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R-Day gift: France hopes to say ‘bienvenue’ to 30K Indian students by 2030

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated on Friday that the country hopes to welcome 30,000 Indian students in its universities by 2030 and that he is “determined to make it happen”.

Calling it an “ambitious” target, Macron, who is the chief guest at India’s 75th Republic Day celebrations, said that the two countries have “so much to do together, now and in the future”.

“We will achieve this with you, our young people, in exchange and cooperation, in trust, in friendship,” Macron wrote on X, adding that France will facilitate the visa process for any former Indian students who studied in the country.

Further, the president said that they are launching new pathways to learn the French language in public schools with the initiative “French for All, French for a Better Future”.

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

Stating that “coming to France means looking for excellence”, Macron informed that the country now has 35 universities in the QS ranking, and about 15 in the Times higher education ranking.

The French President had last year announced his intent to welcome 20,000 Indian students by 2025 and reach 30,000 by 2030 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris as Chief Guest of the country’s National Day on July 14.

It was also announced that the country will issue “Schengen visas with a validity period of five years to Indians who have studied in France during at least one semester, on the condition that they pass a Master level degree”.

Macron arrived in Jaipur on January 25 where Modi met him and presented a replica of Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir.

The two leaders bonded over masala chai and held discussions on further consolidating strategic cooperation in defence, security, trade, and clean energy.