The movement of workers has caused a “brain drain” in some places where highly educated people go abroad for better opportunities.
European migration raises the education level in 32 of 39 EU regions in the UK, according to Sky News analysis.
The region that benefits most is Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, where the proportion of EU migrants aged 15 to 64 who are highly qualified is 21 points higher than the UK-born population.
East Wales and Essex are next, with the level raised by 17.7 and 17.1 points.
However, the education level of EU migrants is lower than the UK-born population in seven regions.
In Lincolnshire, EU workers lower the level by -12.7 points.
Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire – classed as one region for EU purposes – is next at -10.6 points.
Since 2009, the number of tertiary-educated EU migrants in the UK has increased by 25.3%.
Tertiary education covers short courses through to bachelor’s degrees, master’s courses and doctorates.
Overall, the proportion of EU migrants educated to that level is 8.4 points higher than the UK-born population, according to latest data from the EU’s statistics agency.
What’s the picture in Europe?
Migrants living in southern Europe have generally lowered the education level more compared with northern European regions.
But the region where EU migrants raise the level most is Kuzeydogu Anadolu in Turkey, at 49.1 points.
In Aragon, in eastern Spain, they lower it the most, at -23.7 points.
Some 7.8% of the 512 million people in the EU have a different nationality to their country of residence.
Just 3.4% are citizens of another EU state, while 4.4% were from a non-EU country.
Countries with a greater number of nationals with a tertiary education are more likely to attract EU migrants of the same level.
The European Commission says higher-educated workers are attracted to regions with a strong economy and better job prospects. They also look for a good quality of life and local education.
However, the free movement of workers has also caused a “brain drain” in places where many highly educated people leave their home country.
According to the European Commission, it contributes to labour and skills shortages, less innovation, and labour market changes – including a reduction of wages, reduced economic growth and reduced productivity.
Many regions have taken steps such as improving education and employment systems to reduce the number of people leaving.