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Attracting and retaining international students in the EU.

Attracting students from third countries is important for the EU both as an alternative to irregular migration and as a contribution to a more competitive EU economy. But what concrete policies and practices have Member States put in place to attract international students? Are there any special incentives to retain them following graduation? What are the main challenges? What bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements with third countries have been adopted by Member States covering international students?

These and many other questions are answered in the Synthesis Report of the EMN Study Attracting and retaining international students in the EU. The study is providing concise overview of recent trends, challenges and good practices as well as of national policies and practices in place in Member States to attract international students from third countries.

The main policy drivers for attracting and retaining international students include the internationalisation of Higher Education Institutions and increasing financial revenue for the higher education sector, increasing the national pool of qualified labour as well as addressing specific (skilled) labour shortages plus tackling demographic change.

The common challenges identified in attracting international students: - Limited availability of courses taught in foreign languages - Lenghty processing times of applications for visas and residence permits - Insuficcient promotional activities as well as scholarships opportunities - Shortages in (affordable) housing