French electronics, defence and aerospace major Thales has signed a pact with the foreign ministry here to fund higher education in France for highly qualified postgraduates from India and China in 2006-07.
The students will receive a grant of at least $12,700 per annum depending on the length of the course in addition to the French foreign ministry's other benefits package, the $12.7 billion company said in a statement.
"They will be invited to follow an advanced specialised course in engineering science, or business management, at renowned French universities and graduate schools," the statement added.
"They will be personally mentored by a Thales manager and offered an end-of-study internship with the group." The students will also receive free intensive French-language training from local Alliance Française before departure.
The foreign ministry will provide the expertise of its cultural and scientific attachés to identify and select the students with support from French study centres, based on the criteria of partner schools, the ministry and Thales.
While the programme will extend to other countries also, 24 students from India and China will get a chance for the 2006-07 session, as per the pact signed by Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and Thales chairman Denis Ranque.
The programme, in collaboration with large French corporations, seeks to attract the best overseas postgraduate talent to French universities and leading engineering and management schools, Thales said.
"Its strength and originality lies in its ability to combine the complementary resources and expertise of the ministry of foreign affairs, Thales and French universities and schools to expand the reach and scope of each of the partners."
The programme is part of the "Technology for Education and Youth" sponsorship policy of Thales.