Campus France key figures – international student mobility

May 17, 2019 | Campus France

Throughout the year, Campus France observes and provides analyses of student mobility worldwide. In its annual publication Key Figures 2019, Campus France conducts a detailed analysis of the evolutions in mobility, the current trends and projections.

Link to the Key Figures 2019

5.1 million students worldwide study abroad (+28% in five years), firstly in Europe, the top host area in the world. The appeal of English-speaking countries (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada) persists, as well as that of countries offering a great diversity of courses in English (Netherlands, Emirates, Germany …). Half of the world’s mobile students come from Asia and Oceania (China and India in particular).

Europe stands out as hosting a highly regionalized form of student mobility. In 2016,almost nine out of ten (87%) mobile European students chose to study in another European country.

New fast-growing countries in student mobility (China, Russia, Turkey or Saudi Arabia) are deploying ambitious policies and using this mobility as a tool of influence and outreach. Thanks to their scholarship policy and the emphasis placed on the quality of students’ hosting (housing, creation of integrated campuses), they now compete with or even exceed traditional host countries.

France continues to occupy an enviable positionFrance is the fourth largest host country in the world – and the first non-English speaking country – it offers an unparalleled student experience thanks to a quality higher education system largely supported by the state. France’s attractiveness is still growing in countries where ambitious actions are taking place such as India.

France is the top country of origin of students in mobility, and the fourth-largest host country. Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom occupy the top positions. Together with Italy and Ireland, these five countries attract French participants the most.
According to the European Commission, France sent 43,796 students in 2016, which represents 14% of the total of the Erasmus flows.

In order to maintain France’s appeal, the French government has set up a new strategy to attract international students, aimed not only at increasing the number of foreign students but also at offering new student support services.
This implies concerted efforts to improve the hosting conditions of foreign students, by simplifying administrative procedures, improving access to housing, but also developing programs taught in English. This is the direction given by the new “Bienvenue en France” strategy announced by the Prime Minister in November 2018 and by the labelling of higher education student services led by Campus France.

  • 220 people in France working on promoting higher education and research;
  • In connection with 256 Campus France offices located in France’s embassies in as many as 126 countries;
  • 367 French higher education institutions members of the Campus France Forum;
  • 50 promotional events bringing together 720,000 visitors worldwide;
  • 80 websites in 32 languages, more than 20 million hits;
  • 300,000 Alumni active on the France Alumni network.
  • 30 publications and statistical studies produced every year.

Press contact  
Florent Bonaventure
Communications Director
Tél : +33 (0)1 40 40 81 00
[email protected]

Véronique Mathelin
Deputy Head
Tél : +33 (0)1 40 40 58 17
[email protected]