The creation of CampusFrance is part of an ambitious public policy to enhance the attractiveness of France in the field of higher education.
CampusFrance is the product of the merger of Agence EduFrance and two other key vehicles for university and scientific mobility, CROUS and EGIDE. Agence EduFrance has until now been responsible for promoting French higher education and has achieved a solid track record and wide recognition as one of the world's leading organizations in this area. CROUS and EGIDE manage French government scholarships as well as programs for university cooperation sponsored by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Through the unifying of these programs, France has acquired the means to play a major role in the knowledge economy. The creation of CampusFrance will enhance the international visibility of French educational institutions, improve France's ability to attract the best foreign students by guaranteeing them a successful academic itinerary and strengthen its tools for organizing university and research partnerships.
In the pursuit of these goals, a ground-breaking joint program was carried out by the ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Education, Advanced Instruction and Research with the approval and advice of the operators and institutions concerned and which has new resulted in the creation of CampusFrance.
A two-stage rollout of the new system
This first stage has brought CampusFrance into existence through the reconfiguration of Agence EduFrance and the organizing of a global system which enables more than 80 CampusFrance offices around the world to fully coordinate the Information given to students interested in French higher education.
This single website eliminates the need for students to make an initial visit to their local office and guides them in their queries; they can set up a personal mailbox to correspond with their local CampusFrance staff and, once they have indicated their wish to pre-register in a particular discipline, they can correspond directly with a representative of the institution they would like to attend.
Students are aided by a powerful search engine managed by CampusFrance which provides information on more than 30,000 higher education courses. The online catalog is continually updated and easy for foreign students to understand thanks to simplified terms and translation into four main languages.
Students can then visit their local CampusFrance office where they will be assisted by staff that have been specially trained by the agency and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With their help, students can finalize their educational decision and complete the pre-consulate procedures: the motivation interview, verification of diplomas and creation of a digitized file accessible to the higher education institutions concerned. Supplementary informational materials can also be found in the local CampusFrance office.
The local offices will be in part responsible for promoting French higher education, particularly in the host country's universities, while CampusFrance-Paris will organize the major "showcase" events.
From its Paris headquarters, and acting under the authority of the diplomatic structures concerned, CampusFrance will also coordinate the implementation of the quality charter for the reception of foreign students by monitoring the phased-in application of 74 performance and result indicators. These indicators, in accordance with the highest international standards, define the quality of actions necessary to insure that all foreign students receive the best possible assistance - from their first expression of interest in France right through to their return home after their training.
Thanks to the integration of CNOUS international and EGIDE, CampusFrance facilities will be created in France as from 2007 which will result in higher quality care for foreign students after their arrival in France; experiments will be conducted in the coming year in order to make generally available a number of concrete improvements as from 2008 including detailed guidance, tutors, a single contact point and a maximum degree of personalized assistance.