President François Hollande has recently said he plans to introduce new measures to make the country more attractive to foreign students including extending post-study work rights and simplifying administration around visa processing.
Last year the country attracted more than 280,000 international students in 2012 accounting for 12.3% of total enrolments. Under the government’s new push to recruit internationally, Fioraso has said she would like to see foreign enrolments climb to 15% by 2020 and 20% by 2025.
Hollande said he plans to introduce a “talent visa” giving four year residency to between 5,000 to 10,000 graduates, researchers and highly skilled workers
Last month, Hollande said he plans to introduce a “talent visa” giving four year residency to between 5,000 to 10,000 graduates, researchers and highly skilled workers.
The criteria to qualify for the talent visa have not yet been agreed upon however it is clear the government is taking strides to leave behind the unpopular “Circulaire du Mai 31” that was overturned last year by minister of the interior Manuel Valls.
The policy attempted to limit immigration by curbing post-study work rights and imposed restrictions on companies looking to higher international students.
The u-turn last year also facilitated visa processing for Masters and PhD students, a framework that has now been extended to undergraduates. Students will no longer have to renew their visas annually but will be issued permits lasting the length of their course.
The latest figures from Campus France show that visas issuance we up 8% for 2013 and universities account for 78% of foreign enrolments.
Because of historical and lingual ties, African countries make up are the main source of foreign students in France with 43% of international enrolments coming from the continent. Morocco, Algeria and Nigeria provide the highest numbers of students.
Fioraso said that the government will be targeting Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, India and the USA in order to broaden the recruitment base
Students from Asia and Europe both account for 24% of inbound mobility lead by students from within the European Union and China.
In her campaign to attract more students, Fioraso said that the government will be targeting Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, India and the USA in order to broaden the recruitment base but stressed it will not be the detriment of African students.
In further efforts to expand internationalisation on French campuses, in January Fioraso committed €8 million in funding to develop MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that will go toward the development of online vocational training, and video equipment for campuses as part of the ‘CréaMOOC’ project.