Visa, degree, label … how to identify and verify the diplomas of the écoles (college)? [fr]
In the brochures, the écoles always mention the recognition of the diplomas, the degree to be obtained and their international labels… But what is hidden behind all these abbreviations and these formula sometimes refined? It’s time to decode.
Originally, the Master degree (bac+5) is a university diploma. An école has to be recognized by the ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (the Ministry of the higher education and research) in order to be able to deliver a Master.
The duration of a Master degree varies from 1 to 6 years. The longer the duration, the more promising the establishment is in academic, educational but also financial aspects. A Master obtained in a Business School allows you to apply for a Doctorate in either a université (university) or an école. It is widely and internationally recognized.
But be careful, there are also colleges that play with words and claim that they deliver “diplôme de niveau master” (diploma of master level), or a “mastère”. If it is the case, it means that their program is not of Master degree. It does not mean, however, that the program is not of good quality, but it is true that it was not examined by the State meticulously.
Most of the écoles de commerce (business schools) who do not deliver a Master recognized by the State propose in fact the diplômes visés. The “visa”of the Ministry (sometimes also referred as d’habilitation, d’agrément or d’accréditation (of the authorization, of the accreditation) indicates that the establishment delivers a diploma but not a certificate.
There are 4 levels of diploma:
- Level IV: bac
- Level III : bac + 2
- Level II : bac + 3/ +4
- Level I : bac + 5
It concerns mostly the écoles de commerce. There are mainly 4 labels in France:
- AACSB: a renowned American label examining the business schools with 21 demanding criteria. Approximately 5% of the business schools in the world have obtained this label of excellence. In France, a twentyish establishments are labialized AACSB.
- EQUIS: it is an European label accrediting colleges worldwide. 17 écoles in France obtained the label.
- AMBA: this British label takes not a college, but a specific program into consideration, focusing on MBA. 20 programs of the école de commerce in France are accredited.
- EPAS: this is the cousin of the EQUIS label delivered by the same organization, but instead of focusing on the whole college, it examines a specific program of an establishment, such as a Bachelor program or Grande école. Logically, it is not possible to obtain an accreditation EPAS and EQUIS at the same time.
The Grail for the écoles de commerce is still the triple accreditation AACSB/EQUIS/AMBA. Only 68 establishments in the whole world, including 11 in France, manage to obtain all 3 labels.
In the écoles d’ingénieurs (engineer schools), the issue of the recognition of the diploma is slightly different. In France, CTI (commission des titre d’ingénieur, commission of the engineer qualification) has authorized 200 écoles to deliver this title for a maximum of 6 years renewable.
The qualification of engineer confers upon le grand mster (bac+5). This is a token with high quality for both école and companies that recruit. But be aware that it is not mandatory to have the qualification of engineer in order to apply for engineering posts.
There are also different labels for the écoles d’ingénieurs (EUR – ACE and QUEST – SY). The latter one is especially useful for those who wish to work or study in an international scoop.
Published originally on Le Figaro.fr on 09/07/2015 by Marion Senant