Facilitating visas for Indian students
Higher Education in France
Opening frontiers between France and India
On 4 July 2013, H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, inaugurated the French Scholarship Award Ceremony and the Pre-Departure Session. It gathered students leaving for higher education in France for the academic year 2013-2014.
Sharing a genuine partnership with India, France has chosen to open its frontiers even wider to Indian students.
Last year, almost 2 600 Indian students opted for higher education in France, a jump of 50% over the past five years. The vast majority of these students attend the over 700 courses taught in English in France, the number of which is increasing year by year.
As expressed during French President François Hollande’s State visit to India (14-15 February 2013), French and Indian authorities want to bolster this dimension of our relationships. President Hollande fixed the ambitious objective of raising the number of Indian students in France by 50% in the coming five years.
This has resulted in measures to facilitate the issuance of visas for Indian students, the creation of a “France-India network” as well as an increased number of scholarships offered by the Embassy of France and its corporate partners.
In May 2012, in a major development, French authorities decided to ease considerably the conditions for obtaining a work visa after studies completed in France. This allowed a large number of students graduating from French business and engineering schools to extend their stay for acquiring work experience in France.
Furthermore, Ambassador François Richier has decided to facilitate travel to France for all Indian citizens who have studied in France. As of July 14th 2013, all Indian citizens who have graduated from a French higher education institution subsequently applying for a tourist or business visa for a trip to France, will be given a visa with a long period of validity – up to five years if the studies in France were at the Master or PhD levels.
In parallel, the French Embassy in India has simplified visa procedures for Indian students wishing to study in France. Special attention is given to students living far from any French Consulate or “Campus France” office (governmental agency promoting French higher education) to simplify and expedite the visa procedure. In parallel, visa applications by Indian faculties and officials will be examined as a matter of priority. Campus France will establish partnerships with various Indian higher education institutions in order to accelerate the procedures for exchanges with French institutions and for their alumni.
Creating a “France-India job opportunities” network:
The Embassy of France in India is currently organizing a “France-India job opportunities” network that will bring together the Human Resource heads of the major French companies in India and major Indian ones working in partnership with French companies, as well as International Relations heads of the renowned French and Indian higher education institutions.
The “France-India job opportunities” network aims to promote all the opportunities offered to Indian students who have pursued higher education in France. Over 350 French companies are present in India with a total investment stock of almost 18 billion dollars. They alone account for the generation of 2,40,000 skilled jobs spread all over India: corporate headquarters, factories and research centres in most Indian states, particularly in Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune), Tamil Nadu (Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram), Karnataka (Bengaluru), Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad, Chittoor), Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Vadodara), West Bengal (Kolkata, Durgapur) and Rajasthan (Jaipur, Alwar).
Simultaneously, to reach out even further to Indian students interested in studying in France, Ambassador Richier has decided to extend the Campus France network to Lucknow and Dehradun in addition to its current 9 offices in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.
Granting French scholarships:
This year, the Embassy of France in India, along with its corporate partners - including Michelin India - will award scholarships for a total of 7.1 crore Indian rupees (1.1 million Euros) to 235 meritorious Indian students who wish to pursue their higher education in France (See note 2 below).
Selected for their academic excellence, these students come from the best Indian universities/colleges and institutions, such as IIT Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee; IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta; National Law School of India – Bangalore; Manipal University; the Young India Fellowship Programme, to name but a few. The hosting institutions in France include the most prestigious ones, such as Ecole Polytechnique, HEC, Sciences-Po, ESSEC, ESCP, Ecole Centrale.
On 4th July, preceding the Scholarship Award Ceremony, an information session was organized for students leaving for France this academic year. They were counselled on administrative procedures to be completed on their arrival in France, teaching methods used in French educational institutions, inter-cultural aspects, and other relevant matters.
(1) Campus France is the governmental agency promoting French higher education, functioning under the aegis of the Embassy of France in India. It currently has offices in nine Indian cities: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.
Any Indian student can schedule a meeting with a Campus France counsellor, who provides all documentation and advice on studies in France. The Campus France counsellor also contacts the French institutions the student is interested in, to offer their application, unless the student is already in contact with a French School. Campus France organizes direct meetings between French Schools and Indian students in various Indian cities on a biannual basis.
(2) Scholarships: The French Embassy has developed scholarship programmes tailored to train the brightest students in India. Selected for their academic excellence, the 2013 scholarship awardees will be pursuing various programmes: 3-month research training in a French laboratory; a semester under an exchange programme between their Institute and its partner in France; or an academic year to complete a specialized Master’s degree.
(3) Michelin India: The global leader in radial tyres and retreading solutions, Michelin is about to launch its first plant in India near Chennai in Tamil Nadu State. Along with the Embassy of France in India, it co-sponsors talented students pursuing their Master’s degree in prestigious engineering schools in France.
(4) Sponsors: The Pre-Departure Orientation Session 2013 is sponsored by the travel agency Cox & Kings, Campus France’s partner since 2011, the airline Oman Air, offering 8 trips to France during the event, and the foreign language book publisher Langers, which kindly printed the new Pre-Departure Guide.