France: Degree reform to boost graduate employability 

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    A minimum of 1,500 teaching hours, programmes tailored to individual students and work experience for all students who want it are key features of the reformed licence, France's three-year equivalent to the bachelor degree.


    Presenting her last major reform, as outgoing Minister for Higher Education and Research, Valérie Pécresse (pictured) said the new licence would be "a diploma of reference for both students and employers".


    In keeping with universities' autonomous status, each institution will devise its own programmes. But as well as guaranteeing all students an education of quality, courses must focus on preparing them for professional life.


    Due to be introduced progressively from September 2012, the reform builds on a five-year, EUR730 million (US$1 billion) programme introduced by Pécresse in 2007 to improve the success rate of students taking their first degree, and to cut the first-year failure rate of nearly 50%.


    Read the full report in University World News Issue: 178, by Jane Marshall published on 03 July 2011