*This is a French language learner article. The words in bold are translated into French at the bottom of the article.
At least four French universities have said that they will not apply a new measure which means non-EU students could pay much higher fees than other students from the start of the next school year.
This week, the universities of Clermont-Ferrand, Toulouse, Lyon and Rennes announced that they will not charge international students more.
“We can find the means elsewhere,” said Jim Walker, vice-president of the Lyon university Lyon 2 told FranceInfo.
“We've already heard from students who are worried about the future of their studies. Of course, no one is disputing the fact that we need more money. However, it seems a little paradoxical to apply this new measure precisely to the students we're trying to attract”.
When the measure was announced in November, student unions and university chiefs were up in arms, saying the new system was unfair.
“This new measure is closer to the Anglo-Saxon model which historically attracts a different population in its universities than ours,” Mathias Bernard, president of Clermont Auvergne (UCA) university told Le Figaro. “Most of our students come from the Francophone parts of the world [mainly in Africa] and those students are really going to be threatened by this”.
Universities that choose not to apply the hike won't be flouting the law. French universities are allowed to waive fees for up to 10 percent of their students.
At the moment in France a degree costs €170 per year while a masters costs €243 and a PhD costs €380 but once the change is introduced these fees will rise to €2,770 for a degree and €3,770 for the two higher qualifications.
For students outside of the EU, which would include Brits after Brexit, the fees are set to shoot up by as much as 16 times the current cost, up from €170 to €2,770 per year, a jump of 16 times the current fees, from autumn 2019.
That means, with Britain set to leave the EU in March 2019, British students who want to attend a university in France could be paying thousands of euros every year to do so.
French vocab to learn
Universities — universités
Students — étudiants
Fees — frais
Studies — études
Unions — syndicat
Law — loi
Degree — diplôme (general), diplôme or license (university level)
Qualifications — diplôme