Where do our bright young things choose to settle after graduation?

Jul 8, 2020

A highly-educated population is one of the key drivers of local growth and prosperity. One of the main challenges facing non-metropolitan regions is the attraction and retention of tertiary educated graduates.

What are the specific drivers that encourage graduates to settle in a particular place? 

What are the chances of students returning upon graduation?

Is there potential to attract other graduates to the area?

New research by Motu Economic has analysed the locations of choice of university and polytechnic students in New Zealand following graduation, with some interesting results.

“Predictably, graduates are attracted to locate in places that have high quality production amenities, resulting in good job opportunities.” said Arthur Grimes, Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and one of the authors of the paper.

“But what is also interesting is that both creative arts and commerce graduates are drawn to places that are attractive to business. It would appear there is a real symbiosis between ‘bohemians’ and business.”

The results are especially important for local decision-makers, who wish to know which factors can attract and retain young qualified people. Non-metropolitan towns and cities can then leverage their existing amenities to act as drawcards to recent graduates.