19 Dec 2011

Fiji brain drain theory supported by research

12:10 pm on 19 December 2011

A new report on the economic and social impacts of migration in Fiji supports a theory that migration has led to a brain drain.

The study, Development on the Move, was commissioned by the Global Development Network and was conducted from 2008 to 2009 by academics from the University of the South Pacific.

The head of the team, Dr Miliakere Kaitani, says a random selection of more than 1300 households with an average of four people were interviewed.

She says 22 percent of households had someone who had returned while 12.5 percent had a family member overseas.

And she says just over half of the households had seen no migration.

"We found out that just when looking at the migrants themselves, 59 percent of those who are absent migrants from the households, they are highly skilled and highly educated. So it supports the general assumption that migration has caused a brain drain from the country."

Dr Miliakere Kaitani says another major finding is remittances from migrants have led to improved quality of material goods and education to their families in Fiji.