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25 French HEIs recognised with “Bienvenue en France” label

The first 25 institutions to receive the “Bienvenue en France” label – a certification of their standards of international student services – have been announced by the minister of higher education, research and innovation Frédérique Vidal.

The label aims to improve and standardise support services for international students.Photo: Campus France

A focus on international student service standards was signalled by an investment of €10m

Part of the Bienvenue en France strategy to boost the country’s attractiveness and reach its goal of hosting half a million international students by 2027, the label, awarded by Campus France aims to improve and standardise support services for international students.

“It is proof of quality on which international students can rely”

The label covers criteria fundamental to the student experience such as access to information, support services, campus life, accommodation, academic and language support and career services.

Most institutions celebrated the accolade with an announcement on their website, with the University of Caen welcoming the label as a “true acknowledgement” of the work undertaken by the institution.

A focus on international student service standards was signalled by an investment of €10 million earlier this year to support the creation of a welcome desk in French institutions and other projects such as peer support and French language courses.

“Quality support [in finding suitable] accommodation or access to information is fundamental to the internationalisation and attractiveness of higher education,” a spokesperson for Campus France told The PIE News.

“The label provides a government-certified national standard guaranteeing the quality of support services offered to international students.

“It is proof of quality on which international students can rely and a highly appreciated mark of confidence.”

The introduction of the label, the spokesperson continued, is to ensure institutions meet three objectives: to inform international students about the support services offered by French HEIs, reward initiatives undertaken by institutions, and action a “global reflection” on how the sector can improve international student services.

“We expect that the implementation of the label will encourage institutions to include student support services as a core element of their international development strategy to reach students abroad,” the spokesperson added.

“Deepening the quality of the reception given to international students will have a direct impact on the students’ experience during their stay and, subsequently, on the host institution’s reputation and competitiveness.”

“The label will encourage institutions to include student support services as a core element of their… strategy”

The introduction of the label, the spokesperson explained, meets three objectives: inform international students about the support services offered by French HEIs, reward initiatives undertaken by institutions and promote them abroad, and initiative a “global reflection” on how the sector can improve international student services.

“We expect that the implementation of the label will encourage institutions to include student support services as a core element of their international development strategy to reach students abroad,” the spokesperson added.

“Deepening the quality of the reception given to international students will have a direct impact on the students’ experience during their stay and, subsequently, on the host institution’s reputation and competitiveness.”

For institutions, the label will constitute a valuable aid in their international recruitment efforts, with Campus France promoting the label abroad.

Once awarded, the institution can add the label’s logo to its course catalogues, and the label will appear on the “Etudes en France” platform, improving visibility and promotion of awarded institutions among international students, Campus France explained.

A label guide will also be published online, and Campus France will forward the list of the accredited institutions to diplomatic posts and the 360 Campus France branches in 126 countries.

The criteria covered by the label were based on a survey Campus France and the Kantar Sofres Institute conducted on prospective, current, and past international students, measuring their expectations and experiences.

“There are no international standards for student support services”

Based on those criteria, institutions were asked to self-assess and provide an inventory of the services they provide to international students.

“There are no international standards for student support services,” the spokesperson explained.

“In fact, they differ from one institution to another… each file is specific to the situation of the institution, but the evaluation considers the same criteria.

“Nonetheless, in [all] types of institutions, students can expect to be welcomed by the institution, peers and teachers, and to benefit from assistance throughout each administrative step.”

Click on the image to see a list of the 25 institutions awarded with a Bienvenue en France label.

 

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