Asymmetric Mobility and Emigration of Highly Skilled Workers in Europe: Th e Portuguese case

Rui Machado Gomes,

João Teixeira Lopes,

Luísa Cerdeira,

Henrique Vaz,

Paulo Peixoto,

Belmiro Cabrito,

Maria Lourdes Machado-Taylor,

Rui Brites,

Tomás Patrocínio,

Rafaela Ganga,

Sílvia Silva,

José Pedro Silva


Emigration is a chronic structural process of the Portuguese society. Th e discussion and key arguments raised in this chapter are mainly focused on data from a research project on Portuguese skilled emigration. Based on the outcomes of the BRADRAMO2 on-line survey to 1011 highly skilled emigrants it can be suggested that recent phenomena  in general, and the crisis that began around 2008 in particular, profoundly transformed the patterns of Portuguese emigration. Nowadays, the country faces a brain drain dynamic that is dramatically altering the profi les of national emigrants, emigration destinations, self-identity, and the strategies of those who leave the country. Academic mobility, mainly that promoted by the European Union (through grants from the Erasmus Program), created and fostered mobility fl ows that reinforced a latent mobility phenomenon. Once engaged in academic mobility programs, Portuguese higher education students tend to stay in the country of destination or, upon returning temporarily to Portugal, to evince a very strong predisposition to move to a country of the European Union. Th e profi le of Portuguese high-skilled emigrants reveals a trend towards a permanent and a long-term (as opposed to a temporary or transitory) mobility, an insertion in the primary segment of the labor market of the destination countries, a predominance of professionals connected to the academic/scientifi c system and to professions requiring high skills, and a latent mobility (aft er a period of study in the country of destination) rather than direct mobility fl ows (aft er having entered in the employment system of the sending country).

Słowa kluczowe: Brain Drain, Brain Circulation, Academic Mobility, Deskilling, Reskilling

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