Studying abroad – what can Senegalese students dream of?

 In Enko Blog

The Senegalese school system, which is subject to significant population pressure, has made a great deal of progress over the last three decades. The number of secondary school graduates is increasing steadily (around 20,000 per year) and Senegalese universities can no longer meet this demand. Many young people also want to take the opportunity to study abroad. The Senegalese government, aware of this demand and of the issue of the capacity of the national university system, is granting bursaries to students in foreign countries (3,900 in 2015). The sums allocated vary according to the destination.

Disenchantment with France

France, the former colonial power, is still undoubtedly the destination of choice for the greatest number of Senegalese students (around ten thousand listed by Campus France each year). This appeal can be easily explained by the two countries’ shared language and history. Moreover, also reflecting its importance, the SGEE (Service de Gestion des Etudiants à l’Etranger – the foreign students’ administration department) is based in Paris. However, for some years now there has been increasing demand for other destinations.

North America is becoming a very popular choice, particularly Canada and its state of Quebec, which has the added benefit of being French-speaking. Canada also has a policy that encourages the recruitment of international students; it wants to double the number of foreign students between 2012 and 2022. African students are well-represented. Quebec welcomed 3,000 African students in 2012 and the Canadian ambassador to Senegal at the time mentioned that more than 5,300 Senegalese students have studied in Quebec over the last ten years.

An increasing preference for English-speaking destinations

However, Senegalese students are also more open to non-French-speaking destinations, as shown in this article in Le Monde, which you can read here. Young people in Senegal are looking at the United States and China as possible choices. These two destinations would welcome around 600 Senegalese students every year. Other English-speaking countries, such as Malaysia, have very attractive recruitment policies for African students, and are increasingly targeting French-speaking Africans. They offer bursaries and structured welcome programmes for students, enabling them to overcome the challenges posed by such a different environment.

How can you maximise your chances of success?

These very attractive proposals for young people who are looking for new beginnings and new discoveries mean that, in order to be able to move out of their French-speaking world, they must reach a level of fluency in English that will enable them not only to follow lessons properly but also to understand how to find their way around and settle in to the large international universities, grasp the subtleties of the different admissions procedures and understand how bursaries are allocated. They should really prepare for this before their Baccalaureate.

This is what Enko Dakar International School, an international school that provides a bilingual education in French and English, will be offering after the beginning of the next school year, opening doors to the best international universities and providing the key to a successful university life. Visit our site to find out more, or contact us for more details. You can reach us at 77 875 24 05 or 76 482 34 34 or by email at


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