France: a low-fee, low-aid system challenged from the margins - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Book Sections Year : 2014

France: a low-fee, low-aid system challenged from the margins

Nicolas Charles


In France, the vast majority of programmes are not free of charge, even though higher education programmes are generally inexpensive. Student funding has long been characterised by low up-front fees and limited support for students, aiming at ensuring social justice. Yet, the French system has partly failed to address inequalities of access to higher education and has recently been subject to the international movement towards cost-sharing. Thus the status quo is relatively fragile. While national policy reforms do not propose new tuition fee instruments, some higher education institutions have recently renewed their practices, especially by implementing variable fees. These institution-based instruments have not challenged so far the overall predominance of the French service public logic, where higher education is expected to be inexpensive and the cost of studies is to vary according to parental income. However cost-sharing has nonetheless recently taken a major step in France, along with the state laissez-faire in a context of economic crisis and subsequent decreasing public funding, even though it may lead to increasing inequalities.
Not file

Dates and versions

halshs-01265505 , version 1 (01-02-2016)


  • HAL Id : halshs-01265505 , version 1


Nicolas Charles. France: a low-fee, low-aid system challenged from the margins. Hubert Ertl; Claire Dupuy (eds.). Students, Markets and Social Justice higher education fee and student support policies in Western Europe and beyond, Symposium Books, pp.67-83, 2014, Oxford studies in comparative education, 978-1-873927-57-1. ⟨halshs-01265505⟩
161 View
0 Download


Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More