Migration Motives of University Students: An Empirical Research



The main aim of this paper is to analyse the motives affecting the migration decisions of young people, particularly university students. Two scales were developed for measuring the perception of the importance of these motives. The data used in the research were collected via a survey of the opinions and attitudes of university students in Osijek, in June 2010. The paper also analyses psychometric properties of the scales – their dimensionality and reliability.

The results of a confirmatory factor analysis undoubtedly indicate that both scales are multidimensional constructs. A combination of the results of t-tests for an independent sample, factor analysis (exploratory and confirmatory) and reliability analysis suggest that emigration and stay motives are two sides of the same migration decision, and that they can be classified into several factors: the economic situation, social networks, insider advantages (that can be divided into inherited amenities and public-safety conditions) and the wealth of opportunities. Depending on the power of the initial and target destination, the factors can function as ‘push’ or ‘pull’ factors. The results of the study show social networks as being the only ‘pull’ factor for the city of Osijek, whereas the other factors, especially the economic ones, proved to demonstrate the ‘push’ effect. However, the effects of all factors were very mild.