Culture, Education and the French language


Institut français

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The Institut Français is a public institution responsible for France’s external cultural relations.

Its work is at the crossroads of artistic sectors, intellectual discussions, cultural and social innovation and linguistic cooperation. By promoting the French language, it supports the circulation of works, artists and ideas, thus encouraging a better understanding of cultural issues.

The Institut Français, under the auspices of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, makes an active contribution to France’s cultural diplomacy. Its projects and programmes take account of local contexts and are based on a unique ability to deploy across the vast network of cultural services in French Embassies, Instituts Français and Alliance Française branches throughout five continents.

The Institut Français helps increase France’s influence abroad through enhanced dialogue with foreign cultures and meets France’s requirements through attentiveness, partnership and openness.

The Institut Français champions freedom of expression and diversity in a context of globalization, while demonstrating its skills and expertise in promoting French culture around the world. It is a tool for influence and cooperation, and a centre for expertise and advice.

By working closely with the French cultural network abroad, comprising 96 Instituts Français and over 800 Alliances Françaises (including 307 accredited by the Ministry), the Institut Français works to meet the needs expressed by diplomatic posts, while encouraging initiatives involving joint projects and economies of scale. Locally, it works under the authority of ambassadors.

The work of the Institut Français

The Institut Français supports France’s diplomatic strategies in the following areas:

  • promoting international artistic exchanges;
  • sharing French intellectual creations;
  • spreading French film and broadcasting heritage;
  • supporting the cultural development of countries of the South;
  • encouraging French language learning and dissemination;
  • developing cultural dialogue by organizing “Seasons”, “Years” and “Festivals” in France and abroad;
  • encouraging the international mobility of creators, with residency programmes;
  • coordinating and encouraging work with French local government abroad;
  • furthering cultural diversity at European level through European and multilateral partnerships;
  • training and monitoring the careers of staff from the cultural network around the world.

Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE)

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The Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) carries out a public service role providing education for French children living outside France. It also helps promote the French language and culture internationally and build ties between French and foreign education systems.

The main goal of the AEFE is to serve and promote a unique educational network made up of approximately 500 schools in 137 countries.


The AEFE manages all human and financial resources provided by the government for the operation of French schools abroad.

It hires, pays and reviews the performance of over 6,500 teachers attached to the Ministry of National Education that it assigns to schools under its direct management (74) or with which it has conventions (153). It does not assign staff to partner institutions (270).

It implements an innovative educational policy that combines respect for French school curriculums and openness to the language and culture of host countries.


The AEFE organizes events bringing together the network’s schools. It highlights shared educational projects initiated by schools.

It allocates operating, investment, equipment and educational support grants to schools.

It provides French families with tuition fee support in the form of scholarships. It awards Excellence-Major scholarships to exceptional foreign students who wish to study at higher education institutions in France.

Based in 137 countries, the AEFE’s network of 500 schools is a major asset when it comes to supporting French businesses abroad and developing France’s attractiveness. This support encourages the presence of French businesses and helps them build relationships with various local stakeholders, both private and institutional, often in very specific contexts.

By developing and strengthening French educational diplomacy, the AEFE network supports French economic diplomacy.


The AEFE manages continuous training for staff. It provides consulting services in the fields of teaching, educational and professional advice, real estate and management.

Campus France

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Campus France supports the attractiveness of the French higher education sector and promotes it among foreign students.

The agency is also responsible for managing recipients of scholarships from the French and foreign governments, facilitating the creation of personalized scholarship programmes and supporting foreign students and researchers.

Embassy cooperation services are responsible for promoting these tasks of promotion, publicity on scholarship programmes, and selection of French government scholarship recipients. Under the responsibility of embassy Cooperation and Cultural Action Counsellors, the 256 Campus France offices, situated in 125 countries, also serve as local representatives of the wider Campus France agency.

Campus France governs the France Alumni platform, which is managed locally by embassies. This network of foreign alumni, which currently has more than 265,000 members, helps them maintain their ties with France, stay in touch, take part in events and consult job offers.

The main tasks of Campus France

Promoting the French higher education sector

  • Organizing promotional events in France and abroad;
  • Highlighting the quality of French higher education abroad and online.

Encouraging and facilitating international student mobility

  • Supporting partners in establishing and managing scholarship programmes (French and foreign government grants);
  • Developing and managing European projects facilitating international student mobility.

Welcoming and supporting international students and researchers

  • Preparing students ahead of departure for France and supporting them during their stay (administrative procedures, cultural activities, etc.);
  • Supporting partners in developing and improving their provision for international students.

Analysing and monitoring international mobility

  • Identifying and describing trends and developments in international student mobility;
  • Designing surveys to support partners’ international strategies.

Manage and unite partner networks

  • Bringing together 365 higher education and research institutions and their representative organizations within the Campus France Forum;
  • Supporting the activities of institutions and their international development strategies;
  • Developing the global Campus France network.

Campus France is jointly supervised by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

France Médias Monde

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France Médias Monde encompasses France 24, the 24-hour news channel (in French, English, Arabic and Spanish); RFI, an international radio station (in French and 13 other languages); and Monte Carlo Doualiya, a universal radio in Arabic.

The three channels broadcast worldwide from Paris, in 15 languages. The group’s journalists and its network of correspondents offer viewers and listeners comprehensive coverage of world events, with a focus on cultural diversity and contrasting viewpoints via news bulletins, reports, magazines and debates.

Every week, RFI, France 24 and Monte Carlo Doualiya reach nearly 150 million people (45% in foreign languages) including 107.2 viewers and listeners of traditional broadcasting (measured in only on third of countries where broadcast), and 42.7 million users on the Internet (2017 average).

The three media outlets have more than 62 million Facebook and Twitter followers (May 2018). France Médias Monde is the parent company of CFI, the French media cooperation agency, and is a stakeholder of TV5MONDE, a Francophone television channel.

Updated: April 2019

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