Published: Book chapter

Update 27 Mar 2017: Citation updated as this chapter is now published in print.

Koh, S.Y. (2017). Geographies of Education-Induced Skilled Migration: The Malaysian Case. In T. Abebe & J. Waters (Eds.), Labouring and Learning (pp. 221-242). Vol.10 of Skelton, T. (Editor-in-chief) Geographies of Children and Young People. Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-287-032-2_15


This chapter provides an overview of Malaysia’s skilled migration through the concept of “education-induced migration.” The focus of this chapter is twofold: firstly, to explain how their migration pathways need to be contextualized to Malaysia’s race-stratified education system that was institutionalized during the British colonial period and, secondly, to explain how Malaysia’s skilled migration needs to be seen as a continuum from young people’s education migration pathways. This chapter consists of five sections. The first section introduces the theoretical and empirical backgrounds to Malaysia’s education-induced skilled migration. The second section provides the historical background to the institutionalization and development of Malaysia’s race-stratified education system. The third section gives an overview of the geographies of higher education for Malaysian students in public, private, and overseas institutions. The fourth section reviews available data suggesting evidence of education-induced skilled migration among the Malaysian diaspora and describes two examples of such migration paths among non-bumiputera student-turned Malaysian skilled migrants in Singapore. The final section concludes this chapter and calls for researchers to adopt a continuum lens in understanding young people’s learning-to-laboring migration processes.


Education-induced skilled migration, education system, higher education, learning to laboring, Malaysia, race

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


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