Funded by the national government, France’s 83 public universities offers students the rare opportunity of joining a highly cosmopolitan society renowned for its avant garde culture and forward thinking values. With a critically acclaimed academic system featuring heavy investments in education and a focus on path breaking research, France has rightly earned the spot to become the third most popular destination globally for international students. Its universities enjoy a high standing among premier institutes of learning and the recently announced QS World University Rankings for 2013-14 features two Parisian institutes viz: the École Normale Supérieure and École Polytechnique among the top 100 universities worldwide.

France is one of the most artistically inclined and culturally diverse countries that draws legions of academicians across the globe to its economy which is the sixth largest in the world. Data from UNESCO indicates that French Universities attracted more than 270,000 of the Crème de la Crème among international students by the end of 2012. It places vast importance on promoting and attracting talent in the academic segment with the education vertical making up the largest public sector employer in the country. The French government has been particularly interested in pulling more students from the Indian diaspora for management studies, engineering and humanity sciences. To help encourage the influx of Indian students, the government has been facilitating the administrative procedures as well as offering financial assistance for the students. The Embassy of France in India has also empowered Campus France as the nodal agency for promoting higher students in India.

Did you know?

Most French universities are named after the big cities they are based in, and if there are several of them in the same city then, their names are followed by a numeral. For instance: The thirteen public universities in Paris – France’s capital are named Paris I to XIII. French higher education establishments titled as ‘Grandes écoles’ have the distinction of producing the maximum number of scientists in France and senior executives.

Here’s a list of some of the top French universities which are frequented by global students:

University of Paris XI – One of the largest and most renowned universities in France for physical sciences and mathematics, the University of Paris XI is testament to some of the most influential work in the field of nuclear and astro physics.

Ecole Normale Superieure Paris – Internationally acclaimed for their research work, the Ecole Normale Superieure Paris offers both undergraduate as well as postgraduate diplomas for teaching, journalism, literature and research.

Paris Tech – A collegiate university specializing in science and business management studies, the Paris Tech University delivers high quality research and a steady supply of academicians who showcase their expertise across diverse fields like telecommunications, agriculture, chemistry and economics

INSEAD – one of the world’s largest graduate business schools with campuses spread across the globe, INSEAD has consistently been featured in rankings for business management schools by top business publications. Students can apply using an online application form from its web portal.

Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris – HEC Paris has produced more CEOs than any other institute with the sole exception of the Harvard University! It has tie-ups with reputed universities like the London School of Economics and New York University.

École Polytechnique X– Located near Paris, Ecole Polytechnique X is considered to be the most selective and awarded of the French Grandes Ecole with its extremely competitive entrance examinations for mathematics and engineering. Counted amongst the top seats for higher learning globally, the university is commended for its role in the incubation of technology entrepreneurs.

Université de Lyon – A cluster of eleven higher education institutes, the Universite de Lyon takes the lead on research in infrastructure projects with more than 130,000 students registered within its institutes and conducts high quality research both in physical and life sciences and in human and social sciences.

Did you know?

Small tutorial sizes and heavy instructor intervention are two of the positive attributes that you will find while attending a college in France. However a large share of the educators in French universities specialized in engineering are non-permanent professors!

Campus France and the French Embassy in India will be organizing a pre recruitment mission in Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad on October 14, 16 and 18, 2014 respectively. This will be a great chance to research and find out some of the most promising French Universities for the right career.

Points to remember:

  • International students except from the EU union require a student visa and a valid passport
  • Official period of enrolment for international students lies between December 1st to January 31st
  • All international students from non EU based countries have to apply for health insurance in France
  • Another major requirement of the French law is that students need to provide proof that they have enough money to cover all of the expenses that may be incurred while attending college
  • Typically with its high standards of living, France is not a cheap country to live in and its rates can be expensive so prepare for contingencies by approaching an international Education loans provider
  • Although, annual tuition fees for public universities are regulated are by law, tuition rates at private institutions for business management can range between £2,400 to £8,000 a year

International students are permitted to work for a maximum of 19 hours per week

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