The number of non-EU/EEA students coming to the EU to undertake their studies has increased steadily over recent years. The European Migration Network (EMN) has now published a study on 25* EU countries’ efforts to provide opportunities for international students.
The study found that:
- In 2017, the most popular destinations for students from third countries were United Kingdom, France and Germany whereas the highest number of international students came from China, the United States and India.
- Almost half of all Member States consider attracting and retaining international students a policy priority. Students from third countries are generally considered important for future investment, economic growth and innovation.
- The most common approaches in place to attract international students included promotional activities and the dissemination of information, as well as scholarships and programmes available in the English language.
- Challenges identified included the limited availability of courses taught in foreign languages, especially English, long processing times of applications for visas and residence permits, insufficient scholarship opportunities and student housing shortages.
- Most of the Member States established measures to facilitate entry into the national labour market following graduation.
- Some factors that significantly contributed to student attraction did not necessarily benefit student retention. For example, programmes taught in English had a positive impact on the number of international students but did not facilitate their long-term integration into the labour market. Challenges were also identified in providing favourable conditions to attract students whilst preventing the abuse of the student route for other migration purposes.
*AT, BE, BG, CY, CZ, DE, EE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HR, HU, IE, IT, LT, LU, LV, MT, NL, PL, PT, SE, SK, UK
- Publication date
- 4 September 2019