Internationalisation, Mobility and Metrics: A New Form of Indirect Discrimination?
- 1.2k Downloads
This paper discusses the relationship between internationalisation, mobility, quality and equality in the context of recent developments in research policy in the European Research Area (ERA). Although these developments are specifically concerned with the growth of research capacity at European level, the issues raised have much broader relevance to those concerned with research policy and highly skilled mobility. The paper draws on a wealth of recent research examining the relationship between mobility and career progression with particular reference to a recently completed empirical study of doctoral mobility in the social sciences (Ackers et al. Doctoral Mobility in the Social Sciences. Report to the NORFACE ERA-Network, 2007). The paper is structured as follows. The first section introduces recent policy developments including the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and the European Commission’s Green Paper on the ERA. The discussion focuses on concerns around the definition of ‘mobility’ and the tendency (in both policy circles and academic research) to conflate different forms of mobility and to equate these with notions of excellence or quality. Scientific mobility is shaped as much by ‘push’ factors (limited opportunity) as it is by the ‘draw’ of excellence. Scientists are exercising a degree of ‘choice’ within a specific and individualised framework of constraints. The following sections consider some of the ‘professional’ and ‘personal’ factors shaping scientific mobility and the influence that these have on the relationship between mobility, internationalisation and excellence. The paper concludes that mobility is not an outcome in its own right and must not be treated as such (as an implicit indicator of internationalisation). To do so contributes to differential opportunity in scientific labour markets reducing both efficiency and equality.
KeywordsTypes of mobility Discrimination Employment Career opportunity Internationalisation International research collaborations Knowledge transfer Recruitment of researchers
The author would like to thank the anonymous referees for their constructive feedback.
- Ackers, Helen Louise. 1998. Shifting spaces: Women, citizenship and migration in the European Union. Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
- Ackers, Helen Louise. 2003. The participation of women researchers in the TMR programme of the European Commission: An evaluation. European Commission.Google Scholar
- Ackers, Helen Louise, and Bryony Gill. 2008. Moving people and knowledge: Understanding the processes of scientific mobility within an enlarging Europe. Cheltenham et al.: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Ackers, Helen Louise, Bryony Gill, and Jess Guth. 2007. Doctoral mobility in the social sciences. Report to the NORFACE ERA-Network. http://www.liv.ac.uk/law/elprg/docs/NORFACE_SUMMARY_REPORT_FINAL_June_08_Agreed_with_ESRC.pdf. Accessed 3 November 2008.
- Ackers, Helen Louise, Bryony Gill, Keleigh Groves, and Elizabeth Oliver. 2006. Assessing the impact of the Roberts review enhanced salaries and stipends on postdoctoral and postgraduate positions. Swindon: RCUK.Google Scholar
- Ackers, Helen Louise, and Elizabeth Oliver. 2007. The effect of regulation in the area of fixed term contracts on the recruitment and retention of early career researchers in the UK. International Studies of Management and Organization 37(1): 3–79. doi: 10.2753/IMO0020-8825370103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ackers, Helen Louise, and Helen Stalford. 2007. Managing multiple life courses. The influence of children on migration processes in the European Union. Social Policy Review 19: 321–342.Google Scholar
- Agunias, Rannveig Dovelyn, and Newland Kathleen. 2007. Circular migration and development: Trends, policy routes and ways forward. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Policy Brief.Google Scholar
- Bell, David. 2004. A brief survey of UK academic economics. Report commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council.Google Scholar
- Currie, Samantha. 2006. ‘Free’ movers? The post-accession experience of accession-8 migrant workers in the UK. European Law Review 31(2): 207–229.Google Scholar
- Dickmann, Michael, Noeleen Doherty, and Chris Brewster. 2006. Why do they go? Individual and corporate perspectives on the factors influencing the decision to accept an international assignment. Paper to the Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Atlanta, USA, August 11–16.Google Scholar
- ELPRG. 2007. A response to the European Commission Green Paper Inventing Together, Our Future. The European Research Area: New Perspectives. http://www.liv.ac.uk/law/elprg/docs/ELP_Green_Paper_Response_2007.pdf. Accessed 3 November 2008.
- European Commission. 1998. Strategies and policies on research training in Europe. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
- European Commission. 2005. European charter for researchers and the code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers.Google Scholar
- European Commission. 2007. Green Paper. Inventing Our Future Together. The European Research Area: New Perspectives. COM(2007)161 (04.04.07).Google Scholar
- Golynker, Oxana. 2006. Ubiquitous citizens of Europe: The paradigm of partial migration. Oxford: Intersentia.Google Scholar
- Högskoleverket. 2005. The internationalisation of higher education in Sweden. Stockholm: Högskoleverket.Google Scholar
- Kofman, Eleanor. 2000. The invisibility of skilled female migrants and gender relations in studies of skilled migration in Europe. International Journal of Population Geography (6), 45–59. doi :10.1002/(SICI)1099–1220(200001/02)6:1<45::AID-IJPG169>3.0.CO;2-B.Google Scholar
- Mahroum, Sami. 1998. Europe and the challenge of brain drain. Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) Report no. 29, November.Google Scholar
- Mahroum, Sami. 2003. Brain gain brain drain, an international overview. Background paper for the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. Alpbach Technology Dialogue, 22–23 August 2003.Google Scholar
- Metcalf, Hilary, Heather Rolfe, Phil Stevens, and Martin Weale. 2004. Recruitment and retention of academic staff in HE. Department for education and skills research report. London: National Institute of Economic and Social Research.Google Scholar
- Morgan, Hannah. 2007. Career, mobility and motility: The experiences of disabled academics and researchers. Nordic Network on Disability Research Biennial Conference. Goteborg, Sweden, May 2007.Google Scholar
- Pelizon, Cristina. 2002. Is the Italian brain drain becoming a flood. Science Next Wave, May 2002.Google Scholar
- Rothwell, Nancy. 2002. Who wants to be a scientist? Choosing science as a career. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Salt, John. 1997. International movement of the highly skilled. OECD Occasional Paper No. 3. Paris: International Migration Unit, OECD.Google Scholar
- Van de Sande, Daphne, Helen Louise Ackers, and Bryony Gill. 2005. Impact Assessment of the Marie Curie Fellowships under the 4th and 5th Framework Programmes of Research and Technological Development of the EU (1994–2002). Brussels: Final Report, European Commission.Google Scholar
- Wood, Fiona, ed. 2004. ‘Beyond Brain Drain’ mobility, competitiveness and scientific excellence. Report of a Workshop held on 22–23 February 2004, Centre for Higher Education Management and Policy, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.Google Scholar