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How does the the provinceuniversity interact with students' motives and strategies?

In many European countries are the relocations of young adults viewed upon with skepticism, since this type of relocation has become synonymous with a decrease in human capital in peripheral regions, which is also symbolized by the fact that there is a tendency to universities located in peripheral regions, struggle more with attracting students, than universities placed in larger cities in both Denmark and the Netherlands do. This project sheds light on the underlying youth culture tendencies related to (im)mobility patterns. Earlier research shows that the choice of higher education program and location has consequences in terms of migration, life progress and identity development. Additionally, after the introduction of the Bachelor/Master system in relation to the Bologna Process and the standardization of the European higher educations, there is an increase in the possibilities of relocation both at the beginning and during the higher education. 


The project is divided into four main parts:


Part one deals with the advantages and disadvantages which are related to the moving patterns of Bachelor students who are enrolled in HEI in Esbjerg or Copenhagen. The project takes a critical view on immobility as “failure to leave” and instead investigates the advantages and disadvantages that can arise when a student chooses for a university located in or near their home region.


Part two deals with the social norms in higher education regarding mobility and immobility. This part of the project investigates how students strategically incorporate mobility and immobility narratives in their life stories during higher education.


Part three investigates how graduates use their life stories during their higher education related to their choice of settlement and job search after graduating.


Part four investigates how students in higher education institutions manage to keep a place attachment and place-specific insider advantages (in regard to settlement- and job opportunities) through digital- and social media. 


The PhD project is a collaboration between the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the University of Southern Denmark. The project has the following case areas: Groningen city and province and Esbjerg and the southern region of Denmark. 


The project started in 2017 and is expected to be finished in 2021.


Contact: Eva Mærsk, or, phone: +45 53868980