The development of an empirically based theoretical model on European Student Mobility within the European context.
* Gain an insight into European Student Mobility patterns within Europe and some specific European countries
* Define the motivational factors that influence the mobility decisions of European students and understand their migration-aspirations
* Understand the influence of European Student Mobility on European Identity
* Verify empirically how European Student Mobility influences subsequent migration aspirations
In recent years international student migration has
increased significantly in a context characterized by the internationalization
of tertiary education and the development of new information and communication
technologies (Dia, 2005). The Bologna
process was and is an important catalyst in the trend towards harmonization and
internationalization of European tertiary education. At present, importance has
been attached to mobility in both the academic and the business sector
(Morano-Foadi, 2005). However, the lack of attention on European Student
Mobility in the academic literature is striking. Student migration is sometimes
mentioned in studies on highly skilled migration, but – except for some
research (e.g. King & Ruiz-Gelices, 2003) – has never been studied in depth
and is rarely founded empirically. The phenomenon has been mentioned generally
in highly generalized descriptions of macro-processes, descriptive statistics,
the international business of student migration, and related themes such as the
brain drain and brain gain (King & Ruiz-Gelices, 2003). Researchers
generally accept that student migration follows the same pattern as economic
migration. However, analyses which consider international student migration as
a sociocultural process are rare (King & Ruiz-Gelices, 2003). European
Student Mobility can be considered as an important upcoming trend within the
‘new map of European migration’ (King, 2002) and has to be placed in the
broader context of youth migrations which are less defined by traditional
economic factors, but rather by a mix of education/leisure/travel/experiences
goals (King, 2002). Although the internationalization of tertiary education and
European Student Mobility has gained importance in recent decades, research on
these topics remains scarce in Europe (Baláž
& Williams, 2004; Bessey, 2007; Dreher & Poutvaara, 2006; Kehm &
Teichler, 2007; King & Ruiz-Gelices, 2003).
Two rationales underpinned the European
mobility programs (Papatsiba, 2006); (a) an economic and professional goal,
considering the program as a way to promote the European labor market,
participation in the program would motivate individuals to migrate more –
within Europe – during their future professional lives; and (b) the creation of
European citizens and a European identity feeling among the students through
participation in an international context. However, empirical scientific
research on a European scale on this identity feeling among students does not
exist yet (van der Veen & Lustick, 2001). Moreover, in the academic
literature it has also been assumed that there is a direct causal relationship
between a study period abroad and further migration behavior, but empirical
evidence on this relation remains also very limited (Parey & Waldinger,
2008). This research project focuses on this gap; the influence of European
Student Mobility on European identity and subsequent migration-intentions
and/or behavior. The existing academic literature suggests that student
mobility can be seen in three ways theoretically; (a) as a part of highly
skilled migration (e.g. Mahroum, 2000; Tremblay, 2002); (b) as a product of
globalization (Altbach & Teichler, 2001); and (c) as a part of youth
mobility cultures and consumption geographies (Findlay et al., 2006). We
developed a conceptual framework , based on a literature study, which serves as
the basis for our further research and which will be adjusted, refined and
empirically verified. The development of an empirically based theoretical model
on a European scale on the influence of European Student Mobility on European
identity and subsequent migration behavior is unique since the existing studies
are limited to national contexts. However, various authors (e.g. Findlay et
al., 2005) have already indicated the need for pan-European research on
European student mobility.
Figure 1: Conceptual Framework
In this research project, we opt for a mixed-method approach, combining quantitative and qualitative research methods. At the end of the 2008-2009 Academic Year, a first quantitative data collection by means of an online questionnaire was completed by all participating universities. The results of this first data collection were presented at the conference on Academic Mobility in Tallinn, Estonia, September 2009. However, new questions arose from this first data collection. For that reason, qualitative fieldwork (in-depth interviews and focus groups) were necessary to study the underlying dynamics of student mobility. This qualitative fieldwork was carried out at the Università di Roma (Italy), Universitetet i Oslo (Norway), University of Oxford (United Kingdom), Uniwersytet Warszawski (Poland), Universität Innsbruck (Austria), and the Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium). Both mobile and non-mobile students were interviewed, in order to compare their discourses. A second quantitative data collection was conducted at the end of the 2009-2010 Academic Year, and a last one is scheduled at the end of the 2010-2011 Academic Year.
- Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
- Technische Universität Wien
- Universität Innsbruck
- Universität Salzburg
- Universität Wien
- Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
- Université Catholique de Louvain
- Université de Liège
- Universiteit Antwerpen
- Universiteit Gent
- Aalborg Universitet
- Aarhus Universitet
- Københavns Universitet
- Roskilde Universitet
- Syddansk Universitet
- Helsingin Yliopisto
- Itä-Suomen Yliopisto
- Jyväskylän Yliopisto
- Lapin Yliopisto
- Oulun Yliopisto
- Tampereen Yliopisto
- Turun Yliopisto
- Vaasan Yliopisto
- Université de Bourgogne
- Université de Caen Basse-Normandie
- Université de Nantes
- Université de Poitiers
- Háskólinn á Akureyri
- Háskóli Íslands
- Università degli studi di Cagliari
- Università degli Studi di Firenze
- Università degli Studi di Genova
- Università degli Studi di Milano
- Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
- Università degli Studi di Padova
- Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata"
- Università di Bologna
- Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
- Università di Torino
- Universitetet i Agder
- Universitetet i Bergen
- Universitetet i Nordland
- Universitetet i Oslo
- Universitetet i Stavanger
- Universitetet i Tromsø
Uniwersytet Im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Uniwersytet Jagiellonski w Krakowie
Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika w Toruniu
- Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza
- Euskal Herriko Unibertsitateko
- Universidad Complutense de Madrid
- Universidad de Granada
- Universidad de Sevilla
- Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
- Univerzita Komenského Bratislava
- Univerza v Ljubljani
- Univerza v Mariboru
- Göteborgs Universitet
- Karlstads Universitet
- Linköpings Universitet
- Linneuniversitetet Kalmar/Växjö
- Lunds Universitet
- Örebro Universitet
- Stockholms Universitet
- Umeå universitet
- Uppsala Universitet
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Studies in International Education, 5, 5-25.
- Baláž, V., & Williams, A. M. (2004). 'Been there,
done that': International Student Migration and Human Capital Transfers from
the UK to Slovakia.
Population, Space, and Place, 10, 217-237.
- Bessey, D. (2007). International Student Migration to Germany.
Working Paper No.6, Universität Zurich/Universität Bern. Available at
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(2005). Migrations internationales estudiantines, internationalisation de
l'enseignement supérieur et fuite des cerveaux. Global Migration
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M., & Teichler, U. (2007). Research on Internationalisation in
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the European 'Year Abroad': Effects on European Identity and Subsequent
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the international migration of human capital. R&D Management, 30(1), 23-31.
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and Excellence in the European Research Area. International Migration, 43(5),
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European through student mobility? Revisiting EU initiatives in the context of
the Bologna Process. Comparative Education, 42(1), 93-111.
- Parey, M., & Waldinger, F. (2008). Studying Abroad
and the Effect on International Labor Market Mobility: Evidence from the
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Zukunft der Arbeit. Available at http://ftp.iza.org/dp3430.pdf [Accessed
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OECD Countries in 2001. A Comparative Analysis. Paper presented at the Seminar
on International Mobility of Highly Skilled Workers: From Statistical Analysis
to the Formulation of Policies, Paris.
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Veen, A. M., & Lustick, I. S. (2001, 15/05/2001). The Emergence of a
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