Just filling in the census on-line. Can anyone tell me the French equivalent of a UK degree. The list of qualifications is only French ones.

On the beeb this morning- Vice Chancellors average £270k per annum and the highest paid £500k. Imagine those pensions! An architectural student in England could rack up about £75k in loans to pay back whilst a Scot in Scotland has free fees and as soon as they qualify they go down to London to earn higher money. The English graduate is put at a lifelong disadvantage. Looking back I was extremely lucky in 1963 to win a bursary from my county council to study in London. Later as an employer I found that graduates whilst nominally well qualified were in the main useless as they had no practical experience and, worst of all, one found that they had no application or inquisitiveness to learn about how buildings are put together, and were, in the main, much more interested about fiddling about with computers. They knew nothing about materials, components or systems and the results can be seen everywhere more's the pity! Signed Grumpy, Finistere!

It is not your fault of course. It is the hierarchy of universities that commercialised MAs and so on, it is not condemning all holders of an MSc or whatever but the result of the universal cash in on the value of those degrees and what they became. One of the reasons I was glad to get out of teaching completely was because I was set a maximum quota of fails on the MA papers I taught on. As an academic who was not willing to simply go with the flow at a UK university with a very good reputation. Getting foreign students in for the high fees was the name of the game. MAs in so-called Business Studies have become the supermarket shelf ones anyway, there still some excellent ones but it also depends on the integrity of the universities. Some have none, just want money in to finance research out to maintain their position but to hell with the quality. So, not personal, just a kick at the higher powers.

Talking about french university education, Holly, I too am a qualified teacher, have a maîtrise - français langue étrangère and later taught in uni here. The difference in my UK teacher training (PGCE) and French teacher training (non existent) through my maîtrise is enormous, the maîtrise was very intense with loads of very interesting very theoretical stuff to learn but almost completely useless for teaching french!

Ok, wait a minute. I'm from the "bloomin' other side of the Atlantic". I have a Master's of Science in Education which I worked damn hard to get while I was teaching full time. I would hardly call it "supermarket shelf dross" as it allowed me to do some pretty interesting things in NY before leading me to get my job first in The Netherlands and then here. Everyone talks about getting the TEFL to teach over here. For the association I work for, certification and genuine university credentials as well as experience are what it takes to even step through the door.

I think I understand your general meaning, but please be careful not to offend those of us who really have fared quite well with a degree we worked hard to get. Thanks!

on marche sur la tête...!

But get a French student and make them think, even bully them into doing that, and they change entirely. Set them loose in a library to read for research, get them doing practical things for research and whatever it takes and what happens? The can't find jobs in universities in France. The top living person in my discipline has never had a real job here, in fact he is now the emeritus chair of MIT which lined him up with invitations to have honorary posts here. Apart from conference type things, he has never been able to stand up in front of a group of students to deliver a lecture or seminar. How this system ever produced some of the finest social scientists there have ever been is beyond me. They must all have been 'rebels'.

My limited experience of teaching in uni in France is that nobody is taught how to think or reasearch even the most basic essays. They're just taught, digest and regurgitate what they were taught with no analysis or questioning, but that is very French regardless of the name of the qualification they walk away with...! :-D

Blame the bloomin' other side of the Atlantic who started it by commercialising the degrees. Then they used it as a plural to generically describe the umpteen different ones, which we are now lumbered with. Most of them are supermarket shelf dross anyway. Back in my early days I had the option of accepting a MA two years after completing my BA or doing a dissertation based MPhil at the end of the first year of my doctoral research. If I had failed I would not have been allowed to go on, but had I not done it I could have! But then whoever did that was at greater risk of not going the distance. So, I did it to see if I rated myself good enough to continue. Since then it has been made into a self-standing research degree but is not as 'commercial' as the MA and MSc etc off the shelf masters' degrees.

I resisted at first explaining to my students that it was a master's degree in X but in the end I just got used to it and also the fact that nobody listened to my explanations either! Qu'est-ce qu'il fait, Jean, ben, il fait un master à Toulouse...

No longer. Even when I was last teaching eight years back a simple BA or BSc was a bit like a bus ticket. You were on the bus, going only so far but no further. For jobs an MA, Msc, ideally a research based one like an MPhil but fewer people trying to get PhDs than before because it cost. That has gone up too, massively, and little funding unlike in my time. I went in for a DLitt (the same as 'habilitation à diriger des recherches') but was not awarded it but had a recommended (second) doctorate. Does that make me bac +16? To use it seems a bit like a phone ringing: drdr... For all of that, they are finding it hard to take in the fact that people from anywhere else in the world have degrees, as I have found to my chagrin a few times.

The term Masters is being used more and more, even seen it on an official document, I loathe the expression everywhere because it is bad to give a degree an ungrammatical denominations. It should be a Master of X, perhaps a Master, at worst a Master's but the disjointed use of part of the plural...

Funnily enough, the richest/most successful in business people in my French and English family both left school with no real qualifications...! I rebelled and left half way through my A levels but went back later!

France keeps people in education to keep the youth unemployment figures down (well it tries!!!) but has created a "monster" of a system that you don't exist unless you've got a bac + xyz. After my maîtrise I was asked why I wasn't going to write a thesis to convert it into a master/bac +5, I said that back in the UK so few went beyond degree level that I already stood out there having a maîtrise, although I'm not sure if that's still the case...!

I know someone who is must be bac + 11 or 12 under that scheme! How much things have changed. When I left school in the early 60s just before my 18th birthday very few contemporaries went to university, some had no further education at all- just did what would now be called in work training. Many of them made piles of money!

yep, degree = licence = bac +3, a maîtrise is a bac +4 (or UK style masters - 1 year post grad course) and the new masters, a bac +5 like a DESS, DEST, DEA etc. And a doctorat is a bac +8 under the reformed European LMD (licence, master, doctorat = degree, masters, doctorate) scheme.

Diplome - yes BA Bac +3 Professional (Lawyer, Doctor, Architect etc) Bac +5 . PhD =Doctorat

I think a BA is a BAC +3 or +4 but not sure. It used to be that a Bachelor's degree was equivalent to a Maitrise. Not very sure but is this an option?