A world leader in arts, sport, science, and technology, France is one of Europe’s most creative nations, Home to Nobel laureates, Fields Medal (mathematics Nobel) winners, artists and thinkers, France is now on way to becoming one of the top destinations for Indian students.

Recently, India and France signed a memorandum of understanding for “mutual recognition of educational qualifications”. Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar and French higher education minister Frederique Vidal signed the document at the ‘Knowledge Summit’ that coincided with French President Emmanuel Macron’s first state visit to India.

The official statement after the signing said: “The agreement between the two governments will facilitate mutual recognition of academic qualifications. It will mark a breakthrough to provide students with across-the-board recognition of degrees acquired in India”.

Chandigarh student Meghna Kapoor plans join the master of business administration (MBA) course in France. She says: “France is a huge economy. With more than 50 multinational companies headquartered there, it is also a global management hub. The numerous scholarships being offered will help me pursue my higher education in France.”

Ranking agency QS claims that Indian students head to France for five main benefits: education, employment prospects, worldwide connections, student experience, and travel opportunities. In the survey, Indian students’ responses indicate that there is a much greater practical content in overseas university courses, compared with the Indian university courses, especially. The responses also indicate that courses offered by foreign universities also have more diversity and specialisation, more independent and self-driven learning compared with the experience at home. The fact that many French companies have subsidiaries in India allows them to recruit Indian students who have studied in France or those who have a basic knowledge of French.

Scholarship support

The country encourages international students to apply for scholarships. The scholarship supports students looking to pursue a one-year or two–year master’s degree in France across several academic fields. In 2017, the embassy of France increased the number of student scholarships to 500. This increase is part of a programme to welcome 10,000 Indian students into France by 2020. Students are selected based on their academic excellence and the consistency and quality of their statement of purpose. The knowledge of French is considered an asset but it is not mandatory.

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