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Publié le
Mardi 03 Février 2015
Driven by globalization and improved standards of living in emerging countries, the number of international students continues to grow. It is expected to increase from about 4 billion today to more than 7,5 billion in 2025. The internationalization of higher education is no longer confined to international student mobility: programmes and higher education institutions (HEI) cross borders, curriculum and pedagogical tools evolve, and international research collaborations are being promoted as hallmark of excellence.
The internationalisation of higher education: It’s time to invest

France is a key player in the internationalisation process. According to the UNESCO figures, it was the third most popular host country among international students in 2012, hosting some 271,000 students. France therefore attracts 6.8% of all students enrolled outside their country of citizenship around the world. If the French higher education (HE) system has many assets, it must overcome major challenges in order to maintain its market share in a ever more competitive international environment. The diversification of its internationalization should be deepened and the quality of its system should be improved. The challenge is also financial, in a current context of budgetary pressure.

The report Investing in the internationalisation of higher education1 puts forward a reform aiming at sustainably improving the quality of the French HE system. It introduces a principle according to which non-EU students (excluding those at the doctoral level) would be charged fees for the full cost of their education. The resources generated would amount to some 850 million euros a year. They should be fully reinvested in order to finance three main objectives: ensuring fair access to a French higher education for all countries of origin through a readjustment of the current scholarship policies, in favour of the French-speaking area; improving services for the international students; and reinforcing the attractiveness of the French HE system.

A five-year action plan and its financing (in millions of euros)

Type d'image: 

graphique-anglais-note23.jpg, par fcausse

Summary: The internationalisation of higher education: It’s time to invest

  • Three major global trends
  • A variety of benefits
  • Where does France stand?
  • What choice does France Have?

Authors: Nicolas Charles and Quentin Delpech, Labor-Employment Department

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Nicolas Charles
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