Alright, I will insist again: “we have a good life in France. We are lucky”.
Like in France, studies can be followed in a public school, free, or private, fee-paying.
The great difference is after high school: graduate studies.
Graduate studies are not free for students, and education is an important topic. Each student tries to file applications to access the most prestigious schools and then to obtain a quality education and a professional network that will open many doors. These schools and universities are private and are very expensive.
In France, education is free. Or almost free. Public universities and schools ask for a registration fee. 100€/500€. Still nothing major of course (but you can imagine that French people still find the way to complain).
Of course, private schools are absolutely not free and can be very expensive too. Up to several thousands euros per year.
The big difference is, in France, you have the choice, there are plenty of public schools/universities. In the UK, not really. Mainly, because education is far more qualitative than in France. So school and universities are very selective. And students are, of course, demanding with the courses’ contents. Business schools or universities, you will have to pay. A lot. Fortunately, some countries, like Wales, sponsor their students, under certain conditions, so they don’t have to pay for their studies (or far less than they expected).
The Bachelor and the Master degrees can cost ten thousands pounds, or more… Well, guess what? Not everyone can pay that immediately. Students become responsible very quickly. Parents don’t take credit, students do it directly most of the time. And it will take years to repay it. Especially that to go to his/her university or school that accepted him/her, the student might have to leave the parents’ home and find an accommodation. And this generates additional costs.
Getting paid for your studies
2 methods exist to get help and not to advance thousands of pounds to pay your studies:
- The scolarship. According to well-defined criteria, the student can submit his/her application and the government accepts or denies the request. You can imagine the academic record shall be exemplary.
- Sponsorship. The student gets his/her studies paid by a private company. As part of the deal, the student will then work during his school holidays (mostly during summer holidays) and throughout his studies, and/or will commit to work for this company for several years. The student has to repay the sponsorship as the company just lend it (without any interest), or sometimes, the company will take care of everything. It really depends on the organization.
Mentality in Anglo-Saxons countries is definitely not the same as the French one! Finishing their Bachelor, many students decide to stop their studies for 1 year and to work full-time. This, in order to:
- Earn some money and start to repay their credit.
- Gain some professional experience with the intention of starting a Master’s degree. Some schools require experience before starting the courses. The student has more knowledge of the worlk environment and owns an individuel experience. This will help the teachers to create more qualitative contents to an experienced public.
- Experience all the theories the students learned during 3 years. This internship will help to decide on the future specialization.
I won’t detail this topic as I reached the UK with all my diplomas and I didn’t experience this system.