France boosts international student numbers

Increase may reflect efforts to target markets where UK has traditionally been strong

September 18, 2018
French border

France has stepped up its recruitment of international students.

There were 343,400 international students in France during 2017-18, representing a significant increase of 4.5 per cent on the previous year.

France has also been making efforts to target markets where students in the past tended to go to the UK.

Further details have just been published in the Repères et références statistiques, a reference work produced by the French ministries for education and research.

Among all the international students, close to half come from Africa – both North Africa (24 per cent of total international numbers) and sub-Saharan Africa (21 per cent). A further 22 per cent are from Europe, 21 per cent from Asia and Oceania, and only 9 per cent from the Americas.

Women make up 54.1 per cent of the total and 66.1 per cent of European students, though only 45.9 per cent of those from Africa.

In terms of disciplines, 31.3 per cent of all foreign students in France opt for literary subjects, 29.1 for the sciences and 17.8 per cent for business and economics, although a larger proportion of African students choose both sciences (35.5 per cent) and economics (20.7 per cent).

matthew.reisz@timeshighereducation.com

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