Mobility after the PhD: Exploring the characteristics and outcomes of UK doctoral graduates

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Doctoral career pathways are a matter of increasing interest for researchers, universities and policymakers. The geographic mobility of doctoral graduates has however been a neglected aspect of research. This paper explores the geographic mobility of doctoral graduates who obtained their PhD from a UK university between 2012/13 and 2016/17 (n=45,195). The majority of doctoral graduates remain in the UK after their PhD (75.4%). Oxbridge and other EU graduates are significantly more likely to be mobile beyond the UK after graduation. Doctoral graduates working outside the UK reported enhanced outcomes, including a higher median salary and greater scientific and research related employment. Tentatively, this suggests that doctoral mobility may be a preference for an elite group of graduates. The high rates of departure observed for other EU graduates will be of concern to UK policymakers and university leaders, given current emphasis on developing national research and innovation.
Period7 Dec 2022
Event titleSociety for Research into Higher Education Annual Research Conference
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational