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Brain drain or brain gain? Global policy on scientific mobility 1990-2007: The role of universities

Logue, Danielle

Abstract:
The mobility of scientists is a key aspect of the organization of scientific knowledge production and a great source of political, economic and social debate. The “science for development” model (Drori et al, 2003) identifies managing scientific mobility as a source of tension at national and international levels, especially for policy makers.  Educational institutions, specifically those in higher education, recur as key actors in the debate and now appear to have an explicit role in addressing scientific mobility and brain drain.  This study reports on a historical analysis of international policies regarding scientific mobility over the past decades. This analysis is compared to the results of interviews conducted with current policy makers, to understand the tensions surrounding this issue and the pressures for change on higher education. Drawing upon institutional and cultural theory, this study shows an increasing growth and variety of actors involved in shaping the global policy discourse, causing significant fragmentation of the debate. The multiple conceptualizations of scientific mobility make it unrealistic for policy makers to pursue a single policy response and also indicates the wickedness of the issue.  Policy documents indicate that universities in developing countries are being pressured to change and respond to the issue of scientific mobility. However, the lack of agreement on the rules of the game undermines coercive and normative mechanisms for change, from the international sphere to the national level.

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Title of Paper: Brain drain or brain gain? Global policy on scientific mobility 1990-2007: The role of universities
Conference Name: Conference of Rectors, Vice Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities ( COREVIP )
Conference Date: 2007-10-21
Conference Location: Tripoli, Libya
Published as Proceedings: no


Date:2007
Document Type:Conference Paper (Not Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:International
Keywords:Brain Drain, Scientists, Mobility, Developing countries, Role of Universities, Policy, Science and Technology, Cultural Issues, Role of Higher Education, Capacity Building


File Size:54 KB
Rights:Permission to use this paper was granted by the Association of African Universities (AAU)
Date Added:15 May 2008


Logue, Danielle (2007). Brain drain or brain gain? Global policy on scientific mobility 1990-2007: The role of universities Presented at the Conference of Rectors, Vice Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities (COREVIP), October 2007