French Govt Releases €500 Million For Student Scholarships

France Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 07, 2023

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The French government will invest more than €500 million to make improvements to the system of higher education grants based on social criteria, access to food services, and accommodation.

The French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Sylvie Retailleau, presented the first part of her reform on student scholarships on Wednesday, March 29, which will be implemented next September, Erudera.com reports.

The government has decided to increase the number of scholarship holders for an additional 35,000 students from the middle class. Local reports say that France’s current number of scholarship holders is 720,000.

Additionally, the government said it would increase payments to scholarship holders by €37 monthly or €370 a year, representing the most significant revalorization in a ten-year period. The academic year in France lasts ten months.

But these changes will apply more to domestic students with scholarships rather than international students. Nonetheless, international students may benefit from a few measures soon in the next academic year, according to Campus France, an agency promoting French higher education abroad and welcoming international students to France.

A survey conducted last year by the agency unveiled that nine out of ten international students recommend France as a study destination. Results showed that living in the country has boosted the motivation of 88 percent of respondents to work at local companies.

The same has highlighted the major economic impact of international students in France, who together contribute €5 billion to the economy.

“..their contribution amounts to 5 billion euros for the country, i.e. a net positive balance of 1.35 billion euros taking into account related public expenditure,” the study said.

>> France Records Highest Number of International Students in 15 Years

Announcing the measures, Minister Retailleau reiterated that the mission of French higher education should be to provide equal education, specifically opportunities for all to join training courses through which they can find jobs and succeed in their studies and careers.

“How to prepare tomorrow when you are today caught in material difficulties affecting study conditions and chances of equal success?” Minister said.

Measures that will be applicable from the 2023/24 academic year include:

  • Freezing the price of meals.
  • Allowing exemption from university registration fees.
  • Prioritizing access to housing in the university park.

Amid the pandemic, the government created the very social meal price of €1 to reduce financial stress, which benefits it has now decided to continue as an inflation relief for scholarship holders or those in precarious situations. At the same time, it has created a social meal price of €3.3 for other students.

© Anthony Choren | Unsplash

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