Discover Studying Abroad

International students are starting to pick France over the US and the UK. Here's why.

France is showing international students some love. And they’re giving it love right back. Proof? The numbers are up 4.5% since 2016 according to the Ministry of Education report.
BY Skendha Singh |   09-10-2018

International students are starting to pick France over the US or the UK

International students are flocking to France more and more. The number has doubled between 2000 and 2017. And it has grown 18% since 2012. These statistics released by the Ministry of Education show that France is an attractive alternative to better-known study destinations such as the US and UK which have seen recent drops in numbers.

Florent Bonaventure, Director of Communications – Campus France, told the media, “We are thrilled to see that French universities continue to attract many students coming from abroad and we hope that the trend will continue to grow.”

Why is France scaling the popularity charts like a Beatles single? There are several reasons: first, the quality of French higher education. The French higher education network of state-funded universities, private institutions like The Grandes Ecoles and other schools are all drivers of excellence. Second, the growing international reputation. According to Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2019, 34 French institutions were listed in the top universities in the world. These include the PSL Research University Paris, Sorbonne University, Ecole Polytechnique and others. Third, the rapid growth of English-taught programs. According to Campus France, there are approximately 1300 programs taught in English at the Licence or Master’s levels. Fourth, France is easily one of the most cost-effective options when it comes to studying abroad. The cost of living is reasonable and offset by generous aid from the French government. For instance, every year, the French government awards more than €1 million to Indian students. This includes the Charpak and Raman Charpak programme, run jointly by the Embassy of France in India and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. (Check out scholarship information here and here).

Most importantly, given that we live in a world with President Trump and Prime Minister May, France treats international students the same as domestic students. And that is important. All students pay the same fees, the same social security, and have the same insurance regulations. Isn’t that incredibly attractive?

According to the report, French universities draw the major percentage of international students – over 70%. At the PhD level, the largest cohort of internationals students are from Asia, whereas at the Master’s level, 55.3% international students are from Africa.

In sharp contrast to the rest of the world, the majority of international students in France prefer literary disciplines (31.3%). These are followed by Sciences (29.1%) and Economics (17.8%).

Mr. Bonaventure said Campus France is keen to welcome more students not only from Francophone countries but also from countries such as India, China, Vietnam and Brazil.

More on France? We have just what you need:
A simple guide to higher education in France
The application process to study in France, explained in one simple chart
US universities adopt risky strategy to check sharp decline in student numbers



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