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Nearly half of all foreign students in France are from Africa, new study finds

FILE PHOTO: People walk in front of an illuminated Eiffel tower at a Christmas fair installed inside the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, France, December 18, 2023. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo
Source: X07453

African students constituted the largest cohort among the over 400,000 foreign students enrolled in French universities in the 2022/23 academic year, according to the latest report by Campus France, a public organisation promoting France as a study destination.

African students accounted for 47% of the total number of 412,087 foreign students enrolled in French institutions, comprising nearly 7% of all students in the country, the University World News reports.

Taking the regional breakdown, the Sub-Saharan African region led the pack with 95,285 students, representing almost 24% of all foreign students in France. The report notes that this figure reflects a 34% increase over the past five years.

“The number of mobile students over the past five years coming from Sub-Saharan Africa has been progressing more quickly (+34%) than the number of students from North Africa (+10%). This may be partly due to the demographic boom in Sub-Saharan Africa,” a campus France spokesman said.

The North African region boasted 91,865 students, constituting 23% of all international students in France. Notably, Morocco and Algeria emerged as the top two countries of origin for students in France, maintaining their position ahead of China and Italy for the third consecutive year.

“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 2022-23, with a particularly strong rise in the number of Italian, Spanish, Lebanese, Congolese and Indian students,” Campus France said.

France has emerged as a preferred choice for African students, driven by several factors including the relative ease of obtaining study visas, the quality-price ratio of universities compared to counterparts like the United States and the United Kingdom, and a demographic surge in sub-Saharan Africa.

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