Recruiting international students: How to stay competitive

Recruiting international students: How to stay competitive

While international mobility has undergone significant changes in recent years, what mechanisms has ParisTech implemented to remain competitive and recruit the best? What have been the main flows in recent years, the modes of selection, the common actions carried out by our schools, and with what perspectives in mind?

Joint interview with JEAN-FRANÇOIS NAVINIER, Director of International Relations at Télécom ParisTech and ParisTech Coordinator for Latin America and SYLVAIN FERRARI, Director of ParisTech China.

What is ParisTech’s international strategy?

JFN: Each school has its own international strategy. But they work together within ParisTech to recruit international students, to develop double degrees and foster their students’ outgoing mobility, to develop partnerships in Europe and, finally, to project themselves on the international stage with implantations.

SF: ParisTech has been present in China since 1999. Our strategy revolves around five axes: academic partnerships with 12 of the best science and engineering universities, relations with French companies (e.g. partnerships with Safran, Valeo, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Ardian) or local ones, the alumni network (2,200 alumni in China), institutional relations, especially with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and four Franco-Chinese Institutes (FCI).

What is ParisTech’s main recruiting method?

JFN: ParisTech schools have been pooling the recruiting of international students in their engineering courses for over 20 years (“coordinated recruiting”), in association with leading academic partners in the target countries – China, Brazil, Colombia, Russia. Students admitted to this program after their bachelor’s degree enter France’s engineering cycle in its second year. They obtain their diploma from the ParisTech host school along with, if they follow a double-degree course, the master’s or engineer’s degree from their home university. So we recruit some 40 students a year in Brazil, some fifteen in Colombia, a hundred in China, and a dozen in Russia.

SF: In 2000, ParisTech set up a partnership in China with 9 of the best Chinese universities, and three more joined them in 2011/2012. Since 2000, over 1,300 Chinese students have been recruited by ParisTech schools.


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