Ethnicity and the choice of the host country among migrant students at the beginning of the 20th century

Victor Karady,
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)
and Central European University, Budapest

L'étudiant étranger. Préactes dela journée d'études du 8 février 2002

The resumption and increase of migratory flows of students towards Western universities at the end of the nineteenth century responded to the expansion and transformation of the emerging university markets in Central and Eastern Europe. This evolution, which was quite uneven from one country to another and far from continuous, variously affected the national and ethnic groups involved depending on the official ‘cultural orientation’ policy of the newborn Nation-States, the position of the ethnic groups within the local elites, and their local opportunities for educational mobility, as well as their overall strategies and capacities for socio-economic advancement or conversion.

This presentation attempts to explore the impact of all of these factors on the numbers of foreign students of various origins and their choice of country and field of studies in Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland, which represented the main host university markets from the 1890s to the 1930s. There are three breaks in the orientation of the student flows in question, and we shall attempt to analyse their consequences :  the revolutionary upheavals in Russia in 1904-1905, the First World War and the reorganisation of international relations in Europe, and the rise of Nazism in Germany. A special analysis will address the changing historical conditions governing the extension of the over-education of the Jews into foreign countries.

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