METHODOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF RECENT EMPIRICAL RESEARCH ON ACADEMIC MIGRATION
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The aim of this paper is to discuss the most important methodological issues related to the study of ‘academic migration’, which we have encountered while preparing a research project on foreign-born academics in Poland. These issues are presented in the context of the migration of other highly skilled workers. Many of the analysed articles which concern migration of the highly skilled fall into methodological traps. Some do not take into account important cultural variables; others are concentrated on very specific problems, and – by employing sophisticated statistical techniques – provide conclusions of very limited generality. We start our analysis with the discussion of the most common research problems. Then we move on to discussing sources of data and methodologies. The last part summarizes the main advantages and disadvantages of various methodological approaches often employed in academic migration studies. This study allows us to outline our above-mentioned research proposal. Drawing on this example we show how a qualitative research project may add to current knowledge concerning the group in question. Nevertheless, this subject is diffi cult per se, and some challenges seem impossible to overcome.
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