French education abroad –Start of the 2013 school year (September 9, 2013)

The 2013 school year has started abroad. More than 320,000 students in 130 countries are enrolled in 488 institutions managed or supported by the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These increased figures confirm the attractiveness of our educational network abroad, which is unique in the world, and build on the continuous growth seen over the past several years.

In Europe, enrolment is continuing to increase, particularly in Brussels and London (by approximately 3%), as well as in Sofia and Bucharest where the prime minister inaugurated the new Lycée Anna-de-Noaillese in July. Enrolment is also steadily increasing in the Maghreb, notably in Morocco. Enrolment has significantly increased in certain schools: 17% more students at the Lycée Georges Pompidou in Dubai, 10% more at the lycée in Tokyo which has a new building, 10% more at the lycée in Singapore which is starting an expansion project. There’s also an upward trend in sub-Saharan Africa with, for example, more than 10% of the students enrolled in school in the Congo and Equatorial Guinea and increasing enrolment in Antananarivo.

This attractiveness is based first and foremost on recognized educational excellence, reflected once again by the success rate in the baccalaureate exams (95.4% of baccalaureate students in the network, 20% with a grade of "Très bien"). Education is provided by high quality teachingstaff – made up of 6,500 teachers from the French national education system temporarily assigned to AEFE and more than 20,000 locally recruited employees; more than 50 languages are taught, the educational programs include sports, cultural and artistic activities and there is a strong commitment to promoting a spirit of openness to the host country.

Lastly, the AEFE network is characterized by exceptional openness to the various host countries: almost 200,000 foreign students – i.e. two thirds of the total number of students – will be enrolled in our schools this year. This plays a key role in promoting French language and culture, making the educational network abroad a key instrument with respect to France’s diplomacy of influence

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