Essays in Education


Although research on labour migration from Vietnam seems to be solid, that on skilled migration is paid scant attention to. Aiming to contribute further understandings to this gap, this article outlines basic streams of research on Vietnam’s migration and points out weaknesses in current research on Vietnamese skilled migration. In addressing this deficit, this paper identifies six limitations: (1) a discrete nationalism outlook, (2) a limited use of relevant conceptual frameworks, (3) a lack of empirical evidence on migrants’ transnational practices, (4) the absence of migrants’ voices, (5) the inclusion of Vietnamese migrants in Asian migrant groups, and (6) a lack of empirical research on brain drain. This paper also argues that the mobilities of current Vietnamese skilled migrants are influenced by socio-economic and political conditions in Vietnam since the 1986 Đổi Mới Policy. The government’s innovative approaches to market socialism and multilateralism allow for growing trends in both semi-skilled and skilled migration that are used as the Vietnamese government’s development tool for human capacity building. This article points out that the current literature fails to acknowledge skilled migrants’ voices in making sense of their migration experience within the macro-contextual transformations in both Vietnam and receiving societies.



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