France and China have entered into 11 agreements to strengthen higher education and research partnerships as well as student mobility between the two countries, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research has announced.
The agreements were signed during an official visit to China by French President François Hollande in April, on which he was accompanied by Higher Education and Research Minister Geneviève Fioraso.
The accords are in line with French policy concerning China, which aims to boost student and research mobility between the two countries and to increase scientific and academic partnerships by establishing a French higher education presence in China and developing common basic and technological research projects, according to a statement from the French higher education and research ministry.
China has 24 million students, 5% of them studying abroad, and the government aims to double the number by 2020.
More than 30,000 Chinese are studying in France
The new partnerships aim to increase student mobility between the two countries to 80,000 and 10,000 respectively by 2020, said the French ministry.
China is France’s seventh biggest scientific partner and, said the statement, in addition to their collaboration in space projects for the past 15 years, there were six areas of mutual interest to the two countries’ research agenda “to meet new societal challenges and create sustainable value”.
The French and Chinese ministers signed two strategic agreements.
The first concerned educational and academic linguistic cooperation through setting up joint programmes to structure and increase postgraduate student mobility, and joint supervision of dissertations. Under the second, a joint working group on innovation will be established.
The nine other agreements are intended to reinforce cooperation between higher education and research institutions concerned.