Education in France

High quality study options delivered by qualified faculty are the main reasons that attract overseas students to France.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2006 16:22 IST

The country’s USP
France spends over six per cent of its GDP on education and is amongst the highest spenders on the sector, globally. High quality study options delivered by qualified faculty and specialists seem to be the main reasons that attract overseas students to this European nation.

Moreover, in the global age, acquiring foreign language competence is perceived to be a major value addition. Besides this, several renowned companies are engaged in sponsoring candidates to study in France. Such corporate sponsorship only makes an offer more attractive.

Dominique Girard, Ambassador of France
 "The decision to study abroad is perhaps one of the most crucial and daunting ones to make, when young. Here are some reasons why France should prominently figure on a prospective student’s wish list:

Studying in France is a dream for many people with an underlying desire for excellence. Something the 2,50,000 foreigners who came to study in France in 2005 would not deny.

Alongside its specialist institutes of art, fashion, design, architecture and medical studies, France is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world – 500 Grandes Ecoles (top class institutes of higher education), 240 engineering colleges, 230 business schools and 4 Ecoles normales supérieures (which provide a high level cultural and scientific education).

Coming to the important question of affordability -- tuition fees in French universities and government institutions are more than competitive -- for example, a Bachelor’s degree would cost you 350 euros per year while a Master’s degree costs 400 euros a year, and these sums include protection under the social security system.

On the practical side, students can acquire invaluable ‘on-the-job experience’ through internships, which are part of the curriculum. 300 courses are now available in English. 

Prospective students should visit
www.edufrance.netfor further information."

Moreover, France is one of the most innovative countries, with 13,000 patents a year, the maximum number of jobs created for research and development in Europe, and over 16,000 foreign-established business houses.

Perhaps these factors explain why 2,50,000 foreigners choose to study in France, every year.

Hot for what?
Paris has always been a major draw among those wanting to study Fine Arts and Fashion. Besides, current trends reveal that Indian students opt for programmes like Management, Engineering, Economics, Hospitality and Architecture. French institutes conduct an amazingly wide array of management programmes.

Top institutes
France boasts of many top institutions, particularly the Grande Ecoles, which are considered to be like the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Management.

Intro: Kick-start your admission quest with this brief on what it takes to be on the rolls of a French institution
Commencement of session: Almost all programmes begin in September, but some start in January as well.

When to apply: For undergraduate programmes, send your application by December of the previous year. However, there is no “rigid” time line for admission to postgraduate programmes.

How to apply: The registration forms for undergraduate programmes are available at the Embassy of France. Aspirants can apply for entry to more than one university at the same time. Postgraduate course aspirants should approach the respective, shortlisted universities.

The first stop for application details is at one of the EduFrance desks, located in eight cities across India. Visit the website and locate the EduFrance office closest to your place.

Deadlines: The last date for application is January 31 for undergraduate admissions in a French public university and end April or early May for most others. Although several institutes accept forms beyond these deadlines, it becomes difficult to obtain scholarships, arrange for boarding and other such things. So, avoid that.

Application processing time: After receiving an application, universities reply within two months.

Admission docket: With your application, include details (certificates) of your academic background, recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, college essay or professional interest essay, any language certification and a photocopy of your passport. Also include documents about your extra-curricular activities and, work experience, if any. For Fine and Applied Arts as well as Architecture, a portfolio of an aspirant’s works or ideas is a must.

First Published: Nov 04, 2006 19:13 IST