French campuses more selective for Senegalese students

In this corner of West Africa, the French campus is starting to solve a delicate equation. An arithmetical and psychological conundrum had to be solved by the national institution that manages the registration of students from Dakar, Thiers or Tambacunda whose dream is to go on to higher education in Lyon, Paris or Valenciennes. educate. How to limit the inflation of applications without passing institutions that try to discourage young Senegalese from investing in France? Senegal is indeed in the “top three” of African countries with the largest student body (14,000) in France.

Some numbers first: In 2016, Campus France had to examine around 15,000 applications, 18,500 in 2019, 27,231 in 2020 and 30,500 applications in 2022. This double-digit growth has already prompted the agency to open cross-regional branches in St. Louis, Khao Lak or Ziguinchor. The institution faces two other problems: on the one hand, only a third of applications (10,000) were accepted by French private or public institutions last year, and on the other hand, of the admitted applications, only 3,800 young people have received Visas (3,733 in 2021 and 3,592 in 2020). According to Campus France, these elements indicate that the documentation provided was not reliable enough.

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To stem this growth, in a country of more than 215,000 students (17 million inhabitants), Campus France decided to tighten application requirements while ensuring higher quality applications. So, for the start of the September 2023 school year—registration closed on Dec. 15, 2022—the institution established six ineligibility criteria. For example, students whose training is not “accredited” by the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANAQ-Sup), which has been monitoring and assuring the seriousness of private school or university programs in the country since 2012, or by African and Implemented by the Madagascar Council of Higher Education (CAMES), a mechanism for the recognition and equivalence of diplomas in about 20 African countries. Making false documents was also eliminated.

“More Good Records”

The introduction of new standards had the desired effect: Campus France Senegal according to world africaabout 25,000 requests. “Without it, we might have had to study over 35,000 files”, guaranteed by François Miorcec. The director of Campus France Senegal explained that the program is “transparent” Students are invited to take a self-assessment on the organization’s website before applying through the online tool (available at ” What we want is fewer files, but more good files”Stick with Mr. Miorcec.

He therefore hopes that, this year, French institutions will verify more applications and consulates will issue more visas. ” This new program is a way to identify better profileswelcomes Emile Bakhoum, Head of Senegalese Overseas Students Management Services at the Senegalese Embassy in Paris. It would also make possible the rationalization of private schools that have sprung up across Senegal but are not recognized by the state. »

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As the 2024 academic year begins, Campus France Senegal is considering integrating additional criteria to further reduce the number of applications.In particular, she believes that to end “excessive regression” This includes training for Master 2 students applying for a License 3 .

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