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India & France sign MoU to boost student mobility

India and France have signed a MoU for mutual recognition of academic qualifications and paving the way for a stronger education exchange between the two countries. The signing took place at the ‘Knowledge Summit’  that coincided with the first state visit of French president Emmanuel Macron to India.

Government Medical College, Haldwani. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/DeanndamonOne of India's most sought after medical libraries, Government Medical College in Haldwani. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Deanndamon

15 other MoUs in the areas of higher education, research, innovation, faculty exchange, scientific cooperation were also signed

“I want to double the number of Indian students coming to France”

According to an official statement, “The agreement between the two governments will facilitate mutual recognition of academic qualifications. It will mark a breakthrough providing students across-the-board recognition to degrees acquired in India.”

The summit was organised by the French Institute in India, along with Ministry of Higher Education, Research & Innovation, France and co-Ministry of Human Resource Development.

India’s minister of human resource development Prakash Javadekar described the event as “historic”, and said that a “Study in India” initiative would be launched to attract more students from other countries to pursue courses in Indian institutions.

“A government to government MoU has been signed to mutually recognise academic qualifications. It will help the student community. There used to be only bilateral arrangements between institutions to institutions,” he said.

Javadekar added: “I hope more and more countries, like France, will come forward for mutual recognition of academic qualifications so that the mobility of students and professionals improves.”

15 other MoUs between various institutions of India and France in the areas of higher education, research, innovation, faculty exchange, scientific cooperation were also signed.

“It will drive mobility of students by mutually recognising academic qualifications at various levels: starting with secondary school, master’s to doctorate degrees, and also recognises periods of study in the partner country,” an official statement said.

To commemorate the signing, president Macron tweeted his support for doubling the number of Indian students coming to France to study.

“If you choose France you gain access to Francophonie, you gain access to Europe,” it read.

Macron also welcomed the 5,000 Indian students currently studying France.

“I hope more and more countries, like France, will come forward for mutual recognition of academic qualifications”

In February 2018 as part of an action plan to re-establish French foreign trade, French prime minister Edouard Philippe outlined France’s ambitions to develop English language learning among students to help them “act and move in globalisation.”

Philippe tweeted that “to master English, is to better control one’s future”, and that the French government plans to provide students with help to pass internationally recognised English language tests, including TOEIC, Cambridge, and IELTS.

“English is now the lingua franca. That’s how it is…I’m convinced these measures are game changers,” he added.

Studies have shown that the attractiveness of France as a destination for international students is continuing to grow with many choosing it ahead of the US and the UK.

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