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Teacher mobility, ?brain drain?, labour markets and educational resources in the Commonwealth

  • Morgan, W. J.
  • Sives, A.
  • Appleton, S.

The report builds on the work undertaken by Ochs and provides a set of detailed analyses to assist policy development. There are three key themes around which the project was developed. Exploration of these themes led to the development of policy recommendations. The first aim was to ascertain the extent of international flows of trained teachers. Are certain states losing valuable trained manpower, while others are benefiting disproportionately from the output of other countries? Are these flows offset by significant reverse flows, which may indicate that sending countries benefit from the experience their teachers obtain abroad? How do such flows compare with those in related fields, especially health? Specific figures will enable policy-makers to assess the extent of the problem and to examine benefits and losses. Secondly, the causes of such flows were examined, exploring the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. What are the ‘supply side’ factors? For example, how do age or gender issues impact on teachers’ willingness to migrate? The report also discusses how the recruitment process works in practice. Are recruitment agencies, where they are involved, schools (in both sending and receiving countries) and overseas teachers satisfied with the process and outcomes? Thirdly, the social consequences of these flows in developing countries were considered. Crucial here are the linkages between migrant teachers and their home country, in terms of remittances, return migration and other effects. We hypothesised, for instance, that a key social cost of teacher flows to source countries was the cost of training teachers that subsequently migrate. The implications of teacher flows for recruitment shortages and the delivery of education services in source countries was a key objective of the research.  Finally, the research developed policy responses and recommendations based on the findings. Details of these recommendations can be found at the end of the report.

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    Department for International Development: Educational Papers, Researching the Issues 66 2006 http://www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/Researchg-the-Issues-No.66.pdf