9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN10 Sociology of Education

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Higher Education II Building I, 2E8

Higher Education and Development - Students of the Portuguese Speaking Countries (PALOP) Diaspora: Brain Drain or Brain Gain

The current communication describes a research project on students from Portuguese Speaking African Countries (PALOP) pursuing their university degrees in Portugal. Through the example of Angola and Mozambique cases, the presenters will analyse individual and family trajectories and how they influence the decision of going abroad together with the choice of a certain destination (particularly the choice of studying in Portugal).
The study also attempts to interpret these strategies and trajectories as inscribed in these countries? recent developments in the post-colonial times (in both post-independency and post-socialism contexts) and how these dynamic contexts keep determining the specific conditions in which such individual and collective initiatives take place.
Migrant capacities such as higher education, training, specialized skills and knowledge (human capital) combined with social capital (networks, norms and values that facilitate cooperation among individuals and groups), affective capital (commitment and good-will derived from emotional engagement in personal projects and financial capital (savings, investments, remittances) are amongst the most influential factors in making development projects? effective and sustainable. They are also crucial for the countries? political and democratic stability. In order to create such beneficial conditions, stake-holders and policy-makers need to create situations for these migrants? return to their home countries, converting brain drain into brain gain.