The university announced the plans in the same year that France met its target of hosting 10,000 Indian students, which was reached one year ahead of schedule.
“We are confident that we are going to achieve more milestones”
Based at the university’s campus in the northern Indian state of Punjab, LPU hopes the centre becomes a key location for French activities in the country, including for cultural, language, education, or diplomacy activities.
The ‘Espace France Centre’ at LPU Campus is aiming to “further strengthen” co-operation between France and India, as well as boost the LPU’s connection to French higher education institutes.
LPU already has relationships with universities such as IMT Lille, EPF in Sceaux, ISEP in Paris, ESIGELEC in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray and the University of Nantes.
Speaking at the inauguration at LPU, the university’s chancellor Ashok Mittal noted the “important alliance” for establishing the centre.
“Many of our students have gone on exchange programs to France and have come back with deeper appreciation and understanding of French education and culture,” Mittal added.
According to the French Embassy in New Delhi, around 10,000 Indian students chose to go to the European country to pursue higher education in 2019.
In 2018, the two nations also signed a MoU for mutual recognition of academic qualifications which would pave the way for a stronger education exchange.
“As this centre opens up today at LPU, we are confident that we are going to achieve more milestones,” counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs and country director of Institut Français Bertrand de Hartingh said.
The building is strategically located to be easily accessible not only to LPU students but also outsiders, LPU additional director at Division of International Affairs, Aman Mittal said.
“This is a milestone day for LPU as India’s first ‘Espace France Centre has been opened at its campus,” Mittal added.
“It is a big achievement for LPU as its relationship with the French government… started less than a year back.”
Through its Institut français en Inde and Campus France India network, the Embassy of France has also developed a program which connects 500 premier Indian institutes and universities with French HE institutes to develop “dynamic exchange programs”.
The program has also launched the France Alumni India network to reunite and reconnect former students from France through a digital platform, promised to increase the number of scholarships for talented Indian students and create “attractive visa policies” for Indian students and alumni.