Published: Book chapter

Koh, S.Y. (2016) Contextualising Geographies of Education-Induced Skilled Migration: How Mobile Malaysians End Up in Singapore, London and Kuala Lumpur. In K.F. Lian, M. Rahman and Y. Alas (Eds.) International Migration in Southeast Asia: Continuities and Discontinuities (pp. 83–102). Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-287-712-3_5


Migration literature has not considered international students as migrants proper until arguably the 2000s. Using the cases of mobile Malaysians (i.e. tertiary-educated Malaysian-born professionals who are transnationally mobile) in Singapore , London, and Kuala Lumpur, this chapter shows how their skilled migration geographies are inherently education-induced. This chapter further argues that Malaysia’s ethnic- and language-stratified education systems–a colonial legacy–play a significant role in initiating and circumscribing mobile Malaysians’ education-induced skilled migration geographies. This approach contributes towards a holistic and historically grounded conceptualisation of how international student migration (ISM) and skilled migration are intertwined. In addition to advocating for an expanded and integrated understanding of ISM and skilled migration, this chapter also highlights the need for migration scholarship to pay attention to the historical legacies of ethnic stratification and the domestic education system of sending societies.


Education-induced migration, Ethnic stratification, Geographies of migration, Malaysia, Transnational skilled migration

NOTE: Contact me if you don’t have institutional access, and would like to read the full article.


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