Données sociales : La société française - 2006 ed.
Foreign students in France and French students abroad
In 2001, 1.8 million students were studying at higher education level in an OECD country different to their country of origin. France welcomes one tenth of these students. For France, as for the United Kingdom, the attraction lies in its history and culture, whereas the main criterion when considering other European countries, the United States and Australia is geographical proximity. The proportion of foreign students amongst the higher education students in France has been on the increase since 1998, reaching 11% at the start of the 2003 academic year. 82% of all foreign students choose to study at universities, as opposed to a smaller percentage of French students, and their career paths vary markedly according to nationality. More than half of foreign students enrolled in universities are originally from French-speaking Africa and 6% are Chinese. The number of Chinese students studying in France is on an upward trend, having risen eight-fold between 1998 and 2003.