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France: Chinese alumni join global network

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has officially welcomed 25,000 Chinese students to the France Alumni global network during his four-day trip to China.

Phillippe also met with Chinese PM Li Keqiang on his four-day trip. Photo: Campus France

The most popular courses for Chinese students are business-related, including management and finance

France Alumni aims to promote access to work, training, scholarships and internship opportunities for international graduates who studied in France. The network registers today 200,000 members in about 120 countries.

“It shows the attractiveness of HE in France and China’s willingness to open up”

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented at the France Alumni network in China, along with French Minister for higher education, research and innovation, Frédérique Vidal, the Secretary of State in charge of digital, Mounir Mahjoubi, and the general director of Campus France, Béatrice Khaiat.

“Youth changes the country. The more we learn from each other, the more we will be able to build a country of mutual understanding and support,” Philippe said at the event.

During the event, Wen Zhongmeng also received the France Alumni Prize of Entrepreneurship. The prize is awarded each year by the French embassy in Beijing to a Chinese alumni who starts a company after graduating from a French institution.

“It was the first time that I discovered a different way of living and doing than the Chinese way. My study experience in France opened my mind,” Zhongmeng said.

China has become the largest source of international students in France. According to the research done by the OECD, the three major sending countries of international students to France in 2016 were China, Morocco and Algeria, with 10,077, 6,250 and 3,930 students respectively.

“[This] shows the attractiveness of higher education in France and China’s willingness to open up on educational cooperation with us,” a spokesperson from France Alumni said.

France Alumni said the most popular courses for Chinese students are business-related, with 39% students graduating in management, commerce and finance, with 12% major in languages and 11% engineering.

“About 20% of the Chinese alumni in France engaged in insurance and banking industry, while about 10% alumni engaged in research and further studies after graduation,” France Alumni added.

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