Immigration. Their visa expired, 13 Senegalese students on a study trip to France cannot be found

Where are the 13 Senegalese students who came to France for a few days as part of a study trip but who disappeared when they got back on the plane to their country of origin? The opportunity to take a closer look at the issue of foreign students in France.

13 Senegalese students refuse to return to Africa

Successive governments have never ceased to brag about it: France, benefiting from a very special aura on the African continent due to the French-speaking world and its reputation as a “universalist” country, attracts many students from Africa. But, obviously some of them have a hard time going the opposite way once their course of study is finished…

Thus, a dozen Senegalese students from the IAM business school in Dakar who came to France for a short study trip would have preferred to stay in France once their visa expired. This was reported by the Beninese newspaper The New Tribune on August 11, revealing that, of the 20 beneficiaries of a 12-day trip, 13 of them disappeared into the wild when boarding the plane for Senegal.

Moreover, this same newspaper quotes the Senegalese media Release that only seven students out of the 20 parties in France would have returned to Dakar.

Of course, these 13 Senegalese students, who are therefore now clearly illegal on French territory, represent only a “drop of water” in the middle of the ocean of illegal immigration that France is experiencing.

Indeed, while official figures from the Ministry of the Interior indicated that France had between 600,000 and 700,000 irregular migrants at the end of 2021, an estimate made by André Posokhow on behalf of the Fondation Polémia in September 2019 mentioned a number of illegal immigrants in France of between one million and one and a half million…

Foreign students in France: Moroccans and Algerians on the podium

This case of Senegalese students wishing to illegally extend their stay in France is therefore an opportunity to focus on this form of immigration with often poorly defined contours represented by the arrival of foreign students.

Last year, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior at the end of October 2021, France granted 79,000 visas to foreign students. A volume up 3% compared to 2019. In addition, this latest inventory revealed that France had welcomed more students from the Maghreb (+16%), French-speaking Africa (+17%), Lebanon (+50%), the United States (+43%) or Turkey (+30%) in 2021 compared to 2019.

A trend confirmed by the Moroccan daily Morocco today which, citing figures from Campus France in July 2022, reported that Moroccans were “the leading foreign student community in France in 2021, thus representing 12% of all foreign students identified”. A total of 44,933 Moroccan students were enrolled in France during the 2020-2021 academic year.

The publication also indicates that the nationalities most represented among the some 365,000 foreign students registered in France in 2021 were, following Morocco, Algeria, China, Italy, and Senegal. Senegalese students who were just over 14,500 on French soil last year…

Photo credit: Capture YouTube IAM Dakar (illustration photo)
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