One of the most interesting aspects of the recent internal migration flows is the migrants’ higher level of human capital. Mobility for education may represent a crucial channel of social mobility for those who wish to enhance their skills and achievement but do not have sufficient family resources and social networks to compete in the Southern labour market. This paper aims at testing this hypothesis, using data provided by Istat on graduate students access to the labour market. Results confirm the crucial role of family background (social class and level of education of both parents) not only in deciding whether to move from the South to the Centre-North in order to achieve a tertiary education, but also to return to the area of origin after completion of studies which happens more likely for young people belonging to families of entrepreneurs and professionals.
Keywords: Internal migrations, higher education, class inequalities, social mobility, family, social capital