This paper examines how national migration policies and country-specific
factors in receiving countries attend to a potential highly-skilled
migrant when one is deciding among several possible locations. While
continental European countries recognize the need to attract migrants as
a key component of their economic strategies, it remained unclear to
what extent the more open immigration policies led to actually increase
the attractiveness of European countries to perform better at the global
competition for the highly-skilled. The survey among prospective
migrants in India shows that while European countries appear to be
relatively attractive for study purposes, they are not perceived equally
attractive as a place for a long-term stay. To overcome the risks and
pick Europe as a destination, more resources and skills are necessary
than for traditional immigration countries; be it in terms of existing
networks abroad, higher educational level or better language skills.
With less long-term migration initiatives to Europe, immigration
policies and destination country-specific factors, chances to obtain
citizenship and amenities of local environment become less relevant.
European governments place considerable effort on integration of student
migration as a part of a wider immigration strategy. This strategy is
likely to prove ineffective if "probationary migrants" clearly do not
see European countries as prospective work destination for the period
after their graduation.
Key words: location choices; pull factors; higher education; student migration; migration policy; India
JEL classification: F22, J61, K37, I23, J24