Booming Chinese investment in Africa could prove to be beneficial for France. With historical and lingual ties to several countries on the continent, France has seen an increase in Chinese students keen to learn French and establish ties with French industry. As a result, the French government has initiated a series of programmes to attract Chinese students to France.
Julian Hall, writing for The PIE Review, assesses the political push to ensure France remains a top-five international educator and finds out how the language teaching sector fits in with these aims. “Our country has lost ground in the last 10 years," says France's Higher Education Minister.
France has made it easier for students from outside the European Union to obtain visas and work in the country after they graduate, in a bid to attract more international students to the country. Students will no longer have to renew visas annually and can stay in France for up to a year to find work after graduation.
Demand for quality education continues to grow across Africa as lack of funding, inadequate infrastructure and demotivated faculty drive Africans to study abroad, according to a study by Campus France, the French government's higher education promotion arm. However France, the top destination, has seen its dominance slip as students increasingly choose to study within their region.
France's position as a top study destination for international students is "fragile" and the government must improve internationalisation in universities and the student experience to remain competitive, Higher Education Minister Geneviève Fioraso has claimed. She proposes improving Campus France and post-study work rights among other reforms.