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Student mobility in context – People on the move 2019, by Eurostat

A new Eurostat e-publication – People on the move – statistics on mobility in Europe – presents some of the latest international student mobility figures in the EU framework, in a broader context of mobility determined by other factors than education, such as work, commuting, tourism and overall migration. The publication is divided into four chapters, each containing four sections:

  • European melting pot describes people entering and exiting the EU member states, as well as people acquiring citizenship and getting residence permits, amongst others.
  • Studying and working abroad includes data on people studying abroad and on Erasmus graduates, but also data on education level and working by citizenship. A specific section is devoted to crossing borders to go to work and another to commuting between regions.
  • Trains, planes and automobiles focuses on how people travel to work and elsewhere (e.g. by car, train or bus?). One part deals with the number and age of cars, while another looks at the number of people travelling by plane, both within and outside Europe, as well as people travelling by boat. The largest passenger airports and ports are also covered.
  • Out and about focuses on tourism, and other factors such as the purpose of trips, where tourists stay, the main destinations and transport means.

With regards to international student mobility, the Studying and working abroad section shows that, in 2017, there were a total of 1.7 million degree mobile students in the EU coming from abroad (both from another EU member state and from outside the EU), a 22% increase compared to 2013. These students accounted for 8.1% of all enrolled tertiary students in the EU in 2017, with some notable differences between member states.

As for graduates with a credit mobility (mainly Erasmus) experience, in 2017, around 114 000 Bachelor’s graduates and about 78 000 Master’s graduates had spent a period abroad on Erasmus.

For the Erasmus+ Bachelor’s graduates, the main exchange destination countries, hosting more than two thirds of all Erasmus-mobile Bachelor’s graduates, were:

  • Spain (21 300 graduates or 19% of total Bachelor’s Erasmus graduates in the EU in 2017), followed by
  • Germany (18 400 or 16%),
  • the United Kingdom (12 400 or 11%),
  • Italy (11 500 or 10%) and
  • the Netherlands (10 900 or 10%).

In turn, for the Erasmus Master’s graduates, the top destinations, attracting almost two thirds of all Master’s graduates that went abroad on Erasmus, were:

  • France (20 500 or 26% of total Erasmus Master’s graduates in the EU in 2017)
  • Italy (15 000 or 19%) and
  • Germany (14 600 or 19%).

Overall, 7.8% of the EU population in 2018 had a nationality other than their country of residence: 3.4% had the citizenship of another EU member state and 4.4% were non-EU citizens. On average, almost one in three people (31 %) in the EU who have the citizenship of another EU member state (than the one they were living in), had a high educational level (tertiary education), while this was the case for 28% of all nationals and 24 % of non-EU citizens.