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Boosted by preparatory courses of excellence, Moroccan students at the top of registered among foreigners in France & More Breaking News

The number of foreign students enrolled in France increased by 8% for the year 2021-2022. According to the most recent data from Campus France, a public body created in 2010 with the aim of promoting the French higher education and vocational training system beyond borders, there are 400,026 in total, reaching the highest growth of the last fifteen years.

In its ranking of the 25 most represented countries, the agency places Moroccans at the top of the list with 46,371 students for the same period, ie a positive evolution of 3% compared to the previous year. In second place is neighboring Algeria, which has 31,032 students on French territory, representing an annual increase of 6% in its workforce. Still in the Maghreb, with 13,661 enlisted, Tunisia rises honorably given its smaller population and the application of prohibitive costs to sixth place in this list, up 4%.

The visa wall erected by France

Figures which could however be impacted by the restriction of visas issued by France to these three countries. Indeed, Paris had reduced by 50% the number of sesames granted to Moroccan and Algerian citizens, and by 30% for Tunisians. A retaliatory measure officially following the refusal of Rabat, Algiers and Tunis to issue consular authorizations to repatriate their nationals in an irregular situation.

In a joint press release dated August 31, the French and Tunisian Ministers of the Interior announced the normalization of the issuance of Schengen visas, after having “takes stock of cooperation on migration and mobility”. A liberating announcement that fell on the eve of the start of the school year.

While in Algeria tensions seem to have eased with the recent visit of Emmanuel Macron, with Morocco the situation does not seem to have changed much.

Studying abroad requires a long-term organization. Several students have invested energy, hope, time and financial resources. Despite efforts to obtain visas, the start of the academic year is compromised for some, like several testimonies reported by the press describing baccalaureate holders having been refused by the consular authorities after having paid substantial sums in registration and tuition fees. dossier to the schools to which they were admitted.

These future students do not even have the option of turning to schools in Morocco, admission being only possible through competitions which usually take place in July.

According to media sources, the refusal rate of Schengen visas by France for applicants from Morocco has reached the incredibly high rate of 90%.

Students trained for excellence in Morocco

Campus France data show that 62% of Moroccans studying in France follow a university course. 42% of them opted for scientific training. Engineering schools attracted 13% of Moroccan students in France in 2021.

Moroccan students’ enthusiasm for France is not new. Their departure for this destination is facilitated by the multitude of cooperation agreements. 269 ​​cooperation agreements linked French and Moroccan universities in 2018. 101 of these agreements are accompanied by teacher mobility and also student exchange programs.

Moroccan students in France. Source: Campus France. Infographic: Mohamed Mhannaoui / Le Desk

According to these agreements, students in the preparatory classes for the Grandes Ecoles have the possibility of taking the entrance exams to the French Grandes Ecoles.

“They were nearly 4,000 students out of a total of registered in the preparatory classes of Morocco estimated at 12,000 students to present themselves to the competitions of the great schools of business, and great schools of French engineers”, notes a study dating from 2021 by Archimède Consulting.

The quality of education, the value of the diploma and the prestige enjoyed by the major engineering schools and the major French business schools, explain their strong appeal to Moroccan students in preparatory classes, notes the research.

A “insane success”

Excellent in maths and physics, Moroccan students shine in the competitions of the best French engineering schools such as the École polytechnique and CentraleSupélec. A “insane success”, according to an article by Figaro strongly commented on social networks and that deciphered for The Desk researcher Rachid Guerraoui.

Depending on their level and abilities, Moroccan students first think of Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Centrale, mines, ponts et chaussées, when it comes to engineering schools and HEC Paris, ESCP Europe, ESSEC, EM Lyon, EDHEC, EM Grenoble, SKEMA, BSB Dijon, Excelia La Rochelle for the major business schools, we note.

Among the best scientific preparations for the French Grandes Ecoles, we find the Lycée d’excellence de Benguérir (Lydex). In 2020, no less than 17 Lydex students joined École Polytechnique in France. A year later, 11 students have also followed in the footsteps of their elders. During the same period, the École Polytechnique had 160 Moroccan students, 110 of whom are studying engineering.

The 18-hectare Lydex campus and its brand new ocher buildings were built in the heart of the green city of Mohammed VI, a “city of knowledge and innovation” created in 2009 by the phosphate giant OCP. “Here, the 944 high school students, all boarders, are pampered: ultra-modern classrooms, rooms equipped for practical work, sports fields, theater dedicated to personal development modules, semi-Olympic swimming pool to train for the test of swimming from Polytechnique…”, commented The world.

The second choice of Moroccan students at university is economics, which attracted 27% of them in 2021 according to Campus France, followed by letters, languages ​​and human and social sciences at 13%. In last place, we find law and political science, which attract 6% of them.

Moroccan students first seek quality training and a recognized diploma, but also openness to other cultures, and above all the acquisition of experience that will allow them to start a professional career in France or in Europe. , underlines the Archimedes Consulting study, despite the tariff barrier imposed since 2019: the obligation for all foreign students other than Europeans to pay relatively substantial tuition fees to universities, 2,770 euros per year for a bachelor’s degree and 3,770 euros for a master’s.

“French schools and universities also allow for exchanges in Europe and around the world, in order to build an international profile which then attracts companies”, notes the same source.

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