Wednesday 10/20/21

Finland's rate of foreign university students exceeds the EU average

The number of students in the EU Member States coming from abroad has increased by 22% since 2013.
Photo: Gerd Altmann.

To carry out studies and graduate in a country other than one’s home country has become increasingly common among students. According to the figures published by Eurostat, in 2017 there were in total 1.7 million such mobile tertiary students in the EU coming from abroad (both from another EU Member State and from outside the EU), a number which has increased by 22% since 2013.

Mobile tertiary students coming from abroad represented 8.1 % of all enrolled tertiary students in the whole European Union in 2017. The shares differed among the Member States: the largest shares were observed in Luxembourg (47 %), Cyprus (23 %) and Austria (17 %), while the lowest were recorded in Croatia, Spain and Greece (all 3 %). 

Finland, a country admired internationally for the quality of its education system, is now one tenth above the EU average.Mobile-tertiary-students

Graphic source: Eurostat.

Erasmus+: 193,000 graduates

The Erasmus+ programme is a European Union student exchange programme, which supports students to spend part of their studies at another higher education institution abroad.

In 2017, around 114,000 bachelor graduates and around 78,000 master graduates had benefited from this programme, according to Eurostat figures.


For Erasmus+ bachelor graduates, the main exchange destination country was Spain (21,300 graduates or 19% of total bachelor Erasmus graduates in the EU in 2017), followed by Germany (18,400 or 16 %), the United Kingdom (12,400 or 11 %), Italy (11,500 or 10 %) and the Netherlands (10,900 or 10 %). Together, these five Member States were the destination of two thirds of all bachelor Erasmus graduates in 2017.

For Erasmus master graduates, France (20,500 or 26 % of total master Erasmus graduates in the EU in 2017) was the most frequent country chosen, followed by Italy (15 000 or 19 %) and Germany (14,600 or 19%). Together, almost two thirds of all master Erasmus graduates in 2017 went for an exchange in these three Member States.