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Lille is situated in the north of France, near the Belgian border. With several higher education institutions and around 150,000 students, it’s a young and dynamic city that combines French and Flemish influences. Masters students in Lille also benefit from its proximity to major European cities like London, Paris and Brussels.
Lille is a city with a proud industrial heritage, but recent decades have seen it emerge into one of Northern Europe’s creative and cultural hubs. Around 1,600 designers live in Lille, which helps explain its success in being named World Design Capital for 2020 (fending off more traditionally glamorous cities like Sydney).
A student population of around 150,000 means that Lille is France’s third biggest student city (after Paris and Lyon). Around 15,500 of these are international students drawn by Lille’s excellent universities, transport links and cultural institutions.
Perhaps the most famous gallery in Lille is the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, France’s second largest museum after the Louvre. Postgraduates strolling its corridors can expect to see masterpieces by the likes of Monet, Rodin and Picasso. If you’ve got a head for heights, the UNESCO-listed town hall Belfry offers dizzying 360 degree views of Lille and the surrounding area.
Lille occupies an important position at the centre of the European high-speed rail network: thanks to the Eurostar, London is only one and a half hours away, while Brussels and Paris can both be reached in an hour or less.
Lille is home to several higher education institutions. The largest of these is the University of Lille, which can trace its history back to 1562, but was re-formed in 2018 as the result of a merger between three universities (Lille University of Science and Technology, Lille 2 University of Health and Law, and Charles de Gaulle University – Lille III). Offering a selection of courses in English, the University of Lille also takes part in various Erasmus Mundus Masters programmes.
The largest private university in France, the Lille Catholic University (Université Catholique de Lille), is also located in the city, a multidisciplinary institution with a range of English-taught Masters.
The IÉSEG School of Management (one of the grandes écoles) is a part of Lille Catholic University, offering 400 management classes taught in English. The EDHEC Business School is another grande école with a campus in Lille, along with the Skema Business School.
Lille’s strategic position at the heart of Northern Europe makes it ideal for postgraduates looking to build a career in a number of industries. Brussels – and all the European and global institutions that it’s home to – is only 35 minutes away.The transformation that Lille itself has undergone in recent years makes it an attractive destination for business. Toyota, IBM and Fedex are a few of the multinational companies with a presence in the Lille region.
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