French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said on Wednesday that France aims to welcome 20,000 Indian students by 2025. “To achieve this objective, we must attract 7500 to 8000 students every year, and hence increase the actual number by 50%. This is very ambitious. But the sky is the limit between India and France. The Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of Colonna, France, while interacting with the students of Lady Shri Ram College.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna pointed out that they have recovered from the pandemic-induced drop in the number of Indian students going to France, and that its appeal among Indian students is “as strong as ever”.
“France will welcome almost the same number of Indian students in 2022 as in 2019, during which more than 5000 students have completed their process of long-term study in France,” he added.
Further, Colonna lauded France’s financial aid efforts for students which benefited a number of Indians as well. “France provided unprecedented support through scholarship, with a record of € 1.6 million this year that benefited 500 Indian students.” The scholarships were sponsored by private companies through the French Indian Education Trust.
During her discussion with students, she emphasised the need for gender equality in not just education, but also internationally. “I believe we (men and women) are complimentary. And the world would be in better balance and harmony if there are more women in key positions.” she said.
Ahead of the 25th anniversary of India-France strategic relations in 2023, she underlined the strong bilateral ties between the two nations. “Our countries share common values, such as democracy, rule of law, of course. But also our relation to the world, be it our keen appreciation for beauty and refinement in Arts including gastronomy, our interest for History or our vision of the future.”