More than 3,000 public and private educational institutions, known as écoles spécialisées, extend the French higher education system into integral fields such as health, clinical practice (nursing and paramedical studies), multimedia, communication, journalism, social work, fashion, design, tourism, culinary arts, hotel management and agriculture.
The programs at these schools offer extensive instructor involvement. Moreover, they are designed to launch students into the monde du travail (the working world) upon graduation - training at specialized institutions is geared towards teaching students practical skills that will benefit them in the professional world. Internships are, as with many French higher institutions, often a crucial part of obtaining a degree from une école specialisée.
These institutions offer government-accredited degrees as well as other credentials, and programs are two to five years in length.