Article in European Planning Studies, Vol. 25, No. 12, 2017, pp. 2212-2231
Inge Hooijen, Christoph Meng, Julia Reinold and Melissa Siegel
Graduates are considered a convenient source of human capital in today’s knowledge-based economy. It is therefore crucial to understand what drives their mobility intentions to retain larger numbers of graduates. This is particularly true for peripheral regions, which need to compete with economic centres that are assumed to be more attractive. This paper adds a euregional perspective to the existing literature on graduate migration by investigating whether or not students intend to stay in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) after graduation. It takes into account the role of hard and soft locational factors, social factors as well as individual characteristics in shaping future graduates’ mobility preferences. Using survey data from 2015 from five higher education institutions in the EMR, this paper finds that mobility intentions are determined by students’ perceptions of the quality of life, openness and career opportunities in the euroregion. In addition, distance to the partner and other social ties such as family and friends influence migration intentions.