23 January 2017
Jersey students and their parents are being invited to a special information evening next week to find out about university degrees in Caen, where courses are free to all undergraduates. It will take place at 7pm on Thursday 9 February at Haute Vallée School and will include a video link with an English-speaking student who is currently at Caen.
University staff are making a special trip to the Island following discussions with the Education Department about how to help Jersey students understand what is available and enrol for a degree in Normandy.
Caen University has a department called Carré International, which is dedicated to supporting foreign students, international affairs and language training.
Chief Education Officer Justin Donovan said “The latest meeting with Caen has confirmed that attending university in France is a realistic, viable alternative for Jersey students. Not only does it offer a more affordable higher education option, but it also provides an opportunity to become proficient in a second language, with great potential to enrich a student’s university experience.
“However, we know that it can be a little more daunting for our students to consider France so we want to do everything we can to overcome the barriers. One particular advantage of Caen is that they have a service devoted to looking after overseas students. Also, they can offer a year of intensive French tuition to students, if necessary, before they start their degrees, and continuing support throughout their studies.”
The one-year pre-degree French course costs around 3,000 Euros but the subsequent degrees are free of charge (apart from a registration fee and mandatory health insurance). Caen offers courses across a range of subject areas and in various languages. Most are taught in French and are accessible to students with A-level standard French. The university does also take students who have GCSE equivalent French or lower. Extra French tuition is provided.
Caen University was founded in 1432 and is one of Europe’s oldest academic institutions. It currently has 28,000 students from 115 countries and has recently been voted the top student city in France.
Caen University is multi-disciplinary and has four main study areas, which all provide bachelor, Masters Phd and research courses as part of the recognised European framework
• Arts and languages
• Law, economics and Management
• Humanities and social sciences
• Science, technology and health
Education Minister, Deputy Rod Bryans added “Traditionally, nearly all our students have looked to the UK for degrees but we need to change our perspective and open up other options. We are acutely aware of the financial pressure on families to fund UK courses, which have become too expensive and put higher education out of reach of some of our students.
“As we continue working on resolving the student loan problem, it makes sense to look to our closest neighbour and try to help our students find another way to continue their education. While this might not be a solution for every young person, it is certainly an open door for some and we will do everything we can to support them and make the transition as easy as possible.”
Aurélie Leroy, Director of the Bureau des îles-Anglo-Normandes, said “Normandy is only one hour away from Jersey and the University of Caen provides a great opportunity for Channel Islands students to be proficient in French and in their field of interest. All of that for a much more affordable fee, cheaper cost of living but for the same quality of studies.
“Caen University prides itself on being ‘une universite ouverte sur la monde’ (a university looking outward to the world). It has a strong international dimension already in place and welcomes students from around the world and the ethos is to promote a rich educational environment.”
Options for students
a) Straight to degree: If they have French at an adequate level they can enrol straight onto a three-year degree course. Tuition is free and only accommodation would have to be paid for.
b) Year of learning French before degree: If they need to improve their French, they can take the Diplôme Universitaire d’Etudes Francaises with the Carré International department. This provides intensive French designed to prepare international students for degree courses. The courses run September to December and January to May. Students can take both courses if necessary. Tuition for this course is €1280 per semester.
c) Summer intensive French courses. Caen University also offers two-week intensive courses in June and July at various levels. These combine classroom learning with French culture visits and cost 820. University campus accommodation or host family stay is extra.
[All students currently pay a university registration fee of €190 and mandatory health insurance of € 215 per year.]