Second-Generation Immigrants’ Entry into Higher Education: Students’ Enrollment Choices at Different Types of Universities

  • Vivian CarstensenEmail author
  • Roland Happ
  • Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia
Original Article


We examine the relationship between immigrant status and institutional choice in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The EHEA addresses employability of graduates as a key area for action. In practice, universities vary in the degree to which they embed employability into their curricula. Using these differences as a basis for university-type classification, we examine whether institutional choices differ between native and second-generation immigrant students. The results of a survey of first-semester students reveal that more than half of the institutions with a strong professional profile are challenged by heterogeneous entry cohorts. One quarter of students enroll at these universities.


European Higher Education Area Human capital Institutional choices in higher education Learning for employability Minorities 

JEL Classification

I24 J24 O15 



The authors would like to thank the editors and two anonymous reviewers for their excellent comments and very helpful suggestions. We received useful comments from participants in the Immigration Symposium at the 45th Eastern Economic Association Annual Conference in New York City, USA, 2019. The results reported in this paper were generated in the WiWiKom project. This work is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Grant Number 01PK11013).


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Copyright information

© EEA 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian Carstensen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Roland Happ
    • 3
  • Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Business and HealthBielefeld University of Applied SciencesBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementLeibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Johannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany

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