Recognized and Self-confident PHE in French professional higher education network

Two types of French educational institutes very close to the world of work are presented in this case study for reflection on challenges to build recognized and self-confident PHE.

In France, the relations between the central level and the regions in education matters are facilitated through a regional Committee in charge of developing a regional plan of education, in order to allow the organization of education policies and resources according to economic and social context of each region. More concrete and detailed information in Education Code ) with a connection to Labour Code.

The VET and H-VET is named “Formation Professionnelle”, professional education, involving apprenticeships, alternating work and school placements, continuing or adult education. One of these types is the network of Instituts Universitaires Technologiques (IUT), which are institutes integrated in a university and are highly valued by employers.

The main principle of IUT is the openness to the world of work. It has strong relations with committees in charge of consultation with the social partners

Principles that are at heart of  IUT’s pedagogical program are the ones of innovation and importance of pedagogy through technology; students must have a personal and professional project; projects for internships; taking into account the news from the economic landscape (entrepreneurship, standardization, business intelligence).

At IUT level, the complete formal training takes four semesters (six semesters for professional Bachelor program), with 5/6 part of the program focused on the vocational aim.

The training is divided into tutorials, three pedagogical aspects:

“Cours Magistraux” (CM), “Travaux Dirigés” (TD) or tutorials, in groups with no more than 26 students; “Travaux pratiques” (TP) or practice in the lab; in groups with no more than 13 students, enterprise visits, and internships in an company. The rapport of time is CM-20%, TD-35%, TP-45%, internship is not limited, but must be at least 10 weeks.

The content of each course is precisely defined by objectives, methods, processes to be used and evidences to be provided by the students. (

At the IUT, for the better inclusion of students in the labour market were implemented policies for training and evaluation at three levels: of the individual and professional project; the vocational project with tutor; the internship in an enterprise, with defence of a report assessed by a jury.

One example of IUTs is the IUT of Lannion. It is part of the University of Rennes 1, located in Lannion, Brittany in the north west of French. IUT Lannion offers two- and three-year courses in technical and scientific fields, such as Telecommunications & Network Systems, Business Communication & Journalism, Computer Science, and Chemical Engineering & Applied Physics.

The IUT Lannion has established partnerships with several multinational corporations, and numerous smaller businesses that provide for IUT Lannion departments’ access to state-of-the art equipment as well as pedagogical collaborations with professionals.

At IUT Lannion two EQF 5 and 6 qualifications are realized:

LP (Licence Professionnelle) University qualification is the third year of a nationally recognized degree specializing in one area.

The emphasis is on practical work. As well as their studies, the students are required to conduct an industrial project and to perform a four-month internship in an industrial setting.

DUT (Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie) is a two-year nationally recognized qualification.

Students complete a wide range of general courses (Math, English and Communication skills) and scientific or technical courses. Students spend 70% of the 1800 contact hours provided over the two-year period on vocational courses and 30% on general courses.

Lectures, academic tutorials and practical work represent around 20%, 40% and 40% of the total time, respectively. In addition, a three- to five-month internship is required at the end of the two-year period, strongly emphasizing industrially relevant practical and hands-on work.

The DUT diploma permits to follow HE formations engineering, licence et master, or to insert direct in the world of work

At IUT Lannion has an extensive internship network in French and Europe (in Hungary also).

Adult continuing education is the another type of good practice PHE institute for EQF 5-8 in French oriented on skill shortages with a network with 29 centres regional and 158 centres of trainings: the Conservatoire National des arts et metiers (CNAM).

CNAM is a leading higher education and research institution dedicated to adult continuing education with the most programmes available through evening and/or Saturday courses, and with distance learning also.

CNAM has four main domains: science and technique for industry; Mathematics, informatics, networks; Human science and communication; Business, legislation, management, commerce.

The courses are distributed in course units (“Unités d’enseignement” – UE) which offer to organize specialized modules for training and for lecture also in self-rhythmic time ( ) within the formation by internet or formation by dual training (“alternance”(with industrial partner) or formation continue.

Formations are offered by course units; ) or by skills ( ; ).

With an understanding of the economic and social needs throughout the areas it serve, CNAM programs are designed and provided to facilitate access to qualifications and employment. CNAM has PHE and HE orientations. It has closely combined academic knowledge and professional skills, teaching body consists of university professors and industrial professionals.

The CNAM has collaborated with major private and public institutions to develop several chairs. Leading companies in the nuclear, railway, aero-spatial and health sectors have thus committed to developing and financing specific training programs.

Innovation: VAE ((valorisation of previous acquired knowledge) At each type of institutes for professional formations mentioned above, has an important element of training management the VAE. VAE make practical experiences understandable trough an evaluation of previous learning outcomes. The pedagogy based on learning units avoids applying VAE.