Written by Alyssa Walker

Fees for non-EU students at French universities are set to skyrocket, according to the French prime minister. 

For the fall of 2019, fees are set to jump from around $195 to $3000, or a 16-fold increase. 

For British students on the cusp of Brexit, this means a hefty jump in tuition. 

Why the spike? In The Local, French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe said that currently a "wealthy foreign student pays the same tuition fees as a poor French student whose parents have lived, worked and paid taxes in France for years."

He explained France subsidizes large parts of the costs of higher education for French students and those in the EU. He tweeted, "Our strategy: To carry out a kind of revolution so that our attractiveness is not so much founded on being nearly-free as on a true choice, a true desire, that of excellence. #WelcometoFrance."

The government will continue to attract non-EU students by tripling the number of scholarships offered from 7,000 to 21,000, and by making an additional 14,000 grants available. This means that about 25 percent of France's international student population will qualify for a grant or a scholarship.

While it seems expensive, the cost for non-EU students in France will still be less than that of students paying to study in the US or the UK, and are competitive with those of other countries.

Currently, 45 percent of foreign students come from Africa, 19 percent from the European Union, 16 percent from Asia, 9 percent from America and 4 percent from the Middle East. While these numbers might change, France wants to continue to draw talented international students from across the world.

Philippe is not worried -- France is still appealing for lots of students, and the government is working to streamline the visa process and offer more courses in English.

 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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