Australian Researchers’ Mobility Portal

Wednesday 12th September 2007

Non-nationals’ share of Human Resources in Science and Technology (HRST) is below the 2006 EU average of 6% in all the Nordic countries. Sweden is closest with a share of 5.3% non-nationals. Finland have the lowest share in the Nordic region: only 1.5% of the HRST in Finland are non-national.

Figures from Eurostat show big disparities in non-nationals’ share of Human Resources in Science and Technology (HRST) in Europe. All countries apart from five have a share below 10%. Of these five, Luxenbourg stands out with 46.5%. In Norway, Denmark and Iceland respectively 4.5%, 4.1% and 3.2% of the nations’ HRST are non-nationals.

Student mobility

In order to attract highly qualified staff and students and maintain their research reputations, European universities aim to encourage student and researcher mobility. In 2004, 7% of the EU-27’s students participating in tertiary education were foreign. Cyprus stands out with 32%. According to the Eurostat report, “this country has taken a series of measures to promote participation in higher education and to extend the international dimension of education” (Eurostat Science and Technology 75/2007, 4).

Looking at the share of foreign students among the total student population at tertiary level, the EU average is 6.6%. In the Nordic region, Sweden and Denmark are above EU average with 8.5% and 7.9% foreign students at this level. The figures for Norway, Iceland and Finland are 5.8%, 3.3% and 2.6%.

Narrowing the scope and looking at foreign student participation at tertiary level in science studies only, gives even more positive figures for the Nordic countries: Both Denmark, Sweden (both 11.3%), and Norway (9.3%) are above the EU average of 7.8%. Iceland and Finland have 4.1% and 2.5% foreign students among the student population in Science studies at tertiary level.

Job-to-Job Mobility: The Nordic Region in the Lead

The Job-to-job mobility figures from Eurostat show people’s ability to move between different jobs in the same country. The Eurostat figures show that proportionately, Denmark and Iceland have the highest percentage share of job-to-job mobility of employed HRST: 10.3% (Iceland) and 10.2% (Denmark). Finland (8.7%) and Norway (7.3%) are also above the EU-average of 6.1%. The job-to-job mobility statistics do not include Swedish figures.

According to the Eurostat report, these high shares of job-to-job mobility in the Nordic countries illustrate “the impact of the flexible labour markets” in the region. “The Danish flexicurity model”, it says, “combines high mobility between jobs with a comprehensive social safety net for the unemployed and active labour market policy” (Eurostat Science and Technology 75/2007, 6).