Higher Education

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 449–469 | Cite as

Geographic mobility and social inequality among Peruvian university students

  • Ryan WellsEmail author
  • Ricardo Cuenca
  • Gerardo Blanco Ramirez
  • Jorge Aragón


The purpose of this study was to explore geographic mobility among university students in Peru and to understand how mobility patterns differ by region and by demographic indicators of inequality. The ways that students may be able to move geographically in order to access quality higher education within the educational system can be a driver of equality or inequality, depending on who is able to take advantage. Using data from a university census, we examine how demographic indicators of inequality are related to geographic mobility for university attendance, how prior geographic mobility predicts later mobility for university attendance, and how these relationships differ based on the number and quality of universities in a region. Results show that sociodemographic variables related to social inequality explain a substantial amount of students' postsecondary mobility. However, some of these relationships do not operate in the same way in all of the regions. Depending on the availability of universities and their quality, patterns of association between inequality and geographic mobility change. Implications for higher education policy as well as further research examining geographic mobility and inequality in education are discussed.


Peru Mobility Inequality University census Geography 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Instituto de Estudios PeruanosLimaPeru
  3. 3.University of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  4. 4.Pontificia Universidad Católica del PerúLimaPeru

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