France aims to attract 30,000 Indian students by 2030, as stated by President Emmanuel Macron during his recent visit to India. This initiative is part of a larger effort to strengthen academic cooperation between the two countries and includes plans to facilitate the visa process for former Indian students in France.
During his visit, President Macron also announced the launch of new pathways for public schools to teach French, as well as the development of a network of Alliances Françaises to establish new language learning centers. Additionally, the French government is creating international classes for students who do not speak French, allowing them to still join French universities.
While there is enthusiasm for this initiative, there has been some criticism as well. French social media users expressed concerns about housing shortages and the impact of increased migration. The French government’s recent approval of a new immigration law has further fueled debate surrounding the issue of migrant benefits and its impact on France.
Despite the criticism, data from Campus France shows a steady increase in the number of Indian students in France. From 2020 to 2021, the number of Indian students grew by six percent, and over the five year period from 2016 to 2021, it increased by 92 percent, totaling 6,321 students. Indian students are the third largest group studying business and management, behind Chinese and Moroccan students, and they also represent a significant number in schools of engineering.
As France and India continue to strengthen their ties through academic cooperation, the goal of welcoming 30,000 Indian students by 2030 remains an ambitious yet achievable one.
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