Visiting French Education Minister Presents 15 Koreans with “Blaise Pascal 2013 Scholarships”
Minister Genevieve Fioraso Visits Seoul for Cooperation
By Megan Fox
|French Education Minister Genevieve Fioraso (left) poses for The Seoul Times after she presents a Korean student with the French scholarship in a ceremony held at the French Embassy in Seoul on July 25, 2013.|
In a ceremony held at the French Embassy in Seoul on July 25, 2013 French Education Minister Genevieve Fioraso presented the 15 Korean students with the French government schlarships.The reception ceremony honored 15 recipients of “the Blaise Pascal 2013 Scholarship.” During this time the signing of the MoU’s between “Paris XIII” and Chonbuk National University and Seoul Women’s University also occurred.The minister presented 15 Korean graduate students, selected to receive a one or two year graduate or PhD education, with their scholarships.The Blaise Pascal Scholarship of Excellence was established in 2005 to help contribute to the development of French and South Korean bilateral relations. The Scholarship encourages education for Korean students at prestigious French universities in post graduate and PhD studies. This year 620 million won was dedicated to the program.The scholarship is fully funded by the French government. It includes free tuition, a monthly stipend to cover expenses, and round-trip airfare. 103 Korean students have received the Blaise Pascal Scholarship since it was established nine years ago. These students lived in France furthering their education in subjects including business, management, hard sciences, engineering, economics, social science and humanities.Following the scholarship award ceremony, the minister attended the signing of two MoU’s. Professor Jean-Loup Salzmann, President of Paris XIII University and chairman of the Council of University Presidents (CPU), and Professor Suh Geo-suk signed the first agreement. Professor Suh Geo-suk, President of Chonbuk National University and Chairman of the Korean Council for University Education, and Professor Chun Hei-jun, President of Seoul Women’s University, signed the second agreement.Minister Fioraso spoke at the ceremony about the new French law on Higher Education that was adopted by the French Parliament on July 23rd, 2013. Through the law, public universities in France now have the freedom to offer their courses in both English and French. Prior to the law, it was mandatory for all courses to be taught in French. Minister Fioraso believes the law will encourage more foreign students to study in France.”By the passing of this law, France will become more open minded. More foreign students will get to experience the French culture. My argument is, it is better to share our culture with a large population of foreign students than to attract a small community because of barriers in language.”Minister Fioraso also spoke of the important relationship between South Korea and France through education. “South Korea and France are countries that are roughly the same size. 60 years ago Korea was devastated by war and very poor and uneducated. Korea chose to dedicate the development of their country through education and innovation. Today Korea is winning in these efforts with a much higher student population than France, and success in innovation through large corporations such as Samsung. France must learn from Korea and become smarter in innovation. Likewise Korea can learn from France and become smarter in basic research. “Minster Fioraso believes the countries can learn from each other’s strength to solve common problems. Both Korea and France want to develop smart cities, save energy, study the aging of the population and work on health. The cornerstone to this relationship is education.Genevieve Fioraso has been the French Minister of Higher Education and Research since May 2012. She represents the first district of Isere in the French Parliament and OPECST (Parliament Office for Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices). She has been the Deputy Mayor for the Economy, Universities and Research, and first President of the Grenoble Metropole for the City Council of Grenoble since 2008. She is the CEO of S.E.M. Minatec Enterprises. Minister Fioraso holds two masters degrees in English and Economics.For more information on the Blaise Pascal Scholarship Program of Excellence contact CampusFrance at (02) 753 8509.