Attracting and retaining international students (EMN)

Attracting students from third countries and facilitating their entry into the national labour market is a priority to the EU. The EMN has published a study on 25 EU countries’ efforts to provide opportunities for international students.


Attracting students from third countries is important for the EU both as an alternative to irregular migration and as a contribution to a more competitive EU economy. Promoting their mobility has been part of the EU’s policy as early as 1994. Since then, the need for intensified efforts to provide opportunities for students has been reiterated by the European Commission regularly.


EU synthesis report

The EU synthesis report is based on the contributions from 25 EMN National Contact Points, including Belgium. The EMN Inform summarizes the results of the study. The EMN Flash is a one-page document presenting the key findings and learning points from the study.

Among other key points, the synthesis report highlights that:

  • Almost half of all Member States consider attracting and retaining international students a policy priority.
  • Bilateral and multilateral agreements with third countries have created important frameworks for cooperation, including in relation to student mobility.
  • The common challenges identified in attracting international students are:
    - Limited availability of courses taught in foreign languages
    - Lenghty processing times of applications for visas and residence permits
    - Insuficcient promotional activities and scholarships opportunities
    - Shortages in (affordable) housing.


Belgian Report

The Belgian report will soon be available on this website.

Publication Date:
ven 23 aoû 2019
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