France remains the top destination for sub-Saharan students, with 14% of them studying there, followed by the United States and Canada, both of which have seen significant growth in recent years, according to a latest report by Campus France.
France remains the top destination for students from sub-Saharan Africa, with 14% of students from the region studying there, ahead of the United States (10%) and South Africa (7%). This is true even despite the increasingly lively competition between old and new host countries. The new study titled “The Major Trends in Sub-Saharan African Student Mobility” published by Campus France analyses the latest developments in this key region which has 430,000 students (7% of the world total).
Students from sub-Saharan Africa are particularly mobile: 4.8% of them study abroad, compared to 2.7% on average worldwide. Sub-Saharan students represent nearly 7% of all degree-seeking students abroad, while they constitute only 3.7% of all students in the world.
In terms of the primary countries of origin, students from Nigeria are the top cohort among sub-Saharan African students studying abroad, with 71,700 students in 2020, followed by students from Cameroon (27,000) and Zimbabwe (19,100), which represent 6% and 4% of sub-Saharan students respectively. Interestingly, the number of mobile students from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire has increased significantly since 2011, as it grew by +62% and +87% respectively in the last five years.
According to the report, in 2021-2022, France welcomed nearly 92,000 students from sub-Saharan Africa, which represents 14% of international students from the region and 23% of foreign students in France.
The US is the second most-favored destination for sub-Saharan African students, hosting 10% of the total 430,000 degree-seeking study-abroad students. In recent years, both the US and Canada have seen a sharp increase in the number of sub-Saharan students they host. South Africa and the United Kingdom, the 3rd and 4th host countries with 30,300 and 27,800 sub-Saharan students respectively, have seen a drop in student arrivals compared to 2015. The increased demand for studying abroad among sub-Saharan students has also led to the emergence of new destinations: Canada, Morocco, Turkey, Germany, and Portugal.