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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Mobility and internationalisation


13.Mobility and internationalisation

Last update: 27 November 2023

The European and international dimension is strongly inscribed in the curricula of primary and secondary education. It is notably through the teaching of foreign languages, geography, history and civic education that we aim to develop the European and international openness of pupils. In addition to the direct contribution of teaching, a set of initiatives taken at school level contribute to the development of the European and international dimension of education, such as the number of partnerships between schools in France and abroad. In 2017, 100% of lower-secondary and upper-secondary schools are involved in at least one partnership with a foreign establishment, and more than 50% of elementary schools are invested in the framework of a European or international project (eTwinning, Erasmus +, among others) .

The circular of June 15, 2016 reaffirms the importance of student mobility, its recognition in their career and redefines the framework and the conditions. A student who has gone on mobility as part of a partnership between his establishment and a foreign establishment must not be penalized on his return, whether it is his passage in the upper class (if his results allow it), his orientation or reassignment to a French establishment; the educational achievements built within the framework of a mobility abroad will therefore be fully recognized. For each pupil, a certificate will be produced as part of the school book in order to highlight the skills acquired by the student on this occasion.

The mobility is also promoted in vocational education. The mobility option experienced in the professional baccalaureate since 2014 (7,000 candidates in 2018) is consolidated and extended to other diplomas in the professional path. In addition, as part of "long" mobility (more than 2 months), the valuation of skills acquired abroad is now possible.

Finally, numerous resources and information platforms have been made available to pupils and students. For example, the National Office for Information on Teaching and Professions (ONISEP) has created the platform "Ma voie pro Europe", which offers information and advice for secondary school pupils in vocational education and higher education students wishing to stay in Europe as part of volunteering, a professional internship, training or an exchange program.

In line with the major European objectives, France seeks to promote the international mobility of young people and adults. The public authorities have set ambitious targets for international student mobility. The President of the Republic aims at "half of an age group will have spent at least six months before their 25th birthday in another European country by 2024, [regardless of him being a higher education student or an apprentice", meaning around 400,000 students per year in France. The Prime Minister wants to reach 500,000 international students on the move in France by 2027.

Within the framework of program 150 of the Organic Law relating to Finance Laws, objectives have been set to strengthen the European and international opening of higher education institutions. There is in particular an objective of proportion of foreign students in master and doctorate in the French establishments, an objective on behalf of foreign teacher-researchers among the teachers recruited during the year, or an objective aiming at the number of PhDs under international joint supervision (France and another country) and the proportion of articles co-published with another EU-27 country.

Finally, like the other countries of the European Union, public education policies in France are part, among other things, of the “Education and Training 2020” strategic framework, for which two objectives concerning learning mobility have been set. First, at least 20% of higher education graduates should have completed a study or training period linked to this education abroad (including internships), representing a minimum of 15 ECTS credits or one minimum duration of three months. Second, at least 6% of 18-34 year-old graduates of initial vocational education and training should have completed a period of study or training abroad related to this type of education or training (including internships) of a minimum duration of two weeks.