Migration, Skills and Education

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from: 15:00
to: 16:15

Changing Governance in Global Talent Competition: From Attraction to Selectivity and Retention, Lucie Cerna, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, and Meng-Hsuan Chou, NTU Singapore


Talent migration is seen as a lifeline for advanced economies. By recruiting skilled and talented professionals from abroad, key economic and knowledge institutions are able to retain a lead in international competitions to innovate. At the same time, economic downturns and rising populism have generated growing tensions between inward-looking policies, which focus on improving the skillsets of citizens, and those seeking to bring in the best-and-brightest, particularly for key performing sectors. To what extent have these developments in the recent decade affected governance in the global competition for talent? Are policymakers still going forward with liberalising their migration policies for promising talents, or just for those with demonstrative track records? Or have they decided to close these avenues to concentrate on skilling their own nationals? In this paper, we suggest that there is indeed a shift in how policymakers around the world strategise in the global competition for talent, which can be seen in how they think about and design talent migration policies. To describe this shift, we differentiate between two main stages of talent migration: attraction and retention. The prevailing features of many talent migration policies around the world, we argue, are those concerned with attracting talents (foreign or potential returnees) with less emphasis placed on retaining them. This is now changing. In recent years, we show that there are noticeable efforts to revise existing policies and (re-)introduce new ones revolving around selectivity. What these policies have in common are the specificities in the requirements for work permit, careful and greater selectivity to determine what talents bring to the host country and their potential for integration. This policy change represents a different thinking in talent migration governance: it is no longer mainly about attracting as many qualified talents as possible, but more about attracting and retaining those with the greatest likelihood to continuously contribute to the host society.

Determinants of Immigrant Student Academic Resilience: Considerations for Education Policy Development and Reform, Louis Volante, Brock University


The challenges posed by international migration are particularly acute for public education systems that are responsible for providing schooling for immigrant student groups. Not surprisingly, immigrant students around the world tend to underperform relative to their non-immigrant peers, as evidenced by international measures of student achievement such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) (OECD, 2015). Comparatively lower student outcomes tend to follow first- and second-generation immigrant students into adulthood, particularly those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, which in turn translates into lower paying job prospects and health outcomes. Yet the international research is equally clear that countries with well designed education policies can also help facilitate academic resilience and more favourable student outcomes for both non-immigrant and immigrant peers (Volante, Klinger, & Bilgili, 2018). This presentation examines factors that influence the academic resilience and achievement outcomes of immigrant students across a range of European nations as well as more traditional countries of immigration such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The session concludes with a discussion of the relative role of research in the construction of “migrant friendly” policies and provides some key structural considerations for educational policy reform.

Chair: Leiza Brumat, MPC, RSCAS, EUI