Skilled migrants from Colombia, India and South Africa in Switzerland: empirical evidence and policy responses- Preface by Jean-Baptiste Meyer
Edited By Gabriela Tejada Guerrero and Jean-Claude Bolay
Foreword y Gabriela TEJADA and Jean-Claude BOLAY IX
IX Foreword Present-day globalization is characterised by free-market thinking, the grow- ing emphasis on the global knowledge economy, the development and expan- sion of advanced communication and information technology services, tour- ism, and trade between countries. These related phenomena have led to intense international migration, and in particular the mobility of science and labour. Against this backdrop, one frequently mentioned concern in international co- operation circles is about how developing countries’ scientific and professional elites are trained, particularly in relation to migration by highly qualified sci- entists and professionals who go to academic and research institutions in in- dustrialized countries that offer them better personal and professional opportu- nities. This is a major threat because a significant and growing number are deciding not to return to their country of origin. This can be viewed as a net loss to the countries of origin, both in terms of their investment in education and training, and regarding the added value of the scientific and technological knowledge of their scarce human capital, from which only the richer destina- tion countries actually benefit. If we consider knowledge in general (including its manifestations as edu- cation, professional training and scientific research) as a key catalyst for socio- economic, scientific and technological progress, irrespective of the type of so- ciety, country or level of development, the exodus of Southern elites to coun- tries of the North can be seen as a threat. In fact, the social and economic needs of societies in the South potentially clash...
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