‘Will I stay, or will I go?’, An analysis of international students’ migration intentions post-graduation in the Netherlands.
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This paper analyses the relative impact of a series of antecedents on the migration plans of international students in the Netherlands post-graduation and provides a holistic view of the phenomenon. Due to the increased importance of human capital in today’s ‘knowledge-based economy’, competition for talent has reached new heights on the international stage. This has led to increased research into skilled labour migration but international students’, effectively new skilled labour in-training, migration decisions are still relatively under-researched considering the rise in student migration. This paper provides quantitative evidence for the findings of prior researchers whilst also providing a basis for future research on the phenomenon. Due to the high regard Dutch universities have achieved internationally, this is a gap which needs to be addressed to avoid the funding that has been put into Dutch universities becoming a ‘sunk cost’. The paper begins with an explanation of the key motivations behind the study, followed by an overview of the identified antecedents, the conceptual model, and what can be anticipated based on the existing literature. Following this is a summary of the methodology, the results of which indicate that factors related to the job market, family support, length of stay and the level of effort to conform to the host country positively related to an intention to stay in the Netherlands, while efforts to obtain student facilities are negatively related. Limitations of the paper, as well as the implications these results could have for both stakeholders & theory are also presented.