Ambassador Ziegler visits French school, open to Indian students

French Ambassador speaks about the agreement on the mutual recognition of academic qualifications between France and India.

New Delhi, 9 May 2018

The Lycée Français International de Delhi (French International School in Delhi) is expanding its outreach for foreign students’ enrolment, especially aspirational Indian pupils seeking an excellent bilingual education in an international, multicultural atmosphere.

H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, gave journalists an overview of the Lycée français outreach plan today and the education it imparts, which follows a bilingual track to make the school not only more inclusive, but also to give its students the advantage of proficiency in two widely-spoken foreign languages.

It may be noted that an agreement on the mutual recognition of academic qualifications between France and India was signed during President Emmanuel Macron’s recent India visit, aimed at boosting student exchanges between the two countries.

Ranked third among countries welcoming the greatest number of foreign students, France is an attractive destination for higher education, many of its programmes being taught in the English language in fields as varied as science and engineering, law, economics, political science, journalism, architecture, design, fine arts, or management studies.

Ambassador Ziegler also gave a guided tour of the school and engaged with the students, representatives of the student body and board of management, as well as interacted with members of the press.

Speech by H.E. Alexandre Ziegler at the Lycée Français International in Delhi

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I’m delighted to see you all at the Lycée Français International in Delhi - or LFID. We are in one of the oldest, though lesser known French institutions in Delhi, and I wanted to take this occasion to meet you all here, in this symbolic location, to share some aspects of our partnership on education.

Just two months have elapsed since the State visit of President Emmanuel Macron in India. When we speak about a State visit, when we think more generally about our bilateral relationship, the first things that cross our mind are our strategic partnership, the relation we have developed in the field of defence and security. And yet, I truly believe that there can’t be any strong and long-term strategic partnership without a strong people-to-people partnership, what I sometimes call a partnership from the heart.

Indeed, education, engaging with the youth has been a core pillar of this recent State visit. And let me tell you this is going to be one of the top priorities of this embassy in the coming months and years.

Today, we are gathered at the French International School. LFID has been here for decades now, and yet is not quite well-known in Delhi education circles. We want this to change.

LFID is not only a French school. It actually has students of 47 nationalities on its rolls. But believe it or not, before last year, it could not enrol Indians nationals. This absurd situation had to change and I’m here today to present, along with the parents and students in this room, who will share their experiences, a brand new LFID.

We have worked a lot over the past months to transform this school into an attractive, open and truly international institution:

  • An institution with a new status, established as multicultural education trust, which now interfaces with Indian authorities to allow and facilitate the admission of Indian students.
  • An institution with a new improved bilingual track, where students can choose an à la carte teaching tailored to the needs of each student.
  • An institution that is now widely open to all nationalities: among the 316 students enrolled in the school, only half are French, 123 hold other nationalities and I am proud to announce that 25 Indian families have already chosen the LFID as the international school for their children.

One of the concrete advantages of LFID is that it starts from the nursery level and goes right up to high school, i.e. 12th grade. Excellent education is imparted from nursery to high school, culminating in the baccalaureat, a higher secondary education certificate that is recognized in India and helps students pursue their studies not only in India or France but also in Europe, the US or Canada.

Let me add that the school fees are very competitive for an institution providing an excellent environment: a class average of 15 students, air purifiers in all rooms, and well-located in the heart of Delhi.

In a nutshell, the French International School in Delhi is now a well-recommended option to consider for any Delhi family looking for an institution of excellence with good infrastructure, and quality teaching tailored to the needs of each student, at affordable fees.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit further about why students should choose France, not only here in Delhi, but to pursue a higher education degrees in our country.

France is not only one of the largest economies of the world; it is also one of the most attractive education systems in the world. Indeed, it ranked third, in 2017, in terms of receiving the highest number of international students, right after the US and the UK.

But let’s face it; although dozens of thousands of students from America or China chose our universities every year, this is not quite the case with Indian students.

During his State visit to India, exactly two months ago, President Emmanuel Macron had a clear message for the Indian youth: you are welcome in France to study, to research, to become an entrepreneur. India has to deal with a growing and more demanding student population. They are most welcome in France.

  • They will find a diverse and excellent higher education system in Arts, Science, Humanities, with world-class research facilities and research institutes, such as CNRS or our National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), which are among the very best in the world.
  • They will find an affordable education system, in a country which believes in the equality of treatment of all students. Thus, Indian students get to pay the same tuition fees as French scholars in public institutions, (with tuition fees highly subsidised by the French Government, usually less than 1000€ a year in public universities)
  • They will find a very international educational environment, where language is not a barrier, with over 1300 programmes taught in English in many different areas, while giving you the opportunity to learn a language that is spoken by 250 million people across 5 continents.
  • They will get a degree widely recognized worldwide, which also gives an edge when back in India, given that 450 French companies in the manufacturing, defence, space, nuclear energy, automotive, smart cities and IT service sectors employ 350,000 people.
  • Last but not least, they will get the opportunity to experience the quality of life of a country that ranks, not only by chance, as the world number one destination for tourists, thanks to its diversity and richness of landscapes, culinary arts, festivals, events, cultural heritage. Let me add that being located at the very heart of Europe, you get easy access to all EU countries.

I often hear that visa is an issue. It might be increasingly the case for many countries, but I strongly believe that France has developed over the past years a very attractive visa policy:

  • Indian students can stay in France after the completion of their studies for a further period of up to 2 years to seek a first professional experience.
  • Indian alumni who hold post-graduate degrees from French institutions are eligible for 5-year short-stay Schengen visas; so are their accompanying spouse and children.
  • France’s “Talent Passport,” a type of multi-year residence permit of up to four years, has been introduced to attract foreign researchers, artists, employees on assignments abroad, scientists, etc. and facilitate their passage to France.

Last but not least, the governments of India and France have recently entered into an agreement for the mutual recognition of academic qualifications.

This agreement is the first of its kind signed by India.
Concretely, it means that any Bachelor’s, Masters’ and PhD degrees recognised by India will be automatically recognised in France, and vice versa. This is a major change that will ease student exchanges. It also applies to our higher secondary school certificate, known as the baccalauréat (Standard 12), which students can appear for right here, at the LFID.
The agreement is expected to enter into effect within a few months.

To conclude, my main message today would be “Choose France”, from nursery school here at LFID to PhD studies in some of the best universities in the world. Choose France just like France has chosen India!

Last modified on 09/05/2018

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