France welcomes African students fleeing Ukraine, offers them a chance to study

Refugees, mostly students of Ukrainian universities, are seen at the Medyka border crossing, in Poland, fleeing the war in Ukraine. © AFP/Wojtek Radwanski

France has created a new initiative to help Africans studying in Ukraine whose studies have been disrupted by the  Russian invasion. The idea is to enable them to follow the same course they were enroled in in Ukraine, but in a French university. So far, 300 African students have applied to take part in the scheme.


The Presidential Council for Africa (PCA), founded by President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, is driving this project. Its coordinator, Wilfrid Lauriano do Rego, told RFI that each student's case will be examined separately.

“Each student presents a different case depending on whether they would like to continue studying in France or not and whether French universities can take them. And we also need to liaise with the French authorities to make this project feasible,” he said.

The initiative is not limited to francophone students but open to anglophone students too, depending on how fluent they are in French.

“It will also depend on what kind of course they are following and the decisions of the French universities giving these courses on the matter,” he said.

The project concerns all university courses, but may be limited to what is on offer within the French universities participating in this initiative.

Three hundred African students have, so far, enrolled in the PCA’s initiative. Lauriano do Rego said that he doesn’t know, at present, if they can accommodate more students as it depends on the student’s achievements.

“We will also have to see whether the curriculum followed in Ukraine is available here and what facilities are available to welcome them here in France. Each application would be considered on a case by case basis,” he said.

The French Foreign Affairs and Interior ministry will deal with the administrative side of things.

“We will see how it goes with the students and some of the universities as a sort of test drive for this project,” Lauriano do Rego added.