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22.04.2019 Europe

France will increase university fees for non-EU students

Zeenat Hansrod - RFI
APR 22, 2019 EUROPE

Foreign students that come to study in France will now have to pay higher fees.The much-disputed decree was published in the Official Gazette on Sunday, April 21st.

Fees for non-European university students will be, at least, ten times higher than for their European counterparts.

The two texts published in the Official Gazette on Sunday April 21 indicate that the rise in tuition fees will be applied as of the academic year 2019/2020.

From September 2019, international students will have to fork out €2,770 for a bachelor's degree course and €3,770 for master programmes.

The tution payments for students enrolled in a public institution in 2018/2019 will, however, not change.

Non-EU doctoral students will not be subjected to the new differentiated tuition rates. Their tuition fees for 2019/2020 will be €380. If they enroll in a degree at doctorate level, the French government will continue to bear most of the education costs until they have completed their degree.

Recruiting international students
The new policy is part of the French government's new strategy for recruiting international students. It was first announced by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on 19 November 2018.

The published decree lists a series of cases where non-EU students may be granted full or partial exemptions from higher tuition fees.

They vary from "personal situations" to the "strategic orientation" of the universities.

A number of French universities have already announced that they will boycott the new fee structure. Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Toulouse, Guyanna, Poitiers are among the various universities which harshly condemn this decree.

These universities will continue to apply the former rates: €170 euros for a bachelor degree and €243  for masters.

A parliamentary report, published in March, pointed out how the new policy could be counter-productive in the short term and make it less attractive for non-EU students to come to France.