France records the highest growth of international students in 15 years

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France records the highest growth of international students in 15 years

Campus France reported this week that, in accordance with the most recent statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the number of international students enrolled in France increased by 8% in the academic year 2021/22, which is known as “la rentreé” in France. Due to the largest rise since 2005, the overall number of international students in France, including apprentices in higher education, is currently 4,00,026. 

According to Olivier Marichalar, director of studies at Campus France, “France has always demonstrated itself to be an open and welcoming country toward international students, which can have a lasting impact on some international communities.” 

This expansion is mostly driven by an increase in the number of foreign students coming to France from nearby European nations.

According to Marichalar, this is a result of “the high rankings of an increasing number of French higher education institutions in international rankings,” as well as the calibre of hosting services that institutions have been committed to providing in accordance with the national strategy “Welcome to France,” 

Morocco continues to have the most students in France among the top 10 countries of origin, at 46,371. There are currently 19,185 international students from Italy studying in France, a 16% rise from the previous year. 11,256 students are now studying Spanish, increasing 51% from 2016 and up 25% from the previous year. The number of students from Lebanon (10,469) has also increased dramatically by 30%.

As a result of pandemic prohibitions, mobility from two countries, namely Vietnam (5,259) and China (27,479 students), has decreased over the last year, but Marichalar anticipates a rebound in these numbers. 

According to statistics, the regions that have experienced the greatest increase over the past year are Europe, the Americas, and MENA, with the Americas taking the lead. Notably, there was a 43% increase in students from North America.

Europe experienced the second-highest growth after the Americas, with a 13% increase; it is presently 10% higher than it was prior to the epidemic. To be more precise, non-EU countries are up 25% while EU countries are up 9%.

The Middle East experienced tremendous growth in this area, with a 17% increase.

Despite a 5% below-average growth over a year in Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of African students increased by 40%. 

According to Campus France, mobility limitations related to the pandemic continue to have the biggest impact on students from Asia-Pacific nations, who have also seen only a 1% increase in enrollment over the past year. This little rise, though, is an indication that things are starting to stabilise after a 9% decline in 2020–21.

Through Etudes en France, the country’s portal for admissions and enrollment in higher education, more than 140,000 students from 70 different countries had applied to study by the end of August 2022, an increase of 18% over pre-pandemic levels.

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