Campus France, an agency promoting French higher education to foreign students globally, in collaboration with the French Embassy in Nigeria, has offered a channel to potential Nigerian students to have the experience of studying in France.
Also, the France Embassy stated that one of the many ways it is prepared to reinforce its relationship with Nigeria is through the exchange of educational experiences by both countries.
Both bodies stated that Nigeria is one of the biggest economies in Africa with youth population; and resolved to attract talents in the country to take advantage of the programme to study various courses offered by French higher institutions in France.
The France Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, who graced the seventh French Education Fair and the launch of the Bienvenue en France campaign in Lagos recently, which was organised by the Campus France and France Embassy in Nigeria, said the goal of the programme is to make France the destination of choice for young Nigerians who want to further their studies abroad.
He hinted that France President, Emmanuel Macron is interested in Nigeria for historic reasons, hence the motivation to further develop and consolidate the existing tie between both countries through education and many other ways.
“My President, Emmanuel Macron had spent a lot of time in Nigeria and has a special interest in the country, and he also knows that Nigeria is a very important country. He told us to develop special relations with Nigeria. So he is putting more emphasises on this educational programme.
“The objective of the event is to attract more Nigeria students. I know that many Nigerian students are afraid of studying in France because of language barrier, which is understandable; therefore, we have many courses of study in English Language. So it is not a problem; the lucky Nigerian students will go to France and study any course of their choice in English.”
Speaking also, the Ambassador of the campaign and Nigerian international model, Sandra Omo Idugboe, said the campaign is to further enhance quality education globally through Campus France education project, which she said is targeted at Anglophone countries, “welcoming them to France to come and have quality education.”
While sharing her personal experience and testimonial, Idugboe said having schooled and lived in France, the face of Bienvenue en France campaign, Campus France’s sole objective is to show Nigeria that France is ready to welcome Nigerian students with scholarship to France to study.
“As a French-speaking country, Nigerians have not had that desired relationship with France, hence it is using this strategy to solidify the existing relationship, and one of the ways to do that is through education exchange-getting more Nigerians into the country to come and school-which is one of the goals of President Emmanuel Macron.”
On her part, the Director-General of Campus France, Mrs. Béatrice Khaiat said the agency coordinates the Campus France Forum, which brings together 376 institutions and aims to enable collaboration between institutions, provide international strategies and develop operational offers for the international promotion of French higher education.
“We have more than 20 higher institutions from France at the fair. They include universities, Business and Engineering Schools. We want to attract more students from Nigeria, because we know that there are more than 90,000 Nigerian students abroad, and they mainly go to the US or UK or China as the latter is giving out scholarship, as well as Malaysia. In France, we see Nigeria as a very important and strategic country.
“Our president was here last year, where he stated how Nigeria is important to France. So we want to use this means to attract many Nigerian students to France to have the experience of French system of education as well as its unique culture. We already have many agreements with TETFund, PTDF, Kano State and many universities in Nigeria that want to send interesting students to study in France through scholarship.”