The Government’s declaration
The French prime minister – Edouard Philippe – just announced this last 19th of November a significant increase of international students’ tuitions fees, starting next year.
In the press kit of this attractivity strategy for international students, a reform about the welcoming of international students is mentioned, as well as the increase of tuitions fees for international students outside the E.U. in French universities.
International students will pay, starting from the beginning of next academic year, different tuitions fees than the ones paid by the students of the European Economic Area of approximately a third of the real cost of their diplomas. It means these students might pay €2770 for undergraduate studies (license) and €3770 for a postgraduate program (master) or a PhD (doctorat).
The Government’s Idea
International students have parents whom don’t pay taxes in France, whereas French students have parents paying taxes in France.
The higher education in France is funded by taxes.
Therefore, international students do not take part in the funding of the French higher education, and this is unfair. This need to be righted by having distinct fees for international students.
Also, raising tuitions fees for international students is part of an attractivity strategy aimed toward them, because some students refuse to go to France because of too low tuitions fees.
FAGE quickly reacted by a press release and several interventions in various medias:
France is a very attractive country for students, and the only decrease noted in the flow of international students followed the Guéant’s Circular of 2011, which increased drastically the requirements to enter and stay for international students in France.
International students are not an economic burden for the country, but a resource: if they indeed cost 3 billion euros to the State, they yield more than 4.65 billion to the French economy.
International students suffer from numerous financial and administrative obligations: cost and difficulty of getting a visa, obligation to go with Campus France, impossibility to benefit from a scholarship based on social characteristic, language frontier, difficulty of finding its way around French administration, etc. The welcoming of international students must be changed, but not this way.
Furthermore, international students do not have these financial means: for instance, 67% of the beneficiaries of our AGORAé are international students.
This increase is therefore useless, irrelevant and dangerous, because it opens the way to other increase in tuitions fees for all students.