The University of La Réunion welcomes 647 foreign students

The University of La Réunion, the only French and European university in the Indian Ocean, stands out for its high level of internationalization with 986 students of 68 nationalities enrolled in 2021-22 and 647 students of 55 nationalities already enrolled for the year that opens. This Friday, September 16, the facility, which celebrates 40 years of opening to the world, welcomed its foreign students, which is a sign of the attractiveness of the offer of training abroad and the dynamism of the exchange programs.

“The institution, which is bidding for the second star of the ‘Bienvenue en France’ designation, is also developing new admission systems, including the ‘Thursday Campus Tour’, as well as new regional and cross-border mobility exchange programmes.. This year, 21 students were welcomed as part of our Reunion program, in addition to the 22 welcomed last year », says Anne-Françoise Zattara, Deputy Vice-President for Europe and International Regional Cooperation of the University of La Réunion on this special day.

A tailor-made welcome

The aim of this accompanying event, which is a privileged moment for exchanges, is to provide these students from all continents with all the keys to success in the university year. They will be introduced to the priorities of the facility, faculties and university services, as well as the leisure activities and activities available on their campus. In a broader sense, they were given information about their new environment.

The quality of the reception is one of the priorities facilities labeled Welcome to France have been established by many initiatives aimed at making the stay of these students successful : support upon arrival at the airport, support during the entire study stay, getting to know the student “international ambassadors” divided by components to facilitate the daily life of foreign students.

Finally, specific courses are open to them, knowing that the institution has had a catalog of courses in English since last year. For international students who have not yet been able to join the institution, the University of La Réunion offers distance learning thanks to online course platforms.

The 5 most represented nationalities among our students come from Comoros, Madagascar, Germany, Mauritius and Switzerland.

Note that among the “rare” nationalities welcomed this year:

· The Rwanda (thanks to the joint action of the University of La Réunion and the French Embassy on site),

· South Africa, with the new cross-mobility program established with UKZN at the initiative of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs,

· The Panama,

· The Bolivia.

In 40 years, the University of La Réunion has become a key player both regionally and internationally. The only French and European university in the Indian Ocean region (ZOI), located on the Africa-Asia axis, wants to fully assume the main role of ambassador of French higher education, research and innovation and European in the Indian Ocean. This desire is manifested mainly through the implementation of new regional mobility programs.

New exchange program with South Africa

It was initiated by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs with the aim of strengthening mobility and exchanges between the African continent and France, a strategic cross-mobility program between France and South Africa aims to contribute to the scientific advancement of both countries by financing short-term exchange stays of postgraduate students in thematic areas of common interest and to enable these students to establish contact in order to fully develop their research potential and gain in-depth knowledge in their research fields. The experiment, carried out by the University in collaboration with the University of Kwazulu Natal (UKZN) in 4 areas (Building and Energy, Atmosphere and Climate, Agri-Food, Biodiversity and Tropical Aquatic, Coastal and Island Ecosystems) in 2022, will enable 10 students. (5 from each of the universities) to complete a semester of higher education recognized at the home institution in each host institution.

Extension of the mobility program

This first regional mobility program, similar to ERASMUS+, for students and staff in the Greater Indian Ocean region (Comoros, Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles) started during the academic year 2021-2022. Its purpose is to strengthen regional cooperation between partner institutions of higher education, strengthen the skills of students and employees of these institutions and offer them high-quality professional training.

The REUNION program aroused great interest already in the first year, as it enabled the realization of 22 student mobilities at the university, as well as 10 staff mobilities (5 at the University of La Réunion and 5 in partner institutions). Since 21 students are already expected on the 1stahem semester, THE MEETING has become a basic mobility program on a regional scale.

In addition, based on its new Erasmus+ accreditation for the period 2021-2027, the University of La Réunion today it has 214 disciplinary agreements with 123 European establishments. UR, very attractive to German students, is implementing a new innovative course this year thanks to French-German cooperation.

The University of La Réunion, the first university in the outermost regions to join the Franco-German university network (UFA)

By becoming a UFA partner, the University of La Réunion joins a network of more than 190 higher education institutions located in metropolitan France and Germany, bringing together almost 6,400 students and more than 300 PhD students. This membership thus strengthens the activities of the University of La Réunion in favor of the French-German partnership, which has already been materialized by numerous agreements on the exchange of students and teachers in cooperation with 41 German universities and the opening of the second year of the French-German bi-degree in cooperation with the Ruhr University in Bochum (Germany) on German and French-speaking areas overseas at the respective universities.

This is a major innovation in the education offer of the University of La Réunion, which is the first university in the most remote regions of Europe to establish such a course.

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