Regarding technical education, perhaps this might help:
'The French, in the three and a half centuries between about 1500 and 1850, developed all, or nearly all, the basic forms of modern technical education. And in the course of time, from Russia across western Europe and the United States to Japan, all countries modeled their technical schools on those of France. So, in the gradual transfer of technical training from an apprenticeship system where one learned a calling on the job to one where one learned much of his technical profession in a school, France played the dominant role.'
-The Development of Technical Education in France 1700-1850 by Frederick B. Artz, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1966.