This article focuses on distribution of intra-European flows by tertiary students in 1998 - 2007. The analysis aims at geographical patterns of migration flows by countries of origin and destination. The OECD International Migration Database provides good quality data for a matrix of 20 countries of student origin and destination. The data patterns were examined via (a) correlation analysis, (b) factor analysis and (c) structural equation modelling. Major European countries (the UK, Germany and France) accounted for some two thirds for intra-European student inflows and featured major destinations in most European countries of origin. International student flows, however, also had their regional dimension. It was expressed in patterns of cultural similarity (in terms of common or similar language). The structural equation modelling suggested that factors of cultural similarity shape not only flows of trade and capital, but also flows of knowledge, represented by international cooperation in patents and education. It is argued that concept of cultural similarity depends on tacit knowledge of host country environments, where language skills play a prominent role. In summary, international flows of students follow similar underlying factors, like flows of trade and knowledge.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.