Bordeaux, a flagship city for students

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For students, Bordeaux is one of the most attractive cities in France. Between rising numbers of students, housing crisis, congestion in the city… Challenges every day. Bordeaux, however, fully integrates higher education into its territorial development.

Through the quality of universities, schools and institutes, the image of Bordeaux internationally, professional integration, the living environment… Focus on the situation of a Bordeaux Metropole that gives itself the means to remain attractive to young people.

The increase in the number of students from Bordeaux

In a decade ago, the students of NewAquitaine have come Maorily from theBordeaux Academy. For example, the Region counted just over 178,000 students in 2013. Five years later, in 2018, it has more than 208,400. Thus it shows a growth of 17% (1).

Among the figures for 2018, 132 36 students at the Academy of Bordeaux. Against 52,641 at the Poitiers Academy and 23,439 in Limoges. Nearly 60% of students in the region choose Bordeaux to study. They then remain ready on the spot, at their first steps in the working life.

In addition to the undeniable attractiveness of the regional capital for French students, Bordeaux also proves to be a place of choice for foreign students.

In 2020, 23,703 international students are affected, an increase of 26% between 2013 and 2018 (2). They represent 11% of the region’s students.

However, Bordeaux remains largely behind on the national scene. Indeed nearly three-quarters (72%) of Eramus students are distributed in five regions: Île-de-France (one third), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Occitanie, Grand Est and Hauts-de-France. In total, France receives 258,000 international students in 2020. It is the first non-English-speaking host country.

A strategy supported by the variety of training

The growth in the number of students can be explained by a number of factors, including the wide range of courses provided. The Bordeaux Academy is 3 Universities, integrating 4 IUT (University Institute of Technology), 1 INSPE (National Higher Institute of Professorship and Education), 5 engineering schools (public and private), 1 IEP (Institute for Political Studies), ISIC (Institute of Information and Communication Sciences), IAE, and many other renowned institutes

To this is added a nice collection of Grandes écoles. Some éengineering schools and private schools, which reinforce Bordeaux’s place in higher education. Among them, the ENSC, the National School of Magistrates, the School of Fine Arts, the School of Architecture, INSEEC, ESTEI, the Bordeaux Conservatory, Kedge Business School, or the 26 institutions of the Campus des Chartrons…

In addition, many of these courses have an interesting reputation. Among the recognized areas of excellence in Bordeaux, engineering and computer science are prominent. This information is more correlated with the strong economic activity in the region than in the rest of France.

A professional integration of students accompanied by

The quality of the higher education institutions offered in Bordeaux is particularly evident in the excellent score of professional integration. According to the annual ranking of L’Etudiant, which assesses the attractiveness of cities to study according to a large number of criteria, Bordeaux receives the maximum score for its rate of professional integration (3).

While the regional capital is ranked 9th in the overall ranking of student cities, it is on the other hand leading the way in the dynamism of employment. The metropolis is thus making fertile ground for the first jobs.

In addition, supported by the national policy of valuing alternation and professionalisation contracts, schools, especially private schools, favours alternation. This approach aims to professionalize students by combining theory and practice.

CFAs also have very good results. In February 2019, 73% of the academy’s apprentices found a job within 7 months of completing their studies. The employment rate of apprentices has been increasing steadily in recent years. According to the most recent data, it has increased from 70% in 2018 to 73% in 2019. A trend observed on almost all diplomas.

Always with the aim of professionalizing students, public institutions, traditionally lambasted for their lack of anchoring in the reality of the market, weave links with the economic fabric. Thus, since 2009, the University of Bordeaux has had its own foundation “Bordeaux University” (4).

It brings together companies, associations, institutions and citizens around four main missions: supporting research, developing the professionalization of training for post-study integration, valuing the university campus, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and exchange.

Major projects to improve students’ living environment

In addition to the favourable school environment, Bordeaux’s attractiveness also lies in its living environment.

According to the L’Etudiant ranking, the cultural offer, mobility and green spaces are all factors that contribute to making the Metropole a favorite place for students and young workers. From a cultural point of view, the agglomeration brings together about thirty municipal libraries. In parallel it has about fifteen cinemas promoting different genres and cinematographic styles, museums, exhibitions, cultural events.

The Metropolis is also committed to developing its transportation network. It is developing new tram lines, increased frequencies, additions of stations and terminals, self-service bicycles and bike paths, car-sharing cars… All the levers to make the city cleaner, safer, more entertaining, more walkable, more attractive are exploited.

How do I house Bordeaux students?

On the other hand, the housing shortage is increasing year after year. Despite the work to put new housing on the market, the market remains tight. The city is failing to fill the supply gap for current demands. It manages even less to cushion the massive arrival of students and workers attracted by the city, the vineyards, the sea, the mountains …

For students, the numbers are clear. We count 12.9 studios per 10,000 inhabitants. On the rent side they are among the most expensive cities in France. Thus, once the rare pearl has been unearthed (studio or T1), students must pay on average 565 euros each month.

In addition to the efforts of the Metropolis, universities, schools and institutes also give of their person to remain attractive. Thus, in 2020, students of the University Campus of Pessac will be able to benefit from a brand new space in France, initiated by croUS (5). University restaurant, late-night grocery store, dance studio, meeting rooms, music room and café, second-hand shop…

It is a whole living space that opens up, as close as possible to the needs of the students, in the image of a Bordeaux that has not said its last word.


(1) Regional Student Student Atlas for 2017-2018

(2) Campus France, key figures 2020

(3) The Student, Palmares of Student Cities 2019-2020

(4) University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux University Foundation

(5) Crous de Bordeaux, Opening of the Campus Space

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