OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

Internationally mobile students and their post-graduation migratory behaviour

An analysis of determinants of student mobility and retention rates in the EU

This paper is part of the joint project between the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission and the OECD’s Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs on “Review of Labour Migration Policy in Europe”. This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Grant: HOME/2013/EIFX/CA/002 / 30-CE-0615920/00-38 (DI130895) A previous version of this paper was presented and discussed at the OECD Working Party on Migration in June 2015.The paper investigates the preferences and post-graduation mobility behaviour of international students, focusing on how the EU could succeed in attracting and keeping highly educated talent from across the globe. Providing their skills to European labour markets, graduates from outside the EU have a potential to enrich the supply of high-skilled labour. Seen as the 28 EU countries still constitute the most attractive destination area for studying abroad, the paper examines different calculation methods in order to generate stay rates for over 170 countries of origin. Empirical results indicate that for the EU as a whole, aggregate stay rates from stayers from all non-EU source countries lie within a range of 16.4% and 29.1%. They are also typically very low among students from other OECD countries, and much higher for students from less developed or politically less stable countries. The paper concludes by recommending a catalogue of measures to boost the EU's attractiveness, and to increase stay rates. Proposed policy measures draw on a smooth labour market integration of international graduates, as well as on cultivating strong points of the European countries, such as: political stability and participation possibilities, reliable institutions and governance structure, as well as an innovative and competitive environment.


JEL: I23: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Higher Education; Research Institutions; F22: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / International Migration
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error