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The “Bienvenue en France” label: a 3rd star for our University!

  • Post last modified:30/04/2024

The University of Caen Normandie has just been awarded the 3rd star for the prestigious “Bienvenue en France” label, the highest possible distinction. This recognition, bestowed by Campus France following the 15th labelling committee meeting held on March 13, 2024, rewards UNICAEN permanent efforts and improvements in welcoming international students. After receiving the two-star label in 2019, the University of Caen Normandie has continued to innovate and invest in its services and infrastructure to enhance the quality of its support for international students. This progress is the result of five years of reflection and action by the whole UNICAEN community.

The initiatives behind this 3rd star

The key to this success lies in the new facilities opened by the Carré international, thanks to the Bienvenue en France seed fund. It started with the inauguration, in 2021, of the Espace AAPI, a 4305 square feet multi-service space exclusively reserved for international students and researchers. Furthermore, offices and temporary welcome desks have been inaugurated all across the university campuses and sites, ensuring that all international students enrolled at UNICAEN receive individual and local support at every stage of their studies.

Sustained/maintained efforts

The University’s efforts don’t stop there: new linguistic and cultural preparation modules (in-person or hybrid prior to arrival in Caen), the continuation of French as a Foreign Language (FLE) training courses (in-person, online, and also extended to our esteemed international partners), the implementation of digital technologies to streamline administrative procedures (English-language website, SMILE project, online course catalogue), and an expansion of the curriculum fully taught in English and summer schools are all accomplishments that have also contributed to this label. Additionally, UNICAEN has established an international alumni network to strengthen connections with its graduates worldwide. Finally, UNICAEN has introduced a Buddy System, managed by the ESN Caen student association, to facilitate the integration of new international students.

Enhancing the student experience

Lastly, this accreditation was facilitated by the university commitment to student life and wellbeing. The implementation of a Student Life Master Plan has resulted in the establishment of the Student Life Office and its network of student ambassadors across the departments and campuses. Sensitised to the issues regularly faced by international students, they play an active role in enhancing the quality of support they receive.

In parallel, the establishment of the University Cultural Action Service and the Student Health Service complement the array of services accessible to all students.

Inclusion: a decisive factor for the label

In addition, UNICAEN has strengthened its commitment to inclusion by maintaining its efforts to support students in exile. One such initiative is the “Diplôme universitaire passerelle étudiants en exil – DUPEX, which helps these students in resuming their university studies, with guidance and training by UNICAEN French as a foreign language teachers.

We are extremely proud to have been awarded the three-star “Bienvenue en France” label, which attests to our continuous commitment to providing our international students with exceptionally high-quality support services. This recognition is the result of exemplary collaboration within our university, highlighting our determination to position UNICAEN among benchmark institutions in terms of support and integration. All of these services and facilities will enable us to offer high-quality support to international students over the next 5 years. The University of Caen Normandie, its departments, and its local partners will continue to work towards improving support services on all campuses and sites.

Christophe RochaisVice-President for International Affairs at the University of Caen Normandie