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France Hikes Tuitions Tenfold for Non-EU International Students

The increases came to as shock to Chinese, who currently make up the largest group of international students attending schools in the country

By Zhang Qingchen Updated Dec.6

Recently, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that international students from outside the European Union will soon be paying more to attend public universities in France.  
The news came as shock to Chinese. Statistics from Campus France Chine show that since 2015, the largest group of international students in France hails from China. Their number continues to increase. The policy is now forcing many prospective students from China to reconsider their choice, People’s Daily reported.   
Annual tuition for undergraduates at public universities in France will increase from 170 euros (US$192) to 2,770 euros (US$3,140), an increase of more than ten times. Similar fee hikes are slated for graduate programs.   
Wen Jing (pseudonym), a student at Beijing International Studies University, plans to study in France in 2020. To some degree, she chose France for its relatively low tuition fees. However, the new increases are weighing on Wen’s decision.    
Li Hong, a Chinese student studying in Paris, said that France has many policies to attract foreign students, such as preferential visa procedures. The increase in tuitions comes as a shock, Li said.   
Philippe said that along with the tuition hikes, there will also be an increase in available scholarships for international students, as well as preferences for good students.   
Besides France, top universities in other countries such as the US have also increased tuitions for international students. Language requirements are also becoming more stringent, People’s Daily wrote.   
Considering these changes, students should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad as early as possible, the paper said.