|France hopes for relaxation of post-study work rights
Academics, students and employers in France are hopeful that the recent election of François Hollande as President will lead to a reversal in policy over post-study working rights for non-EU international students.
As reported previously in Your World, a directive issued by the French Interior Minister, Claude Gueant, called for authorities to be stricter when considering requests from international students to change to a work visa after graduation. Tougher restrictions on proving financial resources were also introduced.
However, in the run up to the presidential election last weekend, Hollande promised to remove the directive.
Such a move would be welcomed by the many critics of the restrictions. The Conférence des Présidentes d’Université, an organisation of university presidents in France opposed the directive, describing it as contrary to the essence of a university and to the policy of promoting the attractiveness of French universities in the context of globalisation. Business leaders and several members of the government were also openly opposed to the policy, believing it would compromise competitiveness.
Earlier, this year the French government had relented slightly in the interpretation of the directive, calling for international students with Master’s and higher degrees to be granted visas. However, many groups continued to oppose the policy.
The student union La Confédération Etudiante, which previously presented a petition of over 300,000 signatures against the Gueant directive, called on the new president to withdraw it completely within 30 days.