Edition 216 - April 2019

International mobility of students in Italy and the UK – Does it pay off and for whom?

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) Technical Report: International mobility of students in Italy and the UK – Does it pay off and for whom?

This report, produced for the JRC, tackles the following three research questions: (1) does international student mobility (ISM) have a positive effect on labour market outcomes?, (2) do the returns to ISM vary between two countries with contrasting labour market and education systems?, and (3) do the returns to ISM differ according to the socio-economic background of the students?. Related data is compared between Italy and the UK, using Italian Institute of National Statistics and UK Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) graduate survey data. Using propensity score matching, the returns to study-related stays abroad are estimated on a set of labour market outcomes around six to twelve months and three years after graduation for undergraduates (UK and Italy) and postgraduates (Italy only).

The analysis confirms that mobile graduates benefit from slightly greater employment chances than non-mobile graduates. Returns to ISM tend to be higher among graduates in Italy. The most sizable effect is found for mobile students’ higher propensity to enrol in further studies. The latter is more likely for the socially-disadvantaged graduates, which might contribute to reducing income inequality in the long term.

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