International students in France this year face an increase of up to 15 times the previous level of tuition fees, following a new government directed campaign called ‘Welcome to France’, aimed at expanding France’s international student population.

The aim – boosting international student numbers – fails to address the economic situation of its most popular foreign student body: students from North and sub-Saharan Africa. Laurent Thievenet, the University of Paris-Est Creteil (UPEC)’s vice president for international relations, says a large part of this international student body can’t afford a tuition increase.

Students from Africa are currently a huge part of France’s international student body

A recent report by Campus France noted a sharp drop in African student numbers since the plan was announced.

This year, there were 343,000 international students enrolled in French higher education – a 4.5% increase in numbers from 2016/17 to 2017/18. Nearly half (46%) of France’s international student population is composed of African students, while 19% come from other European Union countries.

Read more on this story from VOA News.