Articles | Volume 71, issue 4
Geogr. Helv., 71, 271–282, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-71-271-2016

Special issue: Young people and new geographies of learning and education

Geogr. Helv., 71, 271–282, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-71-271-2016

Standard article 19 Oct 2016

Standard article | 19 Oct 2016

Migration and post-university transition. Why do university graduates not return to their rural home region?

Patrick Rérat Patrick Rérat
  • Institute of geography and sustainability, University of Lausanne, Mouline – Géopolis, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract. This paper addresses migrations taking place during the transition from higher education to the labour market. It analyses the reasons why graduates do not return to their rural home region after university, with a case study in Switzerland. Drawing on the mechanisms identified in the literature on internal migration, I propose to conceptualize migration choice as a combination of four logics: utilitarian (job opportunities), calculating (financial elements), affective (social and love life) and sensitive (residential amenities). The analysis of the motives reported by graduates indicates that migration decisions cannot be reduced to a single dimension (although job opportunities are central), are diverse (even within a homogeneous group) and depend on a variety of constraints.

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This paper addresses migrations taking place during the transition from higher education to the labour market. It analyses the reasons why graduates do not return to their rural home region after university, with a case study in Switzerland. The analysis of the motives reported by graduates indicates that migration decisions cannot be reduced to a single dimension (although job opportunities are central), are diverse (even within a homogeneous group) and depend on a variety of constraints.