Scientific Mobility in an Enlarging European Union
Chapter 7: Brain Gain? Assessing the Value of Scientific Migration to Receiving Countries
7. Brain gain? Assessing the value of scientiﬁc migration to receiving countries1 INTRODUCTION The EU is committed to increasing research capacity and sustainability through improved retention and international recruitment (EC, 2001; CEC, 2004). This concern is echoed at national level, with recent policy initiatives focusing on the twin objectives of improving the recruitment and retention of home-grown2 scientists in national labour markets and augmenting this through international recruitment. The received wisdom, implicit in the brain drain debate, suggests that receiving countries are the net beneﬁciaries of highly skilled migration, capable of skimming the cream of employees in competitive global markets (Williams et al., 2004: 38). Peridy (2006: 6) takes a somewhat broader approach, suggesting that analysis of ‘migration demand, from the host country perspective’ should take account of ‘the needs of the local labour market, the quality of the migrants, the expected welfare eﬀect of migration and possibly the attitude of natives toward immigration’. This chapter uses the UK as a case study to demonstrate the impact of highly skilled migration on receiving countries. It opens with a brief discussion of the importance of international recruitment to meeting skills shortages in academic labour markets. The chapter then moves on to consider whether the ability to recruit from abroad goes beyond simple vacancy-ﬁlling to enhance the quality of human capital through improved competition, eﬀectively enabling the receiving countries to pick from the ‘brightest and the best’ as is often suggested.3 In addition to improving the volume...
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