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Pre-departure information session 2018

03 August 2018 Community
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Campus France informs and guides students from South Africa leaving for their tertiary studies in France 2018/2019

France is the ideal country to pursue tertiary education from undergraduate to doctorate level.

With English as instruction language of over 1 300 courses in various educational domains, South Africans and Basotho do not need to be proficient in French to study at postgraduate level in France.

The financial investment of the French government in the French higher education system, additionally attracts international students because of the reduced public university tuition fees (only R4000 – R10 000 per academic year).

France therefore ranks as the leading, non-English, host country for international students, accommodating around 310 000 foreign students every year of which 42 000 originate from sub-Saharan Africa.

Apart from the 74 public universities, students can register at any one of the 227 engineering schools, 150 business schools, 120 art schools, 20 architecture schools and 270 doctorate schools.

France finance higher education opportunities through the French government scholarship programme, through its participation in European exchange programmes, namely ERASMUS+, as well as the elite Eiffel Excellence programme that offer scholarships to excellent academic achievers.

The French Embassy in South Africa encourages South African and Basotho graduates to continue with postgraduate degrees in France, offering finance opportunities through its competitive scholarship programme every year. Since 2011, the French Embassy has invested over 2 million euros in South African and Basotho student mobility and has sent around 220 South African and Basotho students to complete their tertiary degrees in France. In addition to the French Embassy scholarship holders, around 180 South African students chose France to continue with their higher education in 2016.

The French Embassy in South Africa hosted a pre-departure information session at the Alliance Française of Pretoria on 30 July for the students leaving for France in September 2018. The Campus France office of South Africa provided guidance for over 30 students on the administrative, academic and practical organisation in France. The students experienced a glimpse of the French culture and language through a language course offered by the Alliance Française of Pretoria, an information session about the travel opportunities by ATOUT FRANCE, and a French-style cocktail lunch. France alumni who benefitted from the scholarship programme in previous years shared their experience and advice and French enterprises in South Africa (TOTAL SA, Schneider Electric and Saint-Gobain) also presented their internship and career opportunities to the future French graduates. The students were also honoured to meet the South African higher education partners of France who attended the event, namely representatives from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The NRF co-funds 5 of the students who will complete their Masters degrees in agriculture. A representative from INSEAD Alumni was also present to network with the students.


The French government, through the French Embassy scholarship programme, supports 45 students during the 2018/2019 academic year to pursue their masters and doctorate degrees. Ten of the 45 students will work along French researchers to complete part of their doctoral studies, while 26 students will integrate in full time masters programmes. The French government will, in addition, support 8 students for short exchange programmes during their masters degrees as well as one professor from the University of South Africa (UNISA), Dr DOS SANTOS, who will form part of the “Make our Planet Great Again (MOPGA) initiative. Some scholarship holders will continue their studies in French Higher Education institutions in 2019/2020 while others will return as France Alumni ambassadors to invest their acquired skills in South Africa.

The France Alumni network of highly educated South African and Basotho professionals are increasing every year, forming part of the international France Alumni network consisting of almost 200 000 members.

France is highly committed to strengthening the collaboration between South African and French academic institutions and therefore encourages the public to consult their website for the study and financing opportunities in France.


For more information:

Mrs. Narine van den Berg

University Cooperation Officer

Embassy of France in South Africa – Campus France South Africa

[email protected]


Please visit the Campus France South Africa site for the pre-departure presentation.


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