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Living in the Languedoc:    Education:    Trends and Developments

In the 1960s the sudden opening-up of access to secondary education to all children led to an explosion of the numbers of pupils in collèges. In 1985, the announcement of the goal of 80% of young people obtaining the baccalauréat by the end of the century led to a second influx of pupils. The lycées and higher education were became accessible to the great majority of young people.
Today, around 70% of young people complete their secondary education in schools run by the National Education system, in agricultural lycées or through apprenticeships. This percentage has virtually doubled in 15 years, rising particularly in the case of those taking technological and vocational courses.
In 2000, out of those leaving school with the baccalauréat, 30% had a technological baccalauréat, 18% a vocational baccalauréat and 52% a "general series" baccalauréat. Various Acts have laid down the principle that "before leaving the education system and regardless of their level of achievement, all young people must be offered vocational training". The proportion of youngsters leaving school without any recognised qualifications fell from around a third in the 1960s to under 10% in the 1990s.
60% of a year group now pass their baccalauréat, compared with only 24% a quarter of a century earlier. In higher education, now undertaken by over half the young people in France, the number of students has risen sevenfold in three decades (from 300,000 to 2.1 million).
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