Mobility Decisions of European Doctoral Researchers
23 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2012
Date Written: 2011
Student mobility remains an important component for the completion of a European Higher Education and Research Area. Two issues at the forefront are increasing student mobility within Europe as well as worries about a ‘brain drain’ of talented graduate students to North America. Unfortunately, there is still relatively little evidence and analysis available to support policy making. In this paper, using a large sample of European researchers, we analyse the decision of students where to pursue their doctoral studies: at home, in another European country or in North America. We find that students from countries with a weaker research and innovation system are more likely to seek their doctoral degree abroad, particularly within Europe. Graduate student mobility within Europe appears more driven by push factors in the home country, i.e. lack of opportunities for researchers, whereas mobility towards North America seems more driven by pull factors within the North American research and education system.
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