Rights and rites of passage: crossing boundaries in France
The purpose of this article is to explore the boundaries and interfaces between higher education and the other institutions and organizations involved in the provision of various forms of education and training opportunity in France. It uses a comparative lens but focuses mostly on the system in France since others in this volume will be looking at system(s) in the UK and elsewhere. A number of points of comparison are investigated: institutional boundaries, the 'adultness' of the system, and its qualifications. The rights of passage through it for individuals and what I have called the rites of passage–the tools, procedures and mechanisms designed to provide articulation and transfer between it various components–are examined. Finally, the future direction of the system and the attempt to build a distinctly French response to a problem experienced across the world are explored; the elements are in place but the jury is still out on whether or not this can be achieved.
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