Majority of International Students in France Are from Africa

France Europe International Studies Statistics Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 26, 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.

Students from Africa surpassed those from Europe and Asia, including countries like India and China. They accounted for 47 percent of all international students attending French educational institutions last year, reports.

According to the latest report by Campus France, an organization promoting France as a study destination for international students, France is the sixth country in the world that hosts the most international students. Last year, a total of 412,087 international students pursued higher education in France, making up 14 percent of all students in the country.

“France remains a top destination for students from all over the world. There are now over 412,000 in the country, up 3 percent over one year and 17 percent over five years. Students from the continent of Europe (EU and non-EU), sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa represent the largest contingents,” the report said.

Data shows there were 95,285 students from the Sub-Saharan African region, up 34 percent in the past five years. At the same time, France hosted 91,865 students from the North African region, accounting for 23 percent of all international students in the country.

Among North African countries leading in student numbers, Morocco and Algeria topped the list, sending 45,162 students and 32,147, respectively. These two are followed by China with 25,605 students, and Italy with 20,030.

“Morocco, Algeria and China are still the three main countries of origin of international students in France, and 21 of the top 25 contingents of international students are increasing in 2022-2023, with a particularly strong rise in the number of Italian, Spanish, Lebanese, Congolese and Indian students,” Campus France said.

The same report revealed the number of Ukrainian students also doubled in one year, a 111 percent increase that was attributed to the ongoing war in the country.

Senegal and Tunisia are among other African nations with a significant presence of students in France, a total of 15,250 and 14,290 students, respectively. Senegal saw an increase of 39 percent and Tunisia 11 percent in the number of students pursuing education in France.

Other countries with significant numbers of students in France include:

  • Spain - 11,595 students
  • Lebanon -11,530 students
  • Cote d’Ivoire - 10,690 students
  • Cameroon - 9,765 students

France plans to welcome half a million international students by 2027 as part of the Welcome to France strategy launched in 2019. The country aims to strengthen its position among study-abroad destinations by attracting this number of international students.

© Fabien Maurin | Unsplash

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