International Labour Migration: Students Viewpoint

  • Ramune Ciarniene Kaunas University of Technology
  • Vilmante Kumpikaite Kaunas University of Technology
Keywords: globalization, international migration, students, Lithuania


There are around 200 million people - about three percent of the world’s population living in a country not of their birth (Centre for Global Development (2008)). Economic systems that have failed to provide for people’s most basic survival needs, or that are simply unable to fulfil expectations of decent living standards, drive people to look outside their country of birth for a better life.

The consequences of labour migration usually are assessed analysing migration theories. At present, there is no single, coherent theory of international migration, only a fragmented set of various theories. Scientists of various fields focus on slightly different but interrelated reasons for the decision to migrate.  Economists emphasize that reasons leading to migration are motivated and sustained by three major types of influences: demand-pull factors in the destination area; supply-push factors in the origin area; network factors that link origin and destination areas. Sociologists describe a chain migration process: migration begets additional migration. The first person emigrating from the area sends information to those in the home country about jobs, housing, and schools in the new setting. Anthropologists emphasize changes in the standard of living and cultural reasons. First-hand accounts from new immigrants as well as media accounts of the country's standard of living entice people to immigrate to the new country for a better way of life. Psychologists describe importance of personality factors on migration decisions. Those who want to resettle in another country tend to be more work-oriented and to have higher achievement and power motivation, but lower affiliation motivation and family centrality, than those who do not want to leave their country of origin. Political scientists emphasize ethno political reasons. Countries may encourage emigration to ease ethnic conflict, or to establish presence in another country, by resettling particular ethnic groups voluntarily or involuntarily.

Summarizing different migration theories and focus of various scientists, the authors of the paper present the model of decision making about migration. Based on this theoretical background empirical research was performed. Structured questionnaire survey was made in spring of 2010. 220 Lithuanian students participated in the poll. The analysis of empirical research showed that the main push and pull factors among surveyed Lithuanian students’ economic reasons were identified. 85 percent of respondents selected economic factor as the main reason for migration. Other factors affecting migration decision making were the following ones: political (32 percent), social-demographic (24 percent), cultural (23 percent) and demographical (15 percent).