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France is the 3rd most attractive country for foreign students according to UNESCO

According to the most recent figures published by UNESCO, France is the 3rd most attractive country for foreign students. In 2013, 288,544 students chose to come to France, i.e. 7% of the total number of global internationally mobile students.

Only the United States and the United Kingdom attracted more foreign students. Australia ranks just behind France.

With an increase of 8% compared to 2009, France has regained its former ranking. More generally, the number of foreign students in France has increased by 90% over the last 15 years; in 1998 they numbered 151,969. In 2012, international students accounted for 12.3% of students in France (15.2% of students in universities).

Measures aimed at encouraging foreign students to come to France have contributed to this increase. The law of July 22, 2013, is helping to increase France’s attractiveness by focusing on research and the simplification of course options, with the support of institutions throughout the country.

The establishment of around 30 academic communities and institutions in 2013 is contributing to greater transparency and helping to increase international influence, including through off-shore academic programs, and online courses (with the support of France Université Numérique launched in fall 2013).


Additional measures relating to student mobility are also being introduced to attract foreign students:

-  Introduction of multi-year visas for students and researchers
-  Special status for students working on their doctorate in France while completing their doctoral thesis and after completing it
-  Simplification of consular procedures
-  Creation of one-stop shops allowing foreign students to complete all of their registration requirements in one place
-  Renovation and construction of housing
-  Promotion of a European Erasmus budget more focused on student mobility (including toward the BRIC countries) and their democratization


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All rights reserved - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development - 2014