Globalization and internationalization are phenomena that exert a significant influence on the world map of Higher Education. In France also, new trends are emerging. Céline Davesne, NEOMA BS Deputy General Manager of Programs, presents in 3 questions the ins and outs of the internationalization of French higher education.
NEOMA BS : It is often said that higher education has never been so international. Is this a reality?
Céline Davesne : The academic scene has become more and more international in recent years. In this context, higher education in France has evolved to become much more attractive abroad. NEOMA Business School is no exception. We have noted an increase in the number of international student enrolments in particular, especially among Chinese and Indian students, but also in the number of students from Latin America, the United States and Southeast Asia over the last 3 years.
This trend is very likely going to continue. The number of courses taught in English, whether in France or elsewhere in Europe (especially Eastern Europe), is increasing. International students are well advised to take an interest in these courses, as they can continue to improve their level of English whilst learning a third language, regardless of the content of the chosen programme.
How can this trend be explained? What are the most popular areas of training among foreign students?
There are several reasons for this: the reputation and growing recognition of the courses taught in English in France. The high positions of French academic institutions in international rankings also works in our favour. In addition, France is a country with a high rate of triple-accredited schools, which allows for international recognition of the quality of its management training. Other than these reasons, the current economic context, particularly with the Trump effect in the United States and the potential risks associated with Brexit in the United Kingdom, add to the appeal of higher education in France.
To go further and allow our higher education programmes every opportunity to shine on the international scene, a range of measures have been put in place by certain governments. I am thinking in particular of the "stay-back" agreement set up by the French government for Indian students, allowing them to stay longer in France after their graduation (24 months). But this type of initiative is also being developed abroad, for example, the Indian government has set up a range of measures to help Indian students who wish to pursue their studies in France on academic exchange. The Charpak Scholarship is also available for Master's programmes and doctoral research.
If I focus on our experience at the School, International Business, Supply Chain, Luxury Management and Finance remain the preferred areas of study for international students who join NEOMA Business School. Of course, the French Touch, especially in the luxury sector, plays a major role in the success of French training courses abroad. Finally, this appeal is also linked to country-specific trends. For example, the Chinese have a penchant for French-style luxury and India has expressed needs in logistics.
How have French Business Schools organised themselves in a practical sense to host international students?
It's no mystery, to attract international students it is essential to develop a strong and recognised range of courses in English. This is what NEOMA Business School has been doing for nearly 40 years now with our post-baccalaureate Master's programmes taught 100% in English. Our ambition: not only to develop our appeal abroad, but also to offer our French students programmes that are designed to prepare them for the challenges of a globalised professional world. Today, although we are a French business school, 40% of our programme portfolio is taught entirely in English. To be able to do this, we have developed our faculty accordingly. Today, 65% of our faculty are international professors, which is a real asset as it means the multicultural experience in the classroom is strengthened. Indeed, our international development strategy is based on a global exchange system that guarantees a highly international and multicultural context. Thanks to the number of exchange students on our campuses, more than 100 nationalities meet in the classroom every day. With more than 300 partners worldwide, more than 70% of which are accredited schools, the quality speaks for itself.
These international students also select Schools that offer programmes approved by the French Ministry of Education. For them, this recognition is a guarantee of the quality of the training. A further selection criterion is the triple accreditation (AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA) that NEOMA Business School holds, placing the school among the 1% most prestigious international institutions in the world.