Spain has embarked on an ambitious plan to attract international students and highly skilled workers from Africa as part of its new strategy, Focus Africa 2023, which aims to establish stronger academic, economic and diplomatic ties with African countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to ICEF Monitor, a market intelligence platform for international student recruitment and mobility trends, the Spanish government would like to join the United Kingdom, France and Germany as a destination of choice for international students from Africa.
Towards this goal, plans are under way to ease visa processes for international students and graduates. “The move will remedy some of the logistical challenges that international students face in pursuing degree studies in Spain,” said ICEF Monitor.
But, pending the proposed new university system legislation that will come into effect in 2023, the Spanish government intends to start granting residence permits to foreign students for the duration of their studies and to extend work rights for one to two years after graduation.
Quoting Dr Joan Subirats, the minister responsible for universities, ICEF Monitor said Spain is keen to retain international talent by allowing some of the graduates to develop their careers in the country.
In this context, Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to become one of Spain’s target areas for recruitment of international students and this will be one of the aspects that will define relations between Spain and African countries in the 21st century and beyond.