According to the French Institute in Athens, 1,130 Greek students studied for a first degree and 1,050 students for a postgraduate qualification during the 2002-2003 academic year in France. «In the spirit of building a European area in higher education, the French State no longer distinguishes between French students and students from other EU countries,» the science attache of the French Institute, Alexis Michel, told Kathimerini. France, in any case, aims to increase the number of foreign students in universities. As a significant step to this end, knowledge of French is not regarded as essential for enrollment, since the student will attend subjects in English, learning the French language at the same time. France has a high level of vocational courses, with over 200 engineering schools and 50 business and business administration schools. There are also 2,000 postgraduate courses in France, with 200 postgraduate courses in engineering schools, 60 in business administration, and 123 in business. Annual enrollment in French universities, which are state-run, costs between 130 and 695 euros (fees are higher for postgraduate studies). Fees for business and engineering courses at higher education institutes range from 3,800 euros to 14,000 euros annually. EU students are relieved of the obligatory insurance cover for illness, if they have in their possession document E128, which is supplied by the Social Security Foundation (IKA). To be able to live in France, the minimum budget required is from 750 to 1,500 euros monthly. Rents range from 140 to 380 euros in student halls of residence and from 310 to 690 euros in private houses. For more information, ask at the French Institute in Athens (31 Sina, tel 210.339.8600, e-mail: [email protected] or look up website www.edufrance.fr or www.3ecycles.com for postgraduate courses).