“Welcome to France” Plan Launch and Application of Differentiated Tuition Rates at PSL


On November 19, 2018, the French Prime Minister presented the “Welcome to France” plan, which states that from the start of the 2019 academic year, students from outside the European Union will need to pay €2,770 a year for undergraduate programs and €3,770 a year for Master’s programs, up from the current €170 for undergraduate and €243 for Master’s. The measure initially called for increasing tuition for PhD students to €3,770 as well, but based on the recommendation of a report produced via consultation (submitted to Minister for Research Frédérique Vidal on February 18), they will ultimately be exempt from the increase. Universities may still waive tuition for up to 10% of students. A budget of €10 million has been allocated to improve the services provided to these students in 2019, which will cover opening a special welcome desk for international students at each university starting in the fall of 2019.

PSL’s Position

Launching the “Welcome to France” plan and applying differentiated tuition rates for national Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees for students from outside the EU

  • PSL believes that the arrangements for international students must be improved to more closely reflect the best international standards. To this end, early this year it formed a dedicated department which has already begun a certification procedure, with support from the Ministry and coordinated by Campus France.
  • PSL and its Schools are strongly committed to providing equal opportunities for all students, regardless of national origin.
  • The exemption cap of 10% of enrolled students is sufficient, for the 2019-2020 school year, to provide a general waiver. Moreover, the logistics of implementing the measure would be difficult to reconcile with the recruitment calendar already underway for next fall.
  • Consequently, for the 2019-2020 school year, PSL wishes to partially waive the fees of non-EU international students in both Bachelor's and Master’s programs affected by the measure and apply the same tuition rates to them that apply to all PSL students.
  • In parallel, PSL will implement a task force supervised by the vice-president for international relations, who will report to the referring head of institution. The aims of this task force include:
    • establishing a shared diagnosis of the current situation and making proposals to improve the policy for hosting international students within the university, in the context of the government’s “Welcome to France” plan.
    • developing a proposed scenario regarding the PSL tuition policy for non-EU students. This will include exploring the possibility of adopting this same partial exemption system for future years, with all students paying the same tuition; or of implementing differentiated tuition payments based on each student’s financial ability, for example based on sworn statements. In the second case, the fees paid will be allocated to improving conditions for international students and providing scholarships for students with the greatest need. The situations and practices of different disciplinary fields and schools will need to be examined.
    • considering the strategy of using MAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholarships to support PSL’s international student recruitment strategy.

The recommendations of this task force must remain compatible with the exemption cap set in the decree, calculated across all of PSL.

  • With regard to the policy adopted by PSL, each member school will be responsible for determining the amount of tuition to be paid from non-EU students and the conditions for redistribution.