France toughens immigration rules for foreign students

Nieuws | de redactie
5 oktober 2011 | Laurent Wauquiez, French Minister for Higher Education and Research, recently implemented a stricter policy on handing out residence permits to foreigners. Students unions and universities, both from the elitist grandes écoles and public sector, oppose these measures.

In detail, the French government will raise the financialbarrier for non-EU citizens and restricting the possibility forgraduates to find employment after they are done with theirstudies. The amount of financial resources that foreigners need tohave to study in France will be significantly increased. Upongraduation, non EU-students will furthermore only be allowed tostay 6 months in the country.

This will affect especially Moroccan students who represent thebiggest non-EU student group in France followed by Chinese andAlgerians. Laurent Wauquiez defended his new policy stating that itshould keep internationals from coming to France “just likethat”.

The Conférence des Présidents d’Université “considers thesemeasures as contrary to the very essence of a university and [fatalfor] the attractivity of French universities in the context ofglobalization”.

In this context, the student organization ConfédérationEtudiante criticized “appalling deadlines and numerous refusals forwork permits, which oblige many foreign graduates to give up afirst job, even when related to their degree, and to leaveFrance.The forced departure of these highly qualified students whohave been trained in our institutions constitutes an irreplaceableloss for the French economy and universities, at a time whennumerous innovatory sectors are under-endowed.”

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