Italian PhD students abroad: Exploring the mobility of PhD students in urban studies

Marilena Prisco


Global changings in higher education as well as the internationalisation of European education and research institutes have occurred during the last decades deeply affecting the Italian PhD system. The mobility of PhD students has become an important issue to take into account both for its impact on the evolution of the Italian academia and for the job market. The study presented here aims to have an insight into the consequences of the internationalisation process. It is based on a two-step data collection (a data enquiry and a survey) on PhD students of urban studies who were hosted by non-Italian universities during their doctoral course between 2002 and September 2015. According to data, PhD students of urban studies could represent a great potential for the internationalisation process of the Italian academia even though both doctoral students and institutions do not seem to be completely aware of this and to fully invest on it yet. Furthermore, the gathered data has shown that experience at a foreign university proves valuable for PhD candidates, who state they had thus improved or acquired considerable skills and opportunities. The study revealed also that part of PhDs who participated in the survey is currently in the research field, both in academia or in the public or private research sector.


Italian Planning; Italy; PhD education; Doctoral education; Doctorate; Higher education; Italian PhD students; PhD Mobility; Urban Studies

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ISSN: 2239-267X

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