Drivers and migration policies shaping international student mobility in OECD countries

Online workshop organized by the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (MPC: Migration Policy Centre) and our Department

Nowadays, more and more countries are looking at international migrants as a potential source of highly skilled workers. In particular, the internationalization of higher education and the benefits associated with the immigration of a skilled workforce have led governments to find new ways of attracting foreign students. Over the past decade, some of these policies have sought to boost international student enrolment through increased financial support and fast-track processing of student visa applications. At the same time, governments have put a lot of effort to retain international students after their graduation in order to cash in on the training of foreign talent. Against this backdrop, policy makers need to answer the following key questions: What are the drivers of international student mobility? How efficient is logistical and financial support to boost international student enrolment? Does improving foreign graduates’ access to the destination countries’ labour market increase international student enrolment and lead to higher stay rates after graduation? And if so, do higher stay rates translate into a permanent transfer of talents from countries of origin to countries of study? Symmetrically, what are the consequences of these policies for migrants’ countries of origin?

This MEDAM workshop will bring together international scholars who have contributed to the growing academic debate about the policy determinants of international student mobility and provide a unique opportunity to discuss the latest research findings on this topic. The workshop will have an academic focus but will also address the implications of research findings for policy debates in Europe and beyond.