Students from southern Europe run away from the crisis to the North

Posted on 16/08/2012


A difficult economic situation pushes more and more graduates to complete their education in a foreign country least affected by the crisis. They hope to find work more easily after graduation.

In Europe, young people are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis. Unemployment affects one in three young active in Greece, one in two in Spain. Budget cuts, for example, by the Madrid region, are estimated at EUR 175 million for the six public universities. In Portugal, the crisis has intensified to the point that the Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, had come to call his countrymen to emigrate!

StudyPortals the website, which lists over 19,000 Masters throughout Europe, receives each month over 1.5 million visitors. The site has seen a dramatic increase in its attendance between 2011 and 2012. Students from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece have literally set their sights on studying abroad. Consultations from these countries increased at least by 150%.

The most demanded destinations are those that offer more accessible courses in English language. According to the website StudyPortals, among students in four countries with the greatest difficulties facing the crisis, they are 27% to turn to Britain and 17% to the Netherlands, which offer 1104 Bachelor and Masters taught in English. France has positioned itself in the fifth position of the most consulted destination by students, at the same level as Belgium.

The students hope to get a job more easily, once they graduate. In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, published a report in April 2012, revealing that among the new foreign graduates, 38% stay at least three years in the Netherlands, to work. Unlike the countries of southern Europe, the Netherlands do well, with an unemployment rate of young people below 10%. Another motivation to migrate to study.

The grass is greener elsewhere
The French are also attracted overseas, where their prospects seem rosier. They are always more likely to go abroad to study and seek their first jobs. According to pollster Gallileo, who investigated in 2012 the career ambitions of 1600 students from 16 of the best French Business and Engineerings schools, 23% of them put as a priority to seek their first job abroad. The number of international volunteers has also exploded in recent years, jumping 57% between 2006 and 2011, reported l’Expansion. The destinations for students are, according to the Association of “Grandes Ecoles”, outside the borders of Europe, in countries less affected by the crisis, such as Brazil, Chile, South Korea or Malaysia. These young people ready for expatriation hope both to find work more easily, and to gain an experience they know is popular with employers.

This is translation of an original article written by Raphaël Gibour and published by Le Figaro on August 13th, 2012. The orginal article is available here:
This translation is only done to inform non-French speaking readers. Copyright remains with the original author and publisher.