Unequal opportunities in education from FQP (Training and occupational Qualifications in France) survey reports in 1970, 1977, 1985 and 1993. The purpose of this study is to give as precise an image as possible of the unequal opportunities in education and their evolution over the last few decades. Carried out at regular intervals, the survey on training and occupational qualifications (FQP) provides a firm basis for this type of investigation. The mechanisms producing these inequalities have been reexamined. In fact the principal theoretical models used were devised more than twenty years ago in a context of strong economic growth : when confronted with recent results, a need is felt for a number of alternative hypotheses to be put forward and tested.