The Empirical Analysis of Degree-Mobile Students

The Hosting Country Perspective




Bologna Process, degree/long-term student mobility, European Higher Education Area, European integration, internationalization, (international) higher education policy


The current study aims at providing empirical and theoretical support to the important topic of international student mobility (ISM) in Europe. Specifically, it provides empirical analysis of degree-mobile students in 32 countries: the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the United Kingdom. The study is based on the aggregate data from the European Tertiary Education Register (ETER). The goal is to construct indicator (benchmark) for analyzing degree mobility of students at the country level. The empirical analysis is conducted from the perspective of a receiving country. It effectively helps to establish the context and content of future discussions on how to address the practical problem of measuring and evaluating the dynamics of students flows in Europe.


Download data is not yet available.


Abbott, A., & Silles. M. (2016). Determinants of international student migration. World Economy 39(5), 621–635.

Altbach, P., & Knight, J. (2007). The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Education 11(3-4), 290–305.

Altbach, P. (2004). Globalisation and the University: Myths and Realities in an Unequal World. Tertiary Education and Management 10(1), 3–25.

Barrioluengo, M. S., & Flisi, S. (2017). Student mobility in tertiary education: Institutional factors and regional attractiveness. Publications Office of the European Union.

Brandenburg, U. (2020). Internationalization of higher education, mapping and measuring. In: P. N. Teixeira & J. C. Shin (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of higher education systems and institutions (pp. 1925–1929). Springer.

Broucker, B., Leisyte, L., de Wit, K., & Verhoeven, J. C. (2019). Understanding higher education system reform: Practices, patterns and pathways. In B. Broucker, K. de Wit, J. C. Verhoeven, & L. Leisyte (Eds.), Higher education system reform: An international comparison after twenty years of Bologna (pp. 221–238). Brill Sense.

Corbett, A. (2005). Universities and the Europe of knowledge: Ideas, institutions, and policy entrepreneurship in European community higher education policy, 1955-2005. Palgrave Macmillan.

de Wit, H., & Hunter, F. J. H. (2020). Internationalization of higher education, evolving concepts, approaches, and definitions. In: P. N. Teixeira & J. C. Shin (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of higher education systems and institutions (pp. 1910–1915). Springer.

European Higher Education Area (EHEA) (2020). Rome ministerial communiqué.

European Higher Education Area (EHEA) (2003). Berlin ministerial communiqué.

Ferencz, I. (2015). Balanced mobility across the board - A sensible objective? In A. Curaj, L. Matei, R. Pricopie, J. Salmi, & P. Scott (Eds.), The European higher education area: Between critical reflections and future policies (pp. 27–42). Springer.

Findlay, A., King, R., Smith, F., Geddes, A., & Skeldon, R. (2012). World class? An investigation of globalisation, difference and international student mobility. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series 37(1), 118–131.

Hackl, E. (2001). Towards a European area of higher education: change and convergence in European higher education (Working Papers, RSC No. 2001/09). European University Institute.

Hooghe, L., & Marks, G. (2018). Cleavage theory meets Europe’s crises: Lipset, Rokkan, and the transnational cleavage. Journal of European Public Policy 25(1), 109–135.

Hooghe, L., & Marks, G. (2009). A Postfunctionalist theory of European integration: From permissive consensus to constraining dissensus. British Journal of Political Science 39(1), 1–23.

Kelo M., Teichler U., & Wächter B. (2006). Toward improved data on student mobility in Europe: Findings and concepts of the Eurodata study. Journal of Studies in International Education 10(3), 194–223.

Knight, J. (2008). Higher education in turmoil: The changing world of internationalization. Sense Publishers.

Kriesi, H., Grande, E., Dolezal, M., Helbling, M., Höglinger, D., Hutter, S., & Wüest, B. (2012). Political conflict in Western Europe. Cambridge University Press.

Kriesi, H., Grande, E., Lachat, R., Dolezal, M., Bonschier, S., & Frey, T. (2008). West European politics in the age of globalization. Cambridge University Press.

Kriesi, H., Grande, E., Lachat, R., Dolezal, M., Bonschier, S., & Frey, T. (2006). Globalization and the transformation of the national political space: Six European countries compared. European Journal of Political Research 45(6), 921–956.

Marginson, S., & Rhoades, G. (2002). Beyond national states, markets, and systems of higher education: A glonacal agency heuristic. Higher Education 43, 281–309.

Marinoni, G., Egron-Polak, E., & Green, M. (2019, February 1). A changing view of the benefits of HE internationalisation. University World News.

Melo, S. (2016). Different regionalisms, one European higher education regionalization: The case of the Bologna process. In S. L. Robertson (Ed.), Global regionalisms and higher education: Projects, processes, politics (pp. 49–63). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Naidoo, V. (2007). Research on the flow of international students to UK universities: Determinants and implications. Journal of Research in International Education 6(3), 287–307.

OECD (2021). Education at a glance 2021: OECD indicators. OECD.

OECD (2016). Education at a glance 2016: OECD indicators. OECD.

Peterson, P. (2014). Diplomacy and education: A changing global landscape. International Higher Education 75, 2–3.

Riaño, Y., & Piguet, E. (2016). International Student Migration. Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press.

Robertson, S. (2008). ‘Europe/Asia’ regionalism, higher education and the production of world order. Policy Futures in Education 6(6), 718–729.

Rodríguez-González, C., Bustillo-Mesanza, R., & Mariel, P. (2011). The determinants of international student mobility flows: An empirical study on the Erasmus programme. Higher Education, 62, 413–430.

Steiner-Khamsi, G., & Waldow, F. (2012). World yearbook of education 2012: Policy borrowing and lending in education. Routledge.

Teichler, U. (2019). Bologna and student mobility: A fuzzy relationship. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 32(4), 429–449.

Teichler, U. (2012). International student mobility and the Bologna process. Research in Comparative and International Education 7(1), 34–49.

UNESCO (2020). Global education monitoring report 2020: Inclusion and education: All means all. UNESCO.

UNESCO (2015). Facts and figures: Mobility in higher education. UNESCO. Retrieved December 15, 2020, from

UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2012). International standard classification of education ISCED 2011. UNESCO.

Uslaner, E. (2004). The moral foundations of trust. Journal of Communication 54(3), 581–582.

van der Wende, M. & Huisman, J. (2004). Europe. In J. Huisman & M. van der Wende (Eds.), On cooperation and competition: National and European policies for the internationalisation of higher education (pp. 17–50). Lemmens.

Verma, J. P. (2013). Data analysis in management with SPSS software. Springer.

Zgaga, P. (2018). How has mobility become central to the EU’s idea of doctoral education? A brief overview of the history of a policy idea. Learning and Teaching 11(2), 5–29.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Fedotov, D. (2022). The Empirical Analysis of Degree-Mobile Students: The Hosting Country Perspective. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 14(4), 67–89.



Empirical Article