Increasing participation in the Erasmus study abroad program in Europe is a clear policy goal, and student-reported barriers and drivers are regularly monitored. This article uses student survey data from seven countries to examine the extent to which student-level barriers can explain the considerable cross-country variation in Erasmus participation rates. We observe remarkable similarities between countries with respect to how barriers cluster for students and what barriers characterize non-participants compared with participants. The study confirms that home ties and lack of interest are most robust predictors for non-participation. Data on student-level barriers and motivations, however, give surprisingly little information to explain why students in some countries are considerably more active participants. For further understanding, we need to study more how national and institutional policies and context influence students’ decision making and help them overcome perceived barriers to mobility.
- International student mobility
- higher education
- European Union