Studying in France
Twenty-first century French schools no longer have much in common with those of the 1950s, still largely marked by the legacy of Jules Ferry. Since the Second World War, the French education system has seen some fairly radical changes, particularly in response to a large increase in the number of children studying beyond primary school. Successively, the collège, lycée and then university have opened their doors wide to the new generations. Education is now for the masses rather than the elite and has had to adapt both to cater for the new pupils and students, and take account of the growing length of courses. Its democratization has been driven by urgent social reasons and the requirement for a more highly-skilled workforce resulting from radical socio-economic changes in society. This process has not ended, but it is arousing, in France as elsewhere, an increasingly pressing debate on the genuine equality of educational opportunity and relevance of training to jobs.