5 results found.
5 results found.
So right now I am working with the questionnaire that I was hoping to roll out this semester. After more than a year of library studies, I need data! However, with less than a month left of the spring semester and the questionnaire + logistics around it not being ready, the prospects of that happening grow leaner each day, foolishly, I remain hopeful.
I have decided to do an electronic survey for many reasons. Being able to ensure confidentiality (which will improve the reliability of my study) and keep admin to a minimum (which will improve my personal economy) are the top two reasons. I am using an open source software, LimeSurvey, hosted on LimeService for my survey.
Last month, I did a pilot of the first version of the questionnaire. On a Friday, I walked into the ICT building, cleared my voice and asked the students that were sitting there to navigate to my survey URL and fill my questionnaire. 15 students volunteered. Now I am trying to understand what to do with the information I got. (Most of the responding students have not been abroad, however a majority wants to migrate, most for a graduate degree, only one imagines working abroad in five years time. Half of the respondents hold a passport, only one a valid visa, one in five have gotten a visa application rejected, a majority plan to apply for a visa as a student, a majority of those who indicate wanting to migrate say they plan to be away for a shorter period of time (less than 3 years) and most that they will like to return ***Read this write up with caution as the sample is very small and not randomized or controlled in any way*** ).
1. Adding questions – what gaps were left by the current questionnaire?
So far I have come up with that financial situation need better specification, year group (although second year students are targeted it would be interesting to see how answers varies, if at all, for the occational other-year-student) and maybe more questions about visa applications and why they were denied in so many cases.
2. Clarifying questions – were some answers ambiguous because of wording/answering options?
Here I have some work to do. Some questions allow for multiple choice (“check all that apply” etc) others for ranking. I find that sometimes those answers were difficult to analyze. However choosing one option also hides interesting nuances. Hm.
3. Dropping questions – were some questions unnecessary?
I have a bunch of questions on “local” aspirations, coming from the idea that if local labor market opportunities are not advertised as well as the foreign options, the latter look like your only way forward. But as they are not mutually exclusive, now I do not know. Another idea was to similarly tone down migration as “the only option” in my study as to not get biased answers. Does it really further my study on migration aspirations if someone is knowledgeable (or not) about local opportunities? Cutting questions out also allows for space to put new more focused questions in and, even better, not replace all them as to make the questionnaire more brief.
One of the more interesting preliminary “results” is the pie-chart above. When asking students if they had taken the first step toward studying abroad – obtaining information – two out of three students answered yes.
This tells me my study is looking at something relevant for Ghanaian youth.
This post is a Migration Monday post, taking you behind the scenes of doctoral studies in Ghana and giving me the opportunity to write about what I do in less formal language.
This morning as I was brainstorming migration topics for my Migration Monday series, I was happy to discover the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) have recently published a working paper on Ghana’s Migration and Development Policies.
The paper is written by Dr. Nauja Kleist, who I met two years back over a bowl of Maquis Tante Marie soup in Accra, and is called
“Let us Rebuild our Country” Migration-development scenarios in Ghana (the link takes you to a page where you can download the working paper).
What is wonderful with this type of well-written, current and to-the-point publication is that it summarizes big chunks of data: in this case the recent history of Ghanaian migration policy to today, views from high level state officials, diaspora and academics on those policies and finally the implementation of them. Which proves to be minimal. Or in Kleist’s vocab
“Migration-development scenarios in Ghana thus have a strong symbolic and performance dimension, constituting a policy spectacle with several audiences” (my italics).
In looking closer on this so called spectacle; what is new in migration policy, is that migration is not only seen as a threat, but also as an opportunity to increased development. In accordance, migrants are seen “as development actors”, Kleist suggests in the paper. This follows an international agenda to couple the two streams of discourse.
Although the international agenda seeping through African policy making does not strike Kleist, nor me, as strange (Kleist soberly states “Ghanaian migration policies and initiatives not only reflect efforts to strengthen national development, but also are shaped by European agendas”), something else does. Why is that in the “Migration-Development nexus” which sees opportunity in migration (“if well managed”), remittances or a returnee is seen as great news, while the alternative gains – a native working in his/her country of origin – is never assessed?
Kleist addresses this only indirectly, but quite elegantly, by addressing the problems of the overtly positive scenario advocated by some Ghanaian officials:
“win-win-win situations for the sending and recieving countries and the migrant alike…not only presume ‘orderly’ and informed migration decisions and processes but also a range of other preconditions… emigrants are assumed to be from professions characterized by unemployment rather than a shortage of labour to avoid brain drain; in addition this scenario presupposes that social frictions primarily are rooted in (presumed) unemployment and not in other political, social or economic structures. Likewise, this scenario presumes that migrants get employment that match and upscale their qualifications, are exposed to high-level technology, and finally, that they return to Ghana and are able to utilize their new skills there.”
However, many of the Ghanaian migrants I know are well qualified, but work abroad in jobs below their qualifications. Still, Ghanaian migration provides opportunities for class mobility/salaries one can live on/education etc. for individuals. Migrants send money home and sometime, just like Kleist reports buy land, property and come home to retire. But does it lead to development for migrant sending countries?
Ultimately, Kleist states the obvious regarding the win-win-win scenario: “Such preconditions are rarely fulfilled” and mentions, without going into any detail, that there are also conflicts of interest between migrant sending and receiving nations. I agree and have written about such conflicting interests like the strategies the EU (with inspiration from Canada and the US) employ to sustain its knowledge economies of today and tomorrow.
I think it is where Kleist signs off that my research will pick up. I understand that sometimes you have to take what you can get (a returning migrant that might or might not have relevant skills or a bundle of her cash in an envelope), but isn’t it very clear that is always less than what you could have had (Africans finding gainful employment and paying taxes in their home countries)?
Instead of aiming for “well managed” migration, can migrant sending countries not aim higher?
Monday again! This week I am concluding my literature review rewrite. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up, so it will be a busy week. More importantly, I will have to find the book “Student mobility and narrative in Europe: the new strangers” by Elizabeth Murphy-Lejeune. Well, that is I have found it already, now I will have to find a way to read it!
First of all, lets look at what this book is:
Now, remember how I bought a Kindle, predominantly for these situations? Needing a book in far-away Ghana (far away from Internetshopping that is). Well, I never knew an e-book could cost USD 148! Really, Amazon and Routledge, really? It is almost painful when it is a book I would so love to read!
The Google books version only covers the introduction and not the much anticipated “Chapter 3: Student Mobility: a taste for living abroad.”
All help, or plain sympathy, is much appreciated!
This is a Migration Monday post with the double aim of sharing with you what my research is all about and for me to integrate my academic stuff with my blogging!
Date: 12 May, 2012
Location: Sergels torg & Kulturhuset in Stockholm and all over Europe. (And maybe Ghana! My comment.)
People who flee to Europe are often met with disbelief and suspicion. Many are directly deported at the borders, despite risking their lives. Others are held up in prison-like detention centres lacking basic human rights. Once inside Europe, people are subjected to lengthy and complex asylum processes, often without legal advice. The vast majority of asylum applications are rejected, forcing people to return to extreme dangers. In order to survive, many choose to live hidden without any legal rights.
At Tribunal 12, Europe will be held accountable for these failures.
Inspired by the International War Crimes Tribunal that was formed by Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre in 1967, Tribunal 12 sets out to locate the moral, legal and political responsibilities as well as call for a change within the system.
Reading on, the practicalities of the tribunal is that it will all take place in one day, including the ruling of an expert jury. Four sessions (“border control, the asylum process, undocumented migrants, and detention & deportation”) will be held where a prosecutor presents evidence. Drama and art, personal stories and expert witnesses will all be part of the evidence. The program is backed by, among others, The Swedish Forum for Human Rights and Swedish National theatre, Riksteatern.
I find it very useful to question the current treatment of international migrants. And in such a creative way too. Here in Ghana, we often poke fun of what Ghanaian travelers will face at airports when traveling (“watch out for the rubber glove!”, “don’t forget to bring all your used passports for…well, for what really?!” etc). That is, traveling WITH THE CORRECT PAPERS. Not migrating. Not fleeing.
Also, it seems very cool (if I can use such a word in such a serious context) to do something with the inspiration of Russell and Sartre – read more on the Russell-tribunal here. I like!
So, watch this space as I will try and figure out where and how we can take this live event to Ghana. Comment below if you want to be a part of it!
Pic borrowed from Tribunal 12.
This post is a belated Monday Migration post.
Today, I am researching The EU Blue Card, a directive passed by the EU in 2009 to simplify immigration for highly skilled workers from non-EU countries. The directive is to be fully implemented into legislation by member countries this year.
The EU Blue Card is modeled on the US Green Card and is hence a temporary work visa (1-4 years) and at the same time a one-stop-shop for applying for residency and work permit.
On the europa.eu website which collects, summarizes and explains EU legislation it is stated that the objective of this particular directive is to:
improve the European Union’s (EU) ability to attract highly qualified workers from third countries. The aim is not only to enhance competitiveness within the context of the Lisbon strategy, but also to limit brain drain. (my italics)
The Lisbon strategy or agenda was drafted in March 2000 and reviewed in 2005 and was the overarching direction for the union aiming to turn EU into “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010”. I can see how the EU Blue Card is in alignment with this ambitious goal and how it helps to attract highly qualified workers. However, I have a hard time understanding how it will limit brain-drain.
I am not the first to question this, migration and development have been discussed together for many years now and others before me have pointed this out for this particular directive. In 2007, African ministers of health viced their worry of that this scheme would increase the brain drain of health professionals from their countries. Also, Professor Kingsley Banya has also written a conference paper where he in the abstract suggests the EU Blue Card scheme is “poaching Africa’s talent” (I am yet to find the full paper).
The rationale behind the EU Blue Card is the fact that EU has a low level of highly-skilled foreigners in its workforce when comparing to the US and Canada. Levels of 4% and 7% of the total labor force for US and Canada respectively, comparing to 1,7% for the EU is brought forward by the Migration Information Source here.
To qualify for the EU Blue Card, one must have a college diploma or five years occupational training, already have landed a job (countries can choose if individual or companies hiring them should apply) as well as show that the job the worker is migrating to do pays more than 1,5 times the country’s average salary.
Despite above-mentioned critique against the directive, it is being implemented as we speak (although some say it is way too slow) with very little debate within Europe and in the countries that are likely to be affected by the policy change.
In my opinion, what needs to be discussed further (and very soon measured) is how the EU Blue card is to affect African professionals and their migration desicions. It seems nobody yet knows.
Will it lead to increased migration and possibly brain-drain or could there be positive effects for developing countries like increased circular migration when opportunity for legal migration increases? As my research area – Ghanaian students’ migration aspirations- encompasses the migration environment,or legal frameworks for migration, I will be including this European development in my study and discussion.
I will try to write on migration issues every Monday from now on! Need to get back into the research game!
Pic borrowed from The Swap Blog.