a) at a low wage rate. As per the

a)     Migration Intention

to Vujicic et al., (2004) since the developing countries are losing their
well-educated nationals to developed countries, the rise of migration is
significant to the developing countries. Out of the migration population from
Sri – Lanka, significantly a small number is represented by high skilled
labour; a person with at least a bachelor’s degree or above. Out of this, those
who migrate permanently will be a very small percentage.  However, this small percentage that will
leave the Sri – Lankan bound permanently would be the top class highly educated
human capital. Even though Sri Lanka’s primary, secondary and even
tertiary education is publicly funded the beneficiaries of these heavy
investments seem to be the developed countries where they would not have to
bare any cost but be able to use quality skilled labour at a low wage rate.

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As per the World Migration Report by UN,
migrants are of two types; (1) “Voluntary
migrants include people who move for employment, study, family reunification,
or other personal factors. (2) Forced migrants leave their countries to escapeSS1 
persecution, conflict, repression, natural and human made disasters, ecological
degradation, or other situations that endanger their lives, freedom or
livelihood” (IOM: United Nations 2000).

The dependent
variable which was chosen for this study was the migration intention. This
study was conducted to identify what factors influenced the Sri-Lankans
scattered around the world to emigrate from Sri-Lanka. As per the definition
mentioned above, Migration Intention will be considered as a dichotomous
variable in which the 2 responses will be “voluntary” and “influenced by
others” Possible independent variables will be tested against migration
intention which would determine the factors that caused highly skilled labour
to migrate abroad.


Return Intention

According to King, R., & Christou, A. (2011). return migration can
be defined as “a physical relocation of
the migrant with the intention of staying for some time, maybe permanently, in
the place of origin”

traditional view of migration is understood as a process that uproots
individuals and implants them in a ‘host’ society where individuals live permanently.
From this perspective, return migration is defined “as the movement of
emigrants back to their homelands to resettleSS2 ” (Gmelch, 1980: 136).

The second dependent variable will be return intention of
migration. This study tries to identify what factors would influence the
intention of re-migration of Sri-Lankans living abroad. The destination
countries they currently reside in are include countries from all over the



This study adds to
this emerging literature on ‘return migration’ and extends its scope to skilled
and professional migrants with high-qualified educational backgrounds who
return from many different continents: Europe, North America, Oceania, Africa,
South Asia and the Middle East. Furthermore, it encompasses not only
first-generation migrants who return after living a significant number ofSS3  years abroad, but it also includes the so-called
‘1.5 generation’ that returns – migrants who had m oved with their families
when they were children or teenagers (Bart & Spoonley, 2008).


There is considerable emphasis in the literature on the beneficial
effects of return migration and “brain circulation”. The idea is that returnees
bring back human, financial and social capital, and can thereby positively
contribute to the development of home economies. It has also been argued that
skilled migrants can stimulate the improvement of political institutions in
their originSS4  countries when they return (Clemens,
2009). A question at issue is whether return is a prerequisite for countries to
reap these benefits or whether brain circulation can equally contribute.


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