Overview of university cooperation between France and Australia

For a detailed presentation on the higher education system in Australia, please consult the Fiche Curie (French only) prepared by the Cultural, Education, Science and Technology section of the Embassy.

Embassy objectives

The Embassy’s policy on university cooperation aims to fit into a broader continuum including training, research, innovation and the transfer of technology. Academic partnerships, in addition to their contribution to the quality of intercultural exchanges and good relations between nations, are an investment in building the French-Australian scientific, technological and economic partnership of tomorrow between two countries of academic and scientific excellence.

Accordingly, the actions undertaken by the Embassy in university cooperation are carried out in close collaboration with the section for cooperation in science and technology.

This vision is developed as the French higher education system undergoes major changes aimed at increasing its international visibility. The Embassy ensures the promotion of these reforms and the opportunities they offer in the development of new, more ambitious partnerships. The emergence of the Communities of Universities and Establishments (COMUE’s), university mergers, the Investments in the Future program and notably the Initiatives of Excellence (IDEX) represent the new framework in which collaborations between French and Australian universities are developing.

To explain the new landscape of French higher education, the Embassy has created a series of explanatory fact sheets in English available for download here.

Several major partnerships are currently being established between these new French academic and scientific communities and major Australian universities, including collaborations between the Université Sorbonne Paris Cité and the University of Sydney, and Paris Sciences et Lettres and The Australian National University.

Agreements between universities

In 2016, the Embassy created a map listing all the current agreements between French and Australian higher education establishments. Students can consequently search for the French establishments with which their home university has an agreement in order to undertake an exchange and experience study abroad. The tool is also useful for the universities themselves, as it provides a global overview of existing cooperation which can guide them in the implementation of their international strategy.

Agreements between French and Australian Higher Education Establishments
-  The Australian National University
-  University of Canberra
-  University of New England
-  Charles Sturt University
-  Southern Cross University
-  University of Newcastle
-  University of Sydney
-  University of New South Wales
-  University of Technology Sydney
-  Western Sydney University

Agreements between French and Australian Higher Education Establishments
-  Macquarie University
-  Australian Catholic University
-  University of Wollongong
-  Charles Darwin University
-  University of Queensland
-  Queensland University of Technology
-  Griffith University
-  Bond University
-  Central Queensland University
-  University of the Sunshine Coast

Agreements between French and Australian Higher Education Establishments
-  James Cook University
-  University of Adelaide
-  University of South Australia
-  Flinders University
-  University of Tasmania
-  Federation University
-  Deakin University
-  University of Melbourne
-  Monash University
-  RMIT

Agreements between French and Australian Higher Education Establishments
-  Swinburne University of Technology
-  La Trobe University
-  University of Western Australia
-  Curtin University
-  Edith Cowan University
-  Murdoch University
-  University of Notre Dame

However, the signing of a cooperation agreement does not always lead to concrete actions. The Embassy does not encourage the uncontrolled increase of "Memorandum of Understanding"-type agreements, but rather encourages French establishments to target specific partnerships with Australian institutions sharing a broad spectrum of common interests, both in training and in research.

Key figures for student mobility

An imbalanced flux

The Consulate General of France in Sydney delivers between 450 and 500 student visas to Australians and internationals residing in Australia each year. These figures which demonstrate the annual flux of Australian students to France do not take into account holders of a European passport, who are not required to obtain a visa in order to study in France, or stays of less than three months, which form an increasingly important part of student mobility within the framework of short programs. According to statistics gathered by the Campus France agency, 467 Australian students were enrolled in French establishments (stock) in 2014-2015.

In the other direction, the number of French students enrolled in Australian universities was 1716 in 2015 according to the Australian Department of Education.

This imbalance in the flux of student mobility between France and Australia can be explained by numerous factors, commencing with the difference in numbers of students enrolled in higher education in France (2.55 million in 2015) and in Australia (1.3 million in 2014). Of equal importance are the barriers of language, and the development of courses taught in English in French establishment’s offer new opportunities to attract an increasing number of Australian students to France.

New approaches to attractiveness

To increase the mobility of Australian students to France and solidify the institutional partnership agreements signed between French institutions and Australian counterparts, the Embassy is developing a series of initiatives:

-  Campus France Australia, the Embassy service dedicated to the promotion of studies in France, provides students with access to its website and its offices in 6 Alliance Française’s across the country, and organises numerous events to distribute information about the different opportunities available in France. To find out more, click here.
-  Excellence in scientific research in France and Australia, as well as the numerous individual connections which exist between researchers from the two countries, are important leverage for increasing student mobility. The development of overseas research internships, business internships, cotutelle theses and CIFRE theses are strongly supported by the Embassy, notably through the Baudin Scholarship Program (lien vers la page consacrée aux bourses).
-  In addition to the traditional semester abroad exchange, the Embassy also encourages the implementation of short-term programs such as "Summer Schools" (which may take place during the winter break in Australia). These programs are increasingly popular with Australian students, as they offer a taste of what a longer period of study could be like.
From 2017, a "Creative France" label will be awarded to an innovative French-Australian Summer School and will be accompanied by financial support from the Embassy.

Dernière modification : 22/06/2017

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