5. Sections de Techniciens Supérieurs in France (STS)

These institutions are actually located as independent units within some lycées, whose role is to permit students to study for the Brevet de Technicien Superieur (BTS).

The BTS is a vocational higher education with a strong practical and orientation. It is often viewed as an alternative to the DUT, and both qualifications have their supporters and detractors.

Clearly, one of the main differences is that the BTS is undertaken through the school system, whilst the DUT is studied at a university. The DUT also has a greater amount of theoretical study, and the BTS is even more specialist.

There are about 145 BTS available offered through 2000 Sections de Technicien Supérieurs (STS) in the lycées.

One way of deciding which one to take is to visit both establishments during one of their open days (normally December) and meet the students and lecturers.

Enrolment for the BTS takes place each January. Access is only available to those with BAC or equivalent and establishments determine applications on the basis of the school reports for the last two years of study for the BAC. A key factor will be the motivation of the student.

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