MBA in France
Prolific culture, distinct culinary delights, magnificent architecture, a flock of artists, and intellectually-stimulating environment are some features that make France a most-sought after country to pursue higher education. As a part of the Bologna Process agreement, universities in France offer various programmes and courses catering to the needs of every student, whether it’s a Bachelors Programme, Master’s or Doctorate. An artisan’s hub, France sees a majority of admissions in the arts field. However, as more and more people flock to European countries for quality education, France often tops their list. Specifically, for MS courses and MBA Programmes. With 11 triple accredited Business schools, France is following in UK’s footsteps of providing the best of education. Recently, the esteemed Financial Times European Business School ranking revealed 22 top business schools that are based in France. In the QS World University Rankings of 2015-2016, 41 French universities featured in the list, out of which 11 universities ranked in the top 250.
From Fashion, Designing, to Merchandising and Luxury Brand Management, Paris- the Fashion Capital of the World- offers a variety of courses for students interested in the field of fashion and brands. On the other hand, 10 of the top 100 B-schools of the world are located in France. Hence, postgraduate applicants are attracted to this country and enjoy a diverse range of options to choose a course and also, opt for extra subjects besides their prescribed curriculum. Apart from being an abode of evolving technology, innovation and development, MBA in French universities provides an opportunity to learn from the best of faculty, interact with people from diverse backgrounds, and pan-European networking prospects.
It is a chain of official agreements set during ministerial meetings between European countries to guarantee parity in the quality standards of higher education courses by the universities. This agreement also led to the formation of European Higher Education Area under the Lisbon Recognition Convention. In 1999, the declaration was signed at the University of Bologna by Ministers of Education hailing from 29 European countries, hence, named the Bologna Process. With time, other European countries signed the declaration, such as Prague (2001), Berlin (2003), Bergen (2005), London (2007), and Leuven (2009). Currently, the Bologna Process has 50 participating countries including France.
MBA and Different Specialisations
French B-schools have a lot to offer in terms of both theatrical and practical knowledge. Along with a competitive curriculum and experienced faculty to learn from, the renaissance architectural infrastructure and other student facilities such as a library, high-tech labs, etc, allow students to have a smooth college life. MBA degree from is internationally recognized, thus, one can plan to settle anywhere in the world with a reputable company. Apart from academia, the opportunity to experience the French culture and lifestyle is an add-on.
A generic MBA programme aims at developing a well-rounded businessmen/ entrepreneur without specialising in any specific subject. Mostly, universities prefer aspirants with work experience to be eligible for such courses, yet, some universities might just grant admission on the basis of good academics. Have a look at the bifurcation of MBA programmes as per curriculum:
- General management programme: A generic MBA course concentrates on the foundational elements of management. Under this programme, the curriculum covers principal management subjects such as Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Human Resource Management, and Entrepreneurship and so on.
- Specialization programme: This course’s curriculum entails both the fundamentals of general management and the essentials of a particular field- Marketing, Finance, Accounting, and HRM, etc.
French universities offer diverse ranges of specialisation to choose from which have been listed below:
- MBA in HR Management
- MBA in Business Analytics
- MBA in Finance Management
- MBA in Marketing Management
- MBA in Travel and Tourism Management
- MBA in Aviation Management
- MBA in Digital Marketing
- MBA in Healthcare Management
- MBA in IT
- MBA in Media Management
Although French State universities charge a minimal tuition fee, few international students may still feel the burden of budgeting everything. For them, there are various institutional and regional scholarship options to apply for:
- Ile-de-France Masters Scholarships: A Masters scholarship provided by the Regional Council of Île-de-France to foreign students seeking admission in higher education institution in the Île-de-France. Open to all international students, however, preference is given to aspirants from Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, or the new European member states.
- The Eiffel Scholarship: A programme, developed by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, under which reputed French universities can apply. The Eiffel Scholarship aims at attracting international aspirants for diploma programs at Master and Ph.D. level. It covers four main categories of study: Law, Economy and Management, Engineering Sciences (Ph.D. and master’s level), and Political Sciences.
- Erasmus Mundus Scholarships: Offered to both European and Non-European students, the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship is funded by the European Union. This scholarship is available for Joint Programmes at a Masters or Doctorate level.
Some Universities also offer scholarships for International Students which have been listed below:
- Centrale Nantes Elite Scholarship: An initiative by the École Centrale de Nantes, this scholarship is available for non-European students who have been accepted into the first year of their Master programme
- Emile-Boutmy Scholarship by the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po): Named after the founder of Sciences Po, this scholarship is awarded to the brightest international students from outside the European Union. Based purely on merit and suitability according to the type of profile sought for the course, the scholarship criteria also includes Social criteria as a major plus point.
- The ISM Scholarships: The International School of Management (Paris) provides both need-based and merit-based scholarships. According to various talents and abilities, scholarships are awarded on the basis on academics (Tuition Assistance Scholarship), economic status(Dean's Opportunity Scholarship), strong research skills (Publication Scholarship), for women returning to the academic field after a break (Women in Business Scholarship), and so on.
Modes of Teaching
Apart from choosing additional subjects to study, French Universities also have options for learning modes offered to individuals as per their preferences/ employment status. Basically, there are four types of teaching/ learning modes:
- Regular Classroom Programmes
- Distance Education Programmes
- Fast-track Programmes
- Online Learning Programmes
Eligibility/Requirements for pursuing MBA
The basic requirements for admission that are common to all French universities are:
- Candidates must have three to four years of work experience (may vary according to university)
- Minimum educational qualification equivalent to French Baccalaureate or any Bachelor’s Degree
- International students and non-native English speakers need to present their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores
- Scores of GMAT or GRE (depending on the university)
The duration of MBA programme differs from university to university. Some B-schools have a course duration of two years (24 months) while others offer a 16-months MBA crash course. If you are applying for MBA diploma, then the duration will be minimum one year.
The main document required for the admission process includes:
- A valid passport
- Complete application form with passport size photos
- Loan documents
- Financial documents
- Original and authentic transcripts of schools and/or college
- Statement of Purpose/ Essays as directed by the university
- Letters of Recommendation and Resume
- Scholarship Essay, if applicable
- Other supporting documents as asked by the university
- Majorly all French universities offer online application along with a complete set of documents. One can download the application form from their respective websites and follow the instructions, as provided.
- After the filling the application form, all required documentation should be ready to be submitted along with the form. You would also need to pay a small amount as the application fee.
- Keep an eye on the submission deadlines as the universities and try to submit the form as soon as possible and not wait till the last moment.
- Depending upon the university, interviews will be conducted either on call or through other electronic means of communication.
- Make sure you have received your student visa so that once you receive the admit letter, there is no delay in joining the university, else the admission can be forfeited.
Although the state-run colleges offer programmes at minimal tuition costs. Private universities have a higher tuition fee as compared to the government ones and one can generally expect the fee to be around 4,500–7,000 EUR per year. Here are some major colleges and an approximate tuition fee cost for them:
Rouen Business School
Reims Management School (RMS)
Top MBA Colleges in France
Here are few more top B-schools in France that offer MBA Programme:
- INSEAD Business School
- ESSEC Business School
- Grenoble Graduate School of Business
- European Business School Paris
- ESC Rennes School of Business
- University of Nantes
- ISC Paris
- Toulouse Business School
- Montpellier Business School
- ESC Clermont
- Kedge Business School
- Audencia Business School
- Skema Business School
- Rennes School of Business
- ICN Business School
Career Advancement after MBA in France
Irrespective of the specialisation, an MBA Degree from a reputed French University would definitely add significance to your resume. Graduating from B-schools like HEC Paris or INSEAD enhances one’s profile and provides an advantage in the competitive business field. The reputation of such B-schools and the quality of education along with relevant practical experience, make these schools function as ambassadors for the French MBA as a whole. Hence, even domestically accredited programmes at state-run institutes enjoy an international reputation and as a result, their profile allows them to provide enhanced training to the aspirants. As per recent statistics and data of employment post-French MBA, 80-90 percent of aspirants from these institutes find employment in their respective fields as soon as they receive their degree. Their salary range starts from $80,000 to $120,000.
Earning an MBA degree from France puts you on a global pedestal, however, opportunities within France are relatively high as well. According to a new report by INSEAD, an estimated 40 percent of its alumni found employment within France in their respective field, with top Fortune 500 companies. Forming an alumni network or taking guidance from them as well can help you pave your path post-MBA.
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