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Territorial Observatory for the International Mobility of Students and Researchers has been launched.

Within the framework of the National Commission for Decentralised Cooperation (CNCD), the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in partnership with Campus France, Régions de France (institution representing the French Regions) and France Urbaine (association of French metropoles, conurbations and major cities), launched on November 19th the Territorial Observatory for the International Mobility of Students and Researchers.

A commitment of the Regions

The results in figures

Download the report (in French)


Through this initiative, the French Regions confirm their willingness to commit themselves to the regional policies in favour of the mobility of young people, students and researchers, both incoming and outgoing, because these groups are most likely to contribute to the internationalisation of our regions.


Moreover, the Regions invest a total of more than 100 million euros each year to ensure the international mobility of these groups. Studies confirm that the mobility allows students and researchers to consolidate their skills necessary for their employability, their adaptability, their foreign languages skills and help them more generally to open up to the world.



The Observatory's first detailed report, published for the Rencontres universitaires de la francophonie,  sheds light on regional developments and mechanisms made available by regional authorities to attract international students and to support the mobility of young French students and researchers:


Here are some highlights:


  • 3 of the French Regions attract more than 50% of the international students coming to France: Île de France (35%), AuvergneRhône-Alpes (13%), Occitanie (9%);
  • 3 Regions have been particularly dynamic since 2013: Centre Val de Loire (+20%), Sud ProvenceAlpes-Côte d'Azur (+19%), Grand Est (+18%) while the increase of the number of foreign students at the national level is at +10%;
  • Currently, an average of over 5 million euros is allocated by the Regions to international mobility: 4.16 million to support the mobility of young French people, nearly 1 million to attract foreign talents;
  • The main areas that attract French students and doctoral candidates for their mobility are Europe, North America and Asia.


This initial overview shows us that:


  • the mobility of researchers must be increased;
  • all types of incoming mobility must be developed;
  • consequently, more resources must be attributed to this policy.


The Regions therefore remain attentive to the development of the reception of young students and researchers because they will be the lifelong ambassadors of our regions and will be natural links with the future decision-makers of our partner countries.


New actors are appearing in this field, such as Saudi Arabia, which has promoted a policy to promote its higher education institutions and a policy (scholarship programs) in support of the incoming mobility of students and researchers from sub-Saharan Africa.


France is the fourth largest host country for international students with 325,000 foreign students enrolled in a French higher education institution in 2017. Campus France demonstrates in a study that this attractiveness is a source of economic development for the country, with 4.7 billion euros spent by these students (for tourism, accommodation, restaurants, etc.).


The Regions-Research-Europe Symposium to be held on 29 January 2019 will be an important opportunity to reflect on new ways of promoting and implementing these policies.


More information on http://regions-france.org/ (in French)



L’Observatoire territorial de la mobilité internationale des étudiants et des chercheurs