Immigration of International Students to the EU - EU Synthesis (EMN)

Based on the contributions from 24 EMN NCPs, this synthesis report provides an overview of the immigration and mobility policies allowing international students to enter into and move within the EU for the purpose of study.

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The Study summarises and analyses the policies and practices in place in the (Member) States to regulate the immigration of international students to the EU. Among others, the following conclusions can be highlighted:

  • The immigration of international students to the EU is recognised by some Member States as a phenomenon of growing importance in the competition for talent and skills, and in its contribution to economic growth.
  • The immigration of international students to the EU has been facilitated by a range of measures at EU (implementation of the Student Directive 2004/114/EC by participating Member States, and EU mobility programmes such as Erasmus Mundus programme) and national level (timely information on programmes and services, courses in English, flexible admission procedures as well as fast tracking of applications, facilitated change of residence status, etc.)
  • Though the approximation of national legislation on conditions for admission and stay has occurred, differences do still exist, particularly in relation to access to the labour market during and after completion of studies. Moreover, differences exist in relation to the benefits provided to the international students when accessing the labour market and during stay in general.
  • The scale and nature of misuse of the student route varies significantly across Member States, with misuse often remaining largely unanalysed. Little research exists regarding what happens to the students after the completion of their studies, with statistics, when available, not able to pinpoint exactly whether the student route is being misused or whether the international students have returned to their country of origin. However, the misuse which was identified by some (Member) States seemed to focus on specific sectors of education, such as language courses.

More information in the attached synthesis report.

Publication Date:
Mon 15 Apr 2013
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