Migration and Brain Drain: A Case Study of African Students in Southern Sweden

University essay from Lunds universitet/Sociologi

Abstract: The international migration of both skilled and unskilled persons from the global South to the North has reached an alarming proportion.This study investigates the underlying factors that informed the decisions of some African students not to return to their countries of origin after graduation from the Swedish Universities. The participants are former and present students of two Swedish Universities based in the Southern region, Lund University and Malmö University. It uses two international migration theories, the Neoclassical Economic Migration (NEM) theory, the New Economics of migration theory (NELM) and Brain drain approaches. It appears that the factors which compelled African student-migrants to remain behind in Sweden after studies include bad economic situations, worsening educational situations and conflict situation in their home countries. Considering the present situation of the participants, this paper does not find evidence of a brain drain, but brain gain. The participants benefited from high quality education, free tuition fees that existed in Sweden before 2011 and that gives them the opportunity to search for employment internationally. In conclusion, although many African students would like to stay in Sweden after graduation, but the impetus is to accumulate sufficient knowledge and financial resources that would enable them to return to their countries to start up their own business even if they cannot find employment elsewhere. Thus, there is a clear indication that a stable economic and political environment, support for social security would encourage many African students residing in Sweden to return to their countries of origin after graduation.

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