compete for the best students and the best professors. Polytechnique is the highest-ranked French school in the world, at around 50th place. It is indeed difficult for French schools to compete with American and British institutions, which have much larger budgets.With more than 200 engineering schools, competition in the French market is very dense.
Competition exists on two levels: the best schools position themselves on their reputation, their international influence and their academic output, while the smaller schools position themselves on the specialization of their studies.the trend is towards the internationalization of schools, the development of partnerships with other academic institutions, the recruitment of researchers for academic production, and the ecological transition
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