France ramps up campaign to attract 500k
As part of France’s bid to attract 500,000 international students to its shores by 2027, Campus France has announced a new international campaign to give a voice to those who have chosen France for their studies. Currently, around 343,000 international students are enrolled in the French higher education system.
Following the launch of a national strategy of attractiveness, ‘Bienvenue en France‘, the ‘Fulfil Your Dream’ campaign promotes an open and enterprising France at the centre of Europe and is supported by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
“France wants to maintain its status as a major host country and its aptitude to attract the best students”
Campus France will use digital platforms to broadcast the campaign in embassies of France across 126 countries.
It will use an interactive game centred around the theme of young students’ “dreams” and posters featuring alumni from French schools, as well as various testimonials on social media targeting students around the world.
It will also see the launch of a new web platform, which will highlight the profiles of 12 foreign international who came to study in France.
Despite debates about tuition fees, the number of international students hosted by France has continued to grow.
According to the Key Figures report published by Campus France earlier this year, the 343,000 international students enrolled in the French HE system between 2017–2018 represents growth of 4.5% on the previous year.
According to the report, 46% of the students came from the African continent, but there are “signs of diversification”.
“France is now drawing more Italian, Portuguese, American, and Indian students than it did five years ago. It is also notable that the number of foreign doctoral candidates in France continues to rise,” explained the report.
In the academic year 2017-18, Morocco, Algeria, China, Italy and Tunisia were the top five source countries of international students, which together accounted for 38% of the total.
With the exception of China, which saw a 1% decrease in student numbers between 2012 and 2017, the number of students from all these countries has increased over the past few years.
Other fast-growing markets include the Ivory Coast (+80%) and India (+90%).
“In an increasingly competitive world of higher education, France wants to maintain its status as a major host country and its aptitude to attract the best students in its institutions, whether they come from Africa, Asia or America”, said Béatrice Khaiat, managing director of Campus France.
As part of its drive to attract more students, France is also working to improve its visa policies, increase the number of English-taught and French as a foreign language courses, provide better support services for students and increase the number of scholarships.
It is also focusing on its outreach and brand awareness, as evidenced by the opening of new Campus France offices worldwide, including one in London as of May 2019.