An increase in number is seen in the number of Indian students heading to France to do their MBAs. While luxury and brand management is very much in demand, courses such as sports management and CSR are also sought after.
It was reported that last year 3,000 students went to France from India, from which 75% are in the field of management. Moreover, a decade ago, France attracted only about a 100 Indian students an year. But of late, institutes like the ESC Rennes School of Business (or Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Rennes) have seen a surge in Indian applications.
Last September, 70 of the 210 applicants at ESC Rennes were Indian, twice the previous year’s number. One reason is that all the courses at the school are in English and 80% of the faculty is non-French. At the century-old ESSEC Business School, 50% of the faculty is ‘international’. In all, France offers over 800 programmes in English.
Visa rules are factor determining the stats. Changes in visa rules last year have also made France more attractive. “Visa regulations now allow students to work for some time after completing the programme and this may be a factor,” says Carole Bonani, associate dean for Faculty at ESC. This year, says Golla, around 10 students are heading to INSEAD which, according to him, has one of the most rigorous admission processes.
India’s increased interest in French institutions can also be traced to the cost factor. “In France, even private institutions are heavily subsidized. And the embassy offers a range of scholarships”, he says. On average, tuition fees amount to about Rs 10 lakh per annum. However, most Indian students return home after their studies since it’s difficult to land paid internships or jobs because of the language hurdle. But the Europe experience – travel, exposure, internships and group projects – radically improves their prospects back home, say students.