Worlwide presence and diversified offering
Foreign student support policy and quality charter
In higher education, the MAEE’s action has traditionally been directed towards universities. Alongside the inter-university exchanges directly managed by the universities themselves, France has developed a foreign student support policy, mainly by means of study grants. This policy focuses on the last two degree levels (master’s and doctorate) and three discipline areas (so-called “hard” sciences and engineering, economics-law-management and politics). This corresponds to France’s long tradition of cultural diversity, attractive universities and worldwide inﬂuence which it is important to maintain.
A quality charter, adopted in 2006, speciﬁes how grants are to be awarded, with selection juries made up mostly of academics from France and the partner country. The Campus France agency, the MAEE’s operator for the promotion of French universities abroad, is the showcase of this policy, with dedicated spaces in French embassies and cultural institutes.
Campus France and vocational education
Campus France is an agency dedicated to promoting French higher education abroad. It coordinates the answers given to students interested in studying in France, from initial enquiries to university applications. It maintains a network of 150 Campus France spaces run by French embassies in 97 countries, implementing the university attractiveness policy.
To publicize course offers, Campus France publishes a catalogue for foreign students in a number of languages. It contains information boxes on vocational qualiﬁcations and subject boxes. The total number of courses is 36,000.
In recent years, action has also been taken to meet the growing demand for the creation and reform of higher vocational education courses. Some of this has been done directly by the MAEE with its priority solidarity fund (FSP) projects and agreements. The FSP system is supported by another major instrument of French development cooperation, technical assistance. This involves making high-level experts available to partner countries to provide a tailor-made support for institutional capacity building for the administrative departments France works with.
The experts undertake a large number of tasks of consultancy and training, and coordinate the support from the various French players the MAEE works with, working on site to improve higher vocational education.
Typical FSP project: U3E (support for extending university coverage, establishment of doctoral schools and opening up to entrepreneurship) in Senegal
Each year the massive increase in qualiﬁed school-leavers – 50% up in 2010 over 2009 – makes it urgent to complete university reform in Senegal. The FSP U3E project, based on two technical assistants, is designed to support this change. One project component has involved creating eleven vocational bachelor degree courses at the regional university colleges set up in 2007 (Bambey, Thiès, Ziguinchor) and Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (UCAD). This could serve as a model for extending this type of degree course when the Bachelor’s-Master’s-Doctorate (BMD) system is set up in Senegal: the U3E project is a pioneer.
Three main types of support
This supports the creation or reform of national higher vocational education systems. It is implemented by the MAEE via the FSP procedure or inter-state agreements (in recent years, for example, the MAEE has directly supported the reorganization of university courses along BMD lines and the introduction of vocational bachelor’s degrees). The MAEE also enlists the help of other operators, such as the Agence française de développement (AFD).
Support to French companies
Designed to foster location abroad or exports, this is granted by:
puceoupas the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, via the DREIC, to support investment abroad by French companies by creating or developing training centres designed primarily to meet staff needs.
In June 2006, the DREIC set up a service for exporting technology, technical and vocational training in order to form new partnerships and prolong the life of existing centres. In this it is helped by the French association for the development of technical education (AFDET).
Support for the design of vocational programmes and certification
This is the focus of most education players: universities, IUTs, engineering and business schools, national conservatory of arts and crafts (CNAM), national association for adult vocational education (AFPA), international centre for teaching studies (CIEP), chambers of commerce and industry and sectoral organizations such as CODIFOR. All maintain bilateral relations between French and local partners, some using the strategy of joint diploma awards.
Support for the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2IE)
From its base in Ouagadougou, 2iE, formerly the Eier and Etsher schools, educates African students who will go on to support Africa’s development in water and the environment. The courses offered range from vocational bachelor’s degrees (ﬁve of which by distance learning) to doctoral studies.
France has supported the school since its creation and the MAEE grant of €10 million (from an inter-governmental FSP and central funds) from 2007 to 2010 helped turn the Eier-Etsher group of inter-governmental schools into the 2iE Foundation.
2iE is now a centre of excellence recognized by African and European institutions.
Updated on: July 2011