SIGMA Clermont obtains the "Welcome to France" label with a 2-star rating
SIGMA Clermont has been awarded the "Welcome to France" label for a duration of 4 years, by decision of the Commission of Campus France, a governmental higher education development agency. This distinction rewards the quality of the welcome programme offered to international students and the internationalization strategy of the engineering school.
Label rewarding the international actions of French higher education institutions
France is the 4th biggest host country for international students after the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, and is also the 1st non-English-speaking host country. According to a Campus France / Kantar-Sofres survey, France is recognized for its cultural and artistic influence, as well as for the quality of its higher education institutions, training courses and diplomas. In order to consolidate its position among the first countries welcoming incoming students, France is developing a "Welcome to France" strategy that promotes its higher education, with the goal of welcoming, by 2027, 500,000 international students.
Issued by Campus France and validated by an independent commission, the 2-star "Welcome to France" label was awarded to SIGMA Clermont for 4 years. The school is the first establishment in the Clermont-Ferrand area to obtain this label. It is based on 20 criteria organized into 5 main categories, in which SIGMA Clermont shows a high level of achievement:
- Quality and accessibility of information;
- Quality and accessibility of student welcoming processes;
- Quality and accessibility of teaching;
- Housing and quality of life on campus;
- Quality of alumni follow-up.
“This label is a real success and recognition for SIGMA Clermont. It rewards the strong implication and tremendous work of our International Relations Department, our students and all the teaching teams. This distinction will enable the school to develop its attractiveness, and that of the Auvergne region, towards the best international talents” says Sophie Commereuc, Director of SIGMA Clermont.
Welcome and support services for international students: a priority for SIGMA Clermont
SIGMA Clermont places international values at the heart of its educational policy. Thanks to its International Relations department, the engineering school has established more than 130 partnerships with international universities. It currently hosts 12% international students of 35 different nationalities. Incoming students benefit from a complete welcome package, along with day-to-day support services to facilitate their adaptation to the French higher education system and life on campus.
The buddy program, set up by the school in 2013, continues to flourish. Very much appreciated by international students and their “International Team” mentors, it becomes more efficient from year to year. Today, on campus, 21 mentors are looking after 63 "buddies" (international students), welcoming them as soon as they arrive in Clermont-Ferrand, facilitating their administrative procedures (opening a bank account, subscription for mobile phones, etc.), and guiding them throughout the year (social integration, organization of the semester, etc.). To support this initiative, SIGMA Clermont has received funding of €15,000 for the current academic year. At the end of their first semester at SIGMA Clermont, 90% of foreign students choose to renew this valuable support programme for the second semester.
Obtaining the "Welcome to France" label will enable SIGMA Clermont to strengthen its strategy for internationalization. The creation of a new national Master's degree taught in English at the beginning of academic year 2020 will favour incoming mobility by international students, representing new "buddies" for the International Team to accompany.