How can you evaluate the quality of a degree or institute?

There are various ways to evaluate a higher education institution’s quality and the worth of the courses and degrees it offers, including state recognition, accreditation, and certification labels.

National degree: a quality guarantee

When a degree is acknowledged by the State, it is referred to be “national” in France. This endorsement is a quality assurance. The following degrees are involved:

  • Brevets de Technicien Supérieur (BTS), Diplômes Universitaires Technologiques (DUT), licences et licences professionnelles (Bachelor’s degrees), Master’s degrees, and Doctorates conferred by French universities
  • The engineering title conferred by the CTI (Commission des Titres d’Ingénieurs, or Engineering Title Commission), which gives the rank of Master
  • Degrees awarded by business and management institutions that have been approved by the Commission d’Evaluation des Formations et Diplômes de Gestion (CEFDG);
  • Specialized education that is listed in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP – National Registry of Professional Certification);
  • Specialized education approved by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (such as architecture, the arts, political science, etc.).

When a degree is conferred by an institution that is not recognized by the State, it carries that institution’s name. Although it might be useful in the job market, it does not offer an equivalent that would allow the holder to continue their education.

Business and management schools’ accreditation

The accreditation offers assurances regarding the caliber of the instruction and degrees granted by an institution. There are independent organizations or foundations that grant accreditation to business and management schools, including:

  • AACSB : Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business;
  • AMBA : Association of MBAs;
  • EFMD : European Foundation for Management Development.

The accreditation procedure is drawn out and can occasionally be highly expensive for the institutions making the request. Typically, the accreditation is good for three to six years.

The grandes ecoles and engineering schools certification labels

When assessing a training program’s or an institution’s level of quality, certification labels are trustworthy indicators. For education in the engineering sciences, there are two options:

  • EUR-ACE: Accreditation of European Engineering Programs;
  • QUESTE: Quality System of European Scientific and Technical Education.
  • The Grandes Ecoles are given two distinct certification badges by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE):
    • The equivalent of six years of post-secondary education in a post-specialization master’s degree is recognized by the Mastère Spécialisé (MS – Specialist Master’s). Only business schools, engineering schools, and a few prestigious institutions, like the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, are permitted to use it (CNAM).
    • The Master of Science in Management (MSc), which is given after five years of post-secondary study in engineering or management programs. These programs, which have a strong international focus, are typically offered in English and are typically for foreign students.