France Attracts Over 412,000 International Students

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Posted on April 11, 2024


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France continued to be the top choice for overseas students in the academic year 2022–2023, with over 412,000 enrolments, up 3% from the year before and a significant 17% growth over five years. Despite the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, French higher education continues to be attractive, as evidenced by Campus France’s most recent edition of Key Figures on Student Mobility. France continues to be the world’s sixth-most popular location for international students.

The study emphasizes the diversity of the student body of international students studying in France, noting that the main contingents of these students are from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe. Chinese student enrollment fell while the number of Asian students stayed steady due to a spike in Indian enrolment.

China, Morocco, and Algeria continue to be the leading places of origin for international students studying in France. Nonetheless, notable rises were seen in the student populations of Italian, Spanish, Lebanese, Congolese, and Indian. Within a year, the number of Ukrainian pupils doubled, most likely as a result of the continuous conflict in the area.

Conversely, more and more French students are looking into studying abroad options in neighboring or Francophone nations. In 2021, more than 105,000 French students studied overseas for their degrees; popular locations were Belgium, the UK, Canada, Switzerland, and Spain. Additionally, France is the top country for sending staff and students on Erasmus+ mobility programs, with Germany, Italy, and Spain being the most popular destinations.

Notwithstanding the pandemic’s effects, international student mobility is progressively picking back up. France maintained its numbers of overseas students in 2021, whereas several other nations saw a fall in enrollment. Future expansion in this industry, nevertheless, might be impacted by recent regulatory reforms intended to restrict student movement in nations including the Netherlands, Canada, and the United Kingdom.