France is 6th Most Popular Study Destination, Welcomes Over 412,000 International Students

France Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 12, 2024

Paris, France

A total of 412,087 international students attended French higher education institutions during the 2022/23 academic year, accounting for 14 percent of all students in the country, the latest data have shown.

According to Campus France’s figures on student mobility for 2024, the number of international students in France has increased by 3 percent from the previous year and 17 percentage points in a five-year period, reports.

With this number of students, France maintains 6th place as international students’ most popular study destination. Additionally, these data show that if this trend continues, France will meet its target of attracting half a million international students by 2027.

International students enrolled in French universities and colleges are in significant numbers from Europe (EU and non-EU), sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa. The majority are from Morocco, Algeria and China.

45,162 Moroccan students enrolled in French higher education in 2022/23, followed by Algeria with 32,147, and China, which, despite experiencing a decrease, has 25,605 university students in France.

In 2022/23, the highest increases were recorded in students from Italy, Spain, Lebanon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and India. The number of students from Lebanon in France now stands at 11,527, up 10 percent within one year and 103 percent over the past five years.

The number of Asian students in France remains stable, thanks in particular to the increase in the number of Indian students, which offsets the decrease in the number of Chinese students on exchange programmes,” Campus France’s report points out.

Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled plans to attract 30,000 Indian students by 2023 as part of its efforts to strengthen relations between France and India.

“It’s a very ambitious target, but I am determined to make it happen,” he said.

Moreover, the number of Ukrainian students doubled in one year, increasing by 111 percent. This rise has been attributed to Russia’s continuing war against Ukraine.

The upward trend in international students in France until 2021/22 academic year:

Academic Year No. International Students
2016/17 324,000
2018/19 343,000
2019/20 358,005
2020/21 370,000
2021/22 400,026

The number of international students in France stagnated in 2020/21 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Then it surged to over 400,000 in 2021/22 for the first time in 15 years, rising by 8 percent. The increase that year was linked to a demand from European students to study in France, Campus France said.

Image source: Bruno Abatti | Unsplash

Related News

Prague, the Czech Republic

When applying for a student visa, international students are usually asked to submit evidence of sufficient funds in their bank accounts, to have their visas approved.

Czech Republic

May 08, 2024

Sciences Po University

French police entered Paris’ Sciences Po University, one of the most prestigious universities in France, to remove students who took over the university’s building to protest against the war in Gaza.


May 03, 2024

People in Paris, France (2)

African students accounted for nearly half of the total 412,087 international students in France in 2023 and 14 percent of all university students studying in the country in the 2022/23 academic year.


Apr 26, 2024