Cotutelle in Australia / Statistics
The Cotutelle program between France and Australia was first launched in 1997, with one French student spending half of his PhD studies in Australia. The program was then developed and much advertised within Australian universities, and Governments. Universities have little by little begun to appreciate the opportunity of sharing a PhD student between two institutes, and have now fully understood the efficiency of the program for the student and for enhancing the cooperation between an Australian research team and a French one. At the same time, grants and funding opportunities have become more and more available, proof of the support of the administrations to this scheme.
To this day, 21 Australian universities have already been involved in a Cotutelle agreement, and 3 more should welcome students in the next few months.
Let us remember that the Cotutelle program is a French national initiative. Therefore, every French University is likely to be involved in an agreement, and a big majority of them have already been involved in a Cotutelle with other countries. Over 1500 students have already been involved in a Cotutelle with a French University throughout the world.
Between France and Australia, since 2000, over 109 Cotutelle PhDs have been completed or are currently underway, and a few other students are expected to start very soon. Of these 109 students, 67% are French students, and only 33% are Australian.
In 2003-2004, 37 Australian students were following post-graduate studies in France (19% of all the Australian students in France). 15 of these 37 students were enrolled in a Cotutelle agreement, that is over 40%. This proportion is very high, but the quantitative figures are still quite low compared to other countries: in total, there were over 61,000 foreign post-graduates students in France in 2003-2004.
In 2004, 8 students (2 Australians and 6 French) were funded by the French Ministry of Research grant for Cotutelle (5100 euros for travel expenses). In 2005, 10 students (1 Australian and 9 French) were successful in receiving the grant. Over 400 students apply every year for the Ministry of Research grant for Cotutelle, and the success rate is around 20/25%. A very important fact is that, overall, a majority (60%) of the supported students are not French, and have their home institution in another country. This is not the case for the Cotutelle between France and Australia, because of the imbalance in the flux of students, but the French Government does support foreign students within the Cotutelle scheme.
Another grant that used to be provided by the French Government is the Lavoisier Cotutelle grant. In 2004, the French Ministry of Foreign Affaires supported 2 French Cotutelle students with a grant of up to 1524 euros per month during their stay in Australia (between 12 and 18 months). In 2005, 3 French students studying in Australia (out of 7 applicants) were successful in the Lavoisier grant. One of them was a student enrolled in a Cotutelle agreement. Generally speaking, in 2005, around 900 applications were submitted, and 175 were selected, that is a success rate of about 19%. Of these 900 applications, 60 were submitted by Cotutelle students. The Lavoisier Cotutelle grant scheme no longer exists.
Besides this, 43 students have been supported since 2001 by the French Embassy through the Cotutelle grant.
To conclude, work remains to be done to develop even further the Cotutelle program. We aim, jointly with the Australian universities, at balancing the flux of students, that is, encouraging Australian students to study overseas, and to choose France, through the funding of their travel and sponsoring them with French lessons at the Alliances Françaises. We are also discussing with several Australian institutes/governments the possibility of a matching contribution, which could incite students to study abroad.
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Last updated 03/01/06