Since the 18th century, the 'Grandes Ecoles d’Ingenieurs' (French Engineering Institutes) have educated and trained the leaders and senior management of the major firms in French industry. The students at these establishments receive a broad education in Engineering, Management, Languages and Human Sciences.
These establishments generally have an extremely selective admissions policy. In France it is almost a pre-requisite for anyone planning a career in management to attend such an institute. Graduates are afforded a similar status to those of Oxbridge in the UK and the Ivy League schools in the US. Naturally they are highly sought after by many large companies around the world. There are around 250 different engineering institutes in France. The most prestigious of which are certified by the CTI (commission des titres de l'ingénieur). This body is responsible for the accreditation of French higher education institutes in the field of engineering (for further information see www.cti-commission.fr).
Characteristics of the Grandes Ecoles
The Grandes Ecoles are small to medium sized institutions which are highly selective, provide high quality education and maintain close ties with the corporate world.