France launches new international recruitment strategy

//France launches new international recruitment strategy

France launches new international recruitment strategy

SummaryThis post talks about a novel announcement made by the French Government on a novel multi-year recruitment strategy. This strategy aims to increase foreign enrolment in France to 500,000 students by the year 2027.

The core emphasis of this strategy is on streamlining visa processing, expanding investment in global marketing campaigns and scholarships, and strengthening of services offered to the students.

In addition to these, it targets to double the number of students in English taught degree courses and French language studies in France.

France has become the latest country to establish a long-term aim for developing its foreign enrolment. It has announced a new international recruitment strategy, the announcement for which has been jointly made by the French Government and Campus France. This strategy aims to host 500,000 overseas students by 2027.

To reach the set target, France now has to maintain an average yearly growth rate of approximately 5% over the next decade. This percentage is more than double the average yearly growth rate of France over the past ten years. Hence, this number alone is a big challenge in itself that the newly announced strategy has to address.

As noted recently, there has been a quick growth in foreign enrolment of the country last year, which is 4.6% more than growth in 2016. Last year, the country hosted only 324,000 foreign students that earned it seventh ranking among the top study destinations in the world.

But at the same time, the international student study markets have become highly competitive. Even the top destinations are competing for a bigger share of the global student market. As disclosed by the recent statistics, France has lost most of its market share since the early 2000s, while other destinations have witnessed foreign enrollments expanding at a much faster pace.

Six Pillars

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe spoke at the annual Rencontres Universitaires de la Francophonie in Paris. He talked about the six vital components of the novel ‘Choose France’ strategy.

This strategy is designed to anticipate actions in a number of distinct areas in 2019, which will be supported by a novel ‘Bienvenue en France’ support fund with an investment of around €10 million by the French government. This is somewhere around the US $11.4 million.

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As delineated in the ‘Choose Strategy’ the process of applying for student visa would be simplified. Priority would be offered to the students carrying out visa processing by French embassies and consulates across the world. Further, there would be the introduction of the ‘France visas portal’ that expands online services for visa applicants. Moreover, the student visa renewing process as well as process to secure long-term study duration in the country will be streamlined. For this, additional service counters would be set up on French university communities and campuses across the country.

The key to the success of this strategy would be any progress made in smoothing visa procedures for foreign students. In few surveys conducted recently, more than half of the students that is 51% of them cite the complexities of administrative processes in France, prominently around student visas. Hence, this is one of the major challenges that the students encounter while studying in France.

A study in English or French

As reported by Campus France, the language learning centers of the country offer admission to a combined 150,000 students per year. He intends to double this number of students enrolling in such programs from non-francophone, emerging markets.

Along with this, the goal of this new strategy is to double the number of students enrolling in English-taught programs in France. There has been considerable growth in the number of English-medium degrees offered in France over the past 15 years, from 286 in 2004 to 1,328 in fall 2018. Out of these, 1,015 are presently taught completely in English, with most of such programs offered at the master’s level.

Achieving the Bienvenue en France Goal

This strategy will also witness a novel Bienvenue France goal. The country intends to attempt this goal by accompanying targeted funding and awarded to institutions, which meet the new standards set for student services offered to foreign students.

In an attempt to earn this goal, French institutions are required to take concrete steps to strengthen and coordinate their support services, specifically in matters related to student hosting.

Scholarships and Fees to Increase

Visiting students in the country presently pay extremely low tuition fees for higher education, which is €170 per year for undergraduate level, €243 for master’s degrees, and €380 for doctoral level.

From the beginning of 2019, the French Government will now divide tuition fees for students enrolling from countries outside the European Union. The yearly feed for non-EU students will increase to €2,770 for undergraduate courses and €3,770 for advanced programs.

This increased fee will be used in portions to fund the increasing number of scholarships offered by the French government to foreign students. The Foreign Affairs and French Ministry of Europe offers 7,000 scholarships and from starting of 2019 the number will increase to 15,000 awards each year.

Expanding Global Reach

The Choose France strategy anticipates the expansion of French transnational education initiatives, including the number of schools and campuses abroad, and particularly those in major sending for French educators.

This strategy will also be supported by a worldwide marketing campaign that will be rolled out in 2019. The emphasis of this marketing campaign would be on digital marketing designed to enhance student engagement and awareness about French education.

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