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France to allow tens of thousands of Indian students into its universities

French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to allow 30,000 Indian students into France’s universities by 2030.

Macron announced the move while in New Delhi for India’s 75th Republic Day, where he attended celebrations as chief guest and was greeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“30,000 Indian students in France in 2030. It’s a very ambitious target, but I am determined to make it happen,” Macron said on X.

“Coming to France means looking for excellence. We are launching new pathways in order to learn French in public schools with the initiative ‘French for All, French for a Better Future’.

“We are developing the network of Alliances françaises, with new centres to learn French. We are creating international classes which will allow students, who do not necessarily speak French, to join our universities.

“Last but not least, we will facilitate the visa process for any former Indian students who studied in France.”

Macron accepted a last-minute invitation to attend the Republic Day parade after US President Joe Biden pulled out.

There are already about 10,000 Indian students in France, 320,000 in Canada, 143,000 in the UK, 253,000 in the US and 108,000 in Australia where Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a deal exempting Indians from a slate of migration rules during a visit with Modi.

The May 2023 deal allows for five-year student visas for Indians, eight-year temporary work visas for Indian graduates, unlimited work rights for spouses, and three-month visitor visas for family or business purposes, with no caps on numbers.

Another scheme will allow 3,000 Indian graduates to work and stay in Australia for up to two years and then apply for permanent skilled visas.

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