European, global and Intercultural Dimension in Curriculum Development
The LMD for the harmonisation of European curricula
As part of harmonising higher European education curricula, the French university system is now focusing on three diplomas, i.e. the licence, the masters and the doctorate. This organization, known as LMD, enables the greater mobility of European students, mobility between disciplines and vocational and general training courses. The university awards three university diplomas and grades common to all European countries: the licence, the masters and the doctorate.
Thesis co-supervision and joint degrees
The decree no. 2005-450 of 11 May 2005 relative to diplomas awarded in international partnership, which completes the process states that: a French educational institution which is capable of awarding, at a given level and in a given domain, a diploma guaranteed by the State, it can sign an agreement with a foreign educational institution having the capacity to award, in its own country, a diploma of equivalent level and in the same domain, in order to organise a common education programme and award a joint diploma.
Modern foreign languages in higher education
With the implementation of the LMD, besides the larger place given to foreign modern languages, at present considered as must cross-sectional skills, the following two specific language certificates have been created so as to value the language skills acquired by non-linguists:
- The Diploma of Language Skills (DCL) is a national vocational diploma especially created for adults. It meets the needs of the vocational world. The examination consists of an oral and written test that simulates a working situation. Candidates receive the diploma with the comment of one of the five levels of the common European framework of reference for languages, in line with the performance given. Created by decree on 13 October 1995, this exam was inaugurated in 1996 en English, German, Italian and Spanish. At present it includes 13 languages.
- The Certificate of Higher Learning Language Skills (CLES) is a certificate accredited by the Ministry of National Education (created by decree on 22 May 2000) and added to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CECRL). It evaluates students' operational skills in communication in several languages. At present the CLES is offered in 9 languages: English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, Polish, modern Greek and Russian.
- Students also have at their disposal other kinds of certification (TOEIC, TOEFL (English) and DELE (Spanish).
These certificates also promote the opening of higher French learning to Europe and the world.
Partnerships and Networks
French higher learning institutions actively participate in partnership programmes implemented by the Executive Agency for Education, Culture and Audiovisuals:
- Erasmus multilateral projects, for the joint development of study programmes or European course modules
- Projects of university/enterprise co-operation with the main objective of increasing the relevance of education and training programmes through student and researcher internships in companies
- Virtual campuses, to promote co-operation between higher learning institutions in the field of e-learning
- The Multilateral Erasmus networks, to promote European co-operation and innovation in specific fields between 5 or more European countries.