France Opens Doors to 30,000 Indian Students: Breaking Down Barriers for Higher Education

In a groundbreaking move, France is opening its doors to 30,000 Indian students by 2030, marking a strategic shift in its international education landscape. This ambitious initiative, dubbed “Classes Internationales,” eliminates the French language proficiency requirement for participating students, offering a unique gateway to higher education in France

Mirthe Van Brussel on February 14, 2024 Average reading time: 2 min
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France Opens Doors to 30,000 Indian Students: Breaking Down Barriers for Higher Education
Background: France and International Students

France boasts a highly respected education system, attracting over 350,000 international students annually according to the OECD’s “Education at a Glance 2022” report. However, Indian students represent a relatively small fraction of this population. The “Study in France” website indicates that in 2020-21, while France hosted over 340,000 international students, only around 7,600 came from India ( This initiative aims to significantly close this gap.

Breaking the Language Barrier: “Classes Internationales”

The new “Classes Internationales” program removes this barrier by offering English-taught specialized courses. Renowned universities across France are developing dedicated programs in various disciplines, encompassing fields like engineering, management, and the arts.  The program seeks to recruit a wide group of foreign students, with a concentration on those from India. While the program offers greater accessibility for Indian students, the curriculum will be carefully curated to align with a diverse student body’s interests and career aspirations. This approach provides a pathway to pursue academic goals in France without the initial language requirement.

More Than Language: Streamlined Visas and Alumni Benefits

The initiative extends beyond language. France is simplifying the visa application process for Indian students enrolled in the program. Additionally, Indian alumni who complete a master’s degree in France will be eligible for a five-year short-stay Schengen visa, fostering long-term connections and knowledge exchange. (The Economist Times)

Motivations and Impact: Strategic Partnership and Economic Benefits

This initiative reflects France’s desire to strengthen its strategic partnership with India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy. By attracting talented Indian students, France aims to:

  • Boost academic and cultural exchange: Foster collaboration between institutions and enhance cultural understanding.
  • Attract skilled professionals: Equip Indian graduates with French qualifications, potentially leading to employment opportunities in France and beyond.
  • Diversify its student body: Inject fresh perspectives and enrich the campus environment.

France’s initiative paves the way for a new chapter in international education, marking a shift towards inclusivity and accessibility. This initiative also is a strong move for attracting future talent and improving the attractiveness of France on the global talent market. By eliminating the language barrier and offering attractive benefits, “Classes Internationales” fosters a unique collaboration between France and India, nurturing talent, cultural exchange, and knowledge transfer. This innovative program holds immense potential to shape the future of international education and give vision to international (campus) recruitment.



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