Partner: CampusFrance

France is one of the leading hosts of international students. French higher education attracts students from all over the world, with a large representation of students from francophone North African countries. There were over 309,000 international students in France during the 2015/16 academic year. The top five places of origin for in-bound international students in 2015 were Morocco, China, Algeria, Tunisia and Italy.

Source: CampusFrance


Inbound/International Student: The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Research, France defines an international student as an individual with a foreign citizenship enrolled in a program at a French higher education institution for at least one year to receive an officially approved national degree or university diploma (full-degree/qualification). These students include non-French citizen legal residents of France and those who received their secondary diploma in France. France awards both short-stay student visas (three months) and long-stay student visas that is renewable with a residence permit (one year).

Foreign Student: France does not differentiate between international and foreign students.

Outbound Student: A French student who pursues a full-degree in another country. The definition excludes language study abroad or short-term/quarterly exchanges.

Higher Education Institution (HEI): French higher education bodies include universities, polytechnics, university training institutes (teacher in elementary schools), the higher technical sections, preparatory classes for business/management/engineering schools, engineering schools, management and business schools, paramedical and social schools.

Data Tables

Data Collection and Resources

The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Research, France is responsible for collecting data on international educational exchange and global mobility. CampusFrance is the organization that formats and disseminates the data annually to Project Atlas.