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Figures show that more international students have returned to France since the pandemic

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The number of foreign students granted visas to study in France in 2021 has increased compared to last year, according to data from Campus France, a public institution that promotes French higher education abroad and is responsible for hosting researchers and students in France.

New data showed that the number of study visas issued to international students increased by 25 percent in 2021, compared to 17 percent in 2020, according to Erudera.com.

In 2020/2021, the number of international students in French higher education institutions was stable despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In that academic year, almost 7,700 foreign students and trainees received state scholarships.

Most international students in France come from Morocco, Algeria, China, Italy and Senegal. Others include:

  • North Africa and the Middle East – 29 percent
  • Europe – 24 percent

In five years, the number of students from sub-Saharan Africa has increased significantly in France, growing by 41 percent.

Top countries of origin for international students in France during 2020/21. Source: Campus France

Two-thirds of these international students went to universities, 13 percent went to business schools, 8 percent went to engineering schools, and 5 percent attended preparatory courses.

More than a third of students settled in Ile-de-France, followed by others in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Occitania.

According to the data, there are more than 6 billion mobile students worldwide for the first time, a 35 percent increase in the past five years. Most of these students went to study in Europe, with 365,000 in France alone. International students in France make up 13 percent of all students in the country and 40 percent of Ph.D. students.

Erasmus+ data for 2019/2020. show that France has overtaken Germany and the United Kingdom as the second most preferred study destination for Erasmus+ students.

The European Union continues to be the world’s top destination for students and the second largest sending region for international students.

The countries hosting the most students before the pandemic, according to UNESCO data for 2019, were the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Canada and France.

Forecasting student mobility in Europe, Campus France notes that due to Brexit and higher tuition fees, EU students are not considering studying in the UK; however, the country has seen an increase in the number of students from Asia.

The same source, among other things, emphasizes that the war in Ukraine will affect Russia’s reputation among foreign students, especially African ones, since many of them stayed in Ukraine before the war.

>> “The university seems to be the only reliable thing in my life” – a Ukrainian student in France admitted how the war in her homeland affected her

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