Cilt 4, Sayı 2, Temmuz 2012
Ulaş SUNATA

Traces Of Highly Skilled Labor Migrants: Education, Family And Mobility

Bu makale Türkiye’den yüksek kalifiye emek göçmeni olma halinin motifini açıklamayı amaçlar. Türkiye’den Almanya’ya göç etmiş yüksek eğitimlilerin arka planlarını üstüne bir tipoloji geliştirmek üzere göç-öncesi biyografilere odaklanır. Bu amaçla 33 yarı-yapılandırılmış mülakat, Almanya’da bilişim uzmanı olarak çalışan kişi ile yürütülmüş ve analiz edilmiştir. Bu makale, yüksek kalifiye emek göçünü, aile ve eğitim kurumlarının hazırlayıcı rolünü kapsayan bir süreç olarak açıklar. Coğrafi hareketlilik, toplumsal cinsiyet farkı, ailenin sosyo-ekonomik statüsü, annenin kültürel sermayesi, lise seçimi, ve dil kursu, yüksek lisans, staj gibi adına “göçe ısınma” dediğimiz egzersizlerin önemi ve bunların birbirleriyle ilişkisine özellikle değinilecektir.
Anahtar kelimeler: Beyin Göçü, Kültürel Sermaye, Tipoloji, Eğitim, Uzmanlar.
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Introduction
Despite the conditions formed by the gradually stricter immigration policies at the national and supranational levels in the last decades, the demand for highly skilled labor migration (HSLM) has escalated. In fact, besides the traditional receiving countries such as the United States of America (USA), Canada, and Australia, in recent years, European countries have started several new programs to attract young educated people from the “periphery” countries. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in general has attracted increased attention since the late 1990s, when skills shortages began to emerge as the European ICT-sector grew and expanded significantly. For this reason, Germany executed a “Temporary IT-Specialist Relief Program”, generally known as the “Green Card” scheme, in August 2000, which was designed particularly to attract ICT specialists from non-EU countries. Also, the Netherlands set up a fast-track scheme in July 2001, reducing the bureaucracy related to work visas for ICT specialists, and research and development staff. In addition, the United Kingdom (UK) has run both a “Work Permit System” and a “Sectors Based Scheme”, and also initiated a “Highly Skilled Migrant Program”, especially to allow ICT specialists to come to the UK to look for work since the beginning of 2002. That is, a clear competition in invitations to essential highly skilled labor (HSL) among the “core” states has been noticeable. At the beginning of 2009, the European Union (EU) attempted to eliminate the competition with a new program, “Blue Card”, designed to attract foreign highly valued skills into the European labor market.
In the recent preferences of immigration politics since the 1990s, HSLM experienced a regular rise in the growth rate. Therefore, HSLM has never been in the limelight as much as today. The widespread utilization of HSLM is, in part due to the availability of easier integration opportunities, to meet the demands for highly valued skills that are in shortage and therefore necessitated by the global labor market. (Findlay, 1995: 519-20; Khadria, 1999: 35) point out, HSL migrants are much wanted, welcomed, and quickly naturalised in the immediate country. Findlay (1995) further emphasises that this is also valid for countries which share a growing antagonism to immigration of manual labor. Its reason is seen as their contribution not only to its economy but also to the receiving society; or rather it is not their skills but their economic benefits without creating social burdens on the destination country. Moreover, some argue that the new migrants are educated, job-skilled, English speakers, and so they quickly adapt themselves to where they are. As a matter of fact, there has been an explicit shift of the selected migrant profile from the unskilled to the highly skilled laborer, from uneducated peasants or working class individuals to well-educated and reasonably
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affluent middle class or new petty bourgeoisie, and from blue-collar workers to professionals (Vaknin, 2002; Piore, 1979; Khadria, 1999; Sunata, 2010). Sassen (2000: 147) thus announces the emergence of a new immigrant workforce, i.e. “new transnational professional class” (Sassen, 1998). These people have also been defined as “the gold-collar worker” (Kelley, 1985), “the knowledge worker” (Khadria, 1999), “the creative professional” (Florida, 2002), and “the craftsman” (Sennett, 2008). With respect to the backgrounds of HSL migrants; the current definitions are problematic in two respects: on the one side, they fail to integrate the findings of sociological theories; on the other, they are not yet empirically supported. Moreover, the emphasis in the existing literature has most often been placed on the impact of HSLM on the economy. This one-sidedness in the literature concerning HSLM leads to some blind spots by keeping the migrant and her/his experience out of the center of sociological accounts. The current study will try to introduce characteristics of those who respond to the above-mentioned call for HSLM. By the same token, it will focus on the social backgrounds of the HSL migrants in order to examine the structural grounds of HSLM, rather than providing the economic cost-benefit analysis of their migration.
Turkey is generally considered to be the emigration country of un-or semi-skilled people, refugees, and the family members thereof. The geopolitical and historical importance of its migratory relations however long rendered Turkey a potent origin country of HSLM, and even the strongest origin country of HSLM to Germany.1 This study will hence explore HSLM as a consequence of internal changes in Turkey itself: the growing output of educated individuals has modified the composition of society and, as a result, the migratory potential of this country. That is, the study will keep in view the changing migration conditions in the classical European emigration country Turkey.
For the purposes of this article, I will portray the HSL migrants from Turkey through the case study of ICT specialists in Germany. I will analyze biographical facts taken from semi-structured interviews in order to track the lives of the migrants before HSLM to Germany. This analysis will cover the properties of social circumstances covering the family backgrounds and education histories of the interviewees. Furthermore, work experience before coming to Germany will be addressed wherever applicable.
Research Design and Demographic Profile of the Participants
HSLM is often interpreted in terms of educational attainment, and thus conceptualized in this study as the migration of highly educated individuals to a foreign country with the intention to work professionally. The population was thereby selected in accordance with the
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pre-defined three criteria: (i) being a graduate of a university in Turkey with the ability to work in the ICT sector; (ii) having at least one year of working experience in Germany during the last ten years; and (iii) being from Turkey. Collecting exploratory data was accomplished by a combination of two sub-types of purposive sampling: snowball sampling and heterogeneity sampling. As a result, 33 semi-structured interviews with ICT specialists from Turkey that were conducted between November 2005 and November 2006 in nine different cities of Germany composed the empirical data of the current study.2 All names of the interviewees in the sample were changed to tree names in Latin to ensure anonymity.
For the purposes of the current paper, I scanned the contents of these interviews in order to trace the pre-HSLM biographical facts of the migrants including family and education backgrounds together with the work experiences before HSLM career in Germany. This choice provides a comprehensive and complete picture of all the attributes preparing their exit from Turkey and accordingly allows the development of a typology for “becoming the HSL migrant”, as I will show. Furthermore, the analysis will reveal common and distinctive characters within the typology. The construction of the typology also uncovered the most important trends and patterns leading to HSLM.
The median age of the interviewees analyzed is 30 with a range from 26 to 47. The age interval 27-33 covers more than two thirds of interviewees. A clear majority began their migration career as single in their late twenties. Almost all the sample from Turkey came to Germany in the last decade.3 In this case study, all participants are the first order migrants, some of who are responsible for second order migrations.4 Taking their stage in life into account, an overlap between migration experiences and changes in the marital status is not unexpected. All their partners, spouses and ex-spouses are highly educated like themselves.
Mapping the Pre-HSLM Period
Spatial mobility and immobility before HSLM from Turkey provides important clues to answer the “who” question of HSLM. Upon considering all the cities mentioned while the migrants were telling their life stories in Turkey, for purposes of geographical mobility characterization, I roughly clustered the cities into four regions: (i) Istanbul; (ii) Ankara; (iii) West (of Ankara); and (iv) East (of Ankara). Furthermore, since the urban versus rural distinction is meaningful in West and East Regions, the regions referred to increase to six: (i) Istanbul; (ii) Ankara; (iii) Urban-West; (iv) Urban-East, (v) Rural-West; and (vi) Rural-East. This division, compared to others, reveals more explanatory statements regarding highly
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educated people and especially their backgrounds in Turkey, and as such it is the geographical terminology used in the current study.
Table 1. Geographical mobility in Turkey before HSLM
Modified Regions
Career Stages
Rural
Urban
Ankara
Istanbul
East
West
East
West
Origin*
5
1
4
8
5
8
Secondary Education
-
-
7
10
6
10
Tertiary Education
-
-
1
2
16
14
Working Experience**
-
-
-
4
7
20
* Origin refers to the birth of place, except for Syringa born in Germany and Juglans born in Istanbul, but they had then moved to the region of origin given here in the first years of their life. Additionally, Salix was born and had lived in Bulgaria, then spent two years in Russia, and in 1989 moved to Istanbul with his family. His origin is not indicated in the table.
** No one-to-one correspondence.
As shown in Table-1, the selection of a high school corresponds to the first move in many migrants’ biographies. Others, who were brought up in cities, went to the high schools in the city where they lived together with their family. These individuals moved to another city and left their family for the first time upon beginning their university studies or finding work.
The study reveals that rural-urban migration for secondary education is a prerequisite for HSLM in the case of the interviewees from rural-origin. It further appears that types of public high schools that offer free boarding are important for children with a rural background. It is also necessary to underline that this choice is mostly made for boys. In my fieldwork, I have not found any female ICT specialist migrant from the rural areas of Turkey. This shows that women of rural origins have few opportunities to become HSL migrants. The participants included in the study consist of eight female and 25 male ICT specialists from Turkey in Germany. Obviously, the number of men is considerably higher, whereas there are is a sizeable proportion of highly educated urbanite migrant women.
The second phase of mobility in the pre-HSLM period occurs at the time of tertiary education, while the third phase coincides with the start of professional life. The Istanbul and Ankara regions are the main destinations for the university years and thereafter. It is not surprising that Istanbul and Ankara play a crucial role in the HSL migrant’s previous life in Turkey, given the distinguishing properties of these two largest metropolitan areas of Turkey according to the social and economic development indicators in education and labor market. The majority in the sample prefers Ankara for tertiary education. The reasons probably
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include having competent and competitive universities comparable to Istanbul, being a more secure city relative to Istanbul, and its geographical proximity to other locations in Turkey. After graduation, highly educated laborers mostly prefer Istanbul. Another significant portion shifts to the Urban-West Region. There are a few cases that came to Germany without a previous stay in Istanbul.5 Indeed, Istanbul has a significant meaning for all migrants as the city of origin, the city of transit for migration, or for many, as the only option for their return. As a result, geographical movement routes in Turkey before HSLM form a pattern (see FIGURE 1): starting from the East (of Ankara) to the West (of Ankara), from the West to Ankara, and finally from Ankara to Istanbul. This pattern appears to be a requirement for HSLM from Turkey, too.
Figure 1. Pattern of geographical mobility in Turkey before HSLM
In brief, the HSL migrants’ individual geographical mobility in Turkey comes about by two main routes: (i) rural to urban movement for purposes of secondary education; and (ii) of course movement along the East-West-Ankara-Istanbul hierarchy. Both geographical movement directions in Turkey form an ordered, gradual, and deliberate career path toward becoming the HSL migrant.
Relevance of Family Background to Educational Career
This pattern of previous mobility of the HSL migrants in Turkey is closely related to their parents’ attitudes that intermingle with the competitive market of the Turkish educational system. In other words, the common characteristic of the parents in the study is the protection of their children from the likely disadvantages of their im/mobility. The
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families under consideration, if they live in a small city, send their child to a bigger one in order to let them attend a better high school or university, or they go even as far as moving together with them for this purpose. This point indicates the middle class family feature that is characterised by being children-oriented and valuing education highly.6 The active role of these values in the determination of the to-be migrant’s educational path is further supported by the observation that all of the siblings of the subjects in the sample had at least attempted to obtain a university degree. Moreover, only two families of the HSL migrants (Tilia & Syringa) in the study represent a working class family background. It is also impressive that this family type exists if and only if there is a migratory relation with Germany as “return guest worker”. In other words, the working class background is only found for those individuals, whose parents, especially their fathers, had spent time in Germany as workers. Despite institutionalized cultural capital difference, their socio-economic status is still comparable with the ordinary middle class family in Turkey.
It is obvious that family background establishes the basis of the capital resources of HSL migrants and their aspirations. As Musgrave (1979: 71) pointed, the family “not only transmits material benefits to its offspring, but also passes on some of the more indefinable and immaterial aspects of social class.” The current study supports this argument, by understanding immaterial benefits of the family as cultural capital. Two essential elements of resources, economic capital and cultural capital, are hence utilised to explore the family background. Furthermore, both provide social capital and symbolic capital as by-product.
To articulate the allocation of financial support for education in Turkey, some statistical figures are informative. In Turkey, the educational budget makes up about ten per cent of the national consolidated budget.7 Nevertheless, in 2002, educational expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, combined for all levels of education, corresponded to 4.34 per cent in the case of public sources and to 2.63 per cent in the case of private and other sources.8 The same year, 62.3 per cent of the total expenditure on education was financed by public sources (61.4 per cent central government revenue and 0.9 per cent local government revenue), 37.6 per cent was financed by private sources (33.4 per cent household funds, 1.9 per cent companies, associations, foundations etc., 0.1 per cent international resources, and 2.3 per cent other sources). One third of the expenditure coming from the household funds once again highlights the importance of the family in the educational life in Turkey.
Like in the rest of the world, there is a high positive correlation between expenditures on education and household incomes in Turkey. TABLE 2 shows income shares and ratios of
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total expenditure on education according to household quintiles in Turkey in 1994. It is worth remembering that the lower the quintile a household belongs to, the more children the family has (the poorest 20 per cent about 3 children, the richest 20 per cent about 1 child). It is explicit that education expenditure is a major factor that demonstrates the separation between rich and poor households. In particular, the significant difference between the richest household quintile and others in terms of education expenditure in secondary education is arresting.9
In order to prepare their children for the entry exams to elite high schools and universities, the middle class families of Turkey attempt to afford private lectures and lessons, which lay outside of formal education.10 Parallel to secondary education, “other education” shown in TABLE 2 refers to non-formal (extended) education, covering private tutoring and cram schools, which are known in Turkey by the name of dershanes.11 In the last years, they are the main reason that private out-of-pocket expenditures are not comparable to public ones on education, in addition to private school fees.
Table 2. Household incomes and expenditures on education in Turkey (1994)
Household Quintiles by Income
Lowest 20%
E
Next 20%
D
Next 20%
C
Next 20%
B
Highest 20%
A
Quasi-Gini Coefficient
Incidence (%)
1
2
3
4
5
Income Shares (%)
4.9
8.6
12.9
19.0
54.9
0.49
Expenditure on Education (%)
2.2
7.1
9.4
18.0
63.3
0.53
Kindergarten - Primary Education
0.8
1.5
22.4
13.1
62.2
0.54
Secondary Education
0.0
0.1
0.5
1.0
98.4
0.79
Higher Education
0.2
16.5
9.9
22.0
51.4
0.43
Other Education
1.2
6.2
8.7
21.8
62.1
0.55
Educational Materials
7.5
13.5
18.4
25.8
34.9
0.27
Source: State Institution of Statistics (1995)
Middle class families in Turkey are directly involved in the secondary education of their child, which is in contrast to later university related choices, where the children appear to be more autonomous. This is because secondary education appears as milestone for the educational backgrounds of HSL migrants, since the opportunity for a prestigious tertiary education can be seen as a consequence of graduation from an elite high school. This in mind, the preferences for high schools seem like family institution strategies, which are shaped by the available capital resources. School preference depends both on socio-economic status and on how well informed the family is regarding the educational system. These together rather
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automatically determine the level of occupation they display for the choices with respect to the educational paths of their children. For instance, as mentioned above, some families take advantage of state-boarding schools, and others prefer private schools for the education their children. In sum, the involvement of the family in the secondary education related choices of their child already paves way for higher education quality.
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2003 reveals learning opportunities inequality in secondary education that is promoted by the education system in Turkey.12 The study shows that our subjects were privileged to overcome the disadvantages of such an inequality thanks to their capital inherited from their family. In the sample, 30 out of 33 HSL migrants graduated from elite high schools in Turkey (7 private, 23 public).13 A child’s attendance at a private school unconditionally requires transformation of the economic capital of the family into cultural capital. The upper middle class families mostly employ the economic-to-cultural capital transformation through paying private school fees, whereas the lower middle class families resort to it for financing the entrance exam preparation to public elite high schools. As mentioned above, expenditure for extended education is a significant item in these families. Two of the remaining three HSL migrants, who are graduates of standard public high schools, come from the “return guest worker families”. This difference is not a result of insufficient economical capital of the families but stems from their ignorance of the educational facilities. By confirming the Bourdieuan approach to the capital forms in relation with education, I also suggest that the attendance at elite high schools in Turkey implicitly indicates reproduction of cultural capital. Graduation from public elite high schools observed for the clear majority of the sample (23 out of 33 cases) distinctively demonstrates the explanatory power of the cultural capital in the family that will be detailed in the following section.14 Indeed, secondary education quality differentiation as the norm of the system is not only a source of upward mobility for the children from families with skilled worker fathers in the rural, but also a social indicator of distinction for middle class families in the urban.15
Importance of Cultural Capital of the Mother
The educational attainments of the parents in the study are much higher than the average in Turkey.16 It can still be claimed, however, that there are two commonalities between the current sample and the whole picture of Turkey: parents having lower educational position come predominantly from rural areas, particularly from Rural-East, and the gender gap in education is still present, albeit significantly smaller.17 Importantly, this
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significance exposes that it is the educational achievements of HSL migrants’ mothers rather than their fathers, which makes the difference in their families. The mother emerges as the determinant figure in cultural capital reproduction for the family.
The so-called “state-feminism” of Turkey dictates a paradoxical role model for Republican women. This model, on the one hand, encourages female careerists and ensures they are welcome in the society with great respect. But on the other hand, it expects them to comply with the patriarchal family. This results in a new mother model: the educated housekeeper for middle and upper middle class families. Given the father is able to provide high enough financial status for the family, the mother is likely not to work and it is also common to quit working for women upon their marriage. Accordingly, these women may not be considered unemployed in the classical sense, since they take their share from the distribution of parental roles in the family with this housekeeper role. This pattern often changes if the mother holds a profession based on tertiary education, and/or if she is a white-collar worker. But even in that case, the mother remains to a significant degree the main “housekeeper”. Taking all of the above into consideration, I do argue that middle class fathers drive their children to education by preparing and providing the necessary economic infrastructure; and mothers educate the child by means of socio-cultural resources.
In the study, about two third of mothers had obtained an educational level higher than secondary education; one third had completed tertiary education. Half of the educated mothers work as professionals (2.Model in Figure 2); the other half are housewives (1.Model in Figure 2).18 That means there are a large number of HSL migrants who were brought up by educated mothers. Both educated housewives and professional mothers live in cities, whereas uneducated mothers typically come from the rural areas (3.Model in Figure 2). Remarkably, in the study no case of uneducated mother that works outside of home was encountered.
Figure 2. Cultural status regarding the mothers
Mother
Work
+
-
Education
+
2. Model
1. Model
-
3. Model
The families with educated mothers working professionally tend to send their children, especially their daughters, to public elite high schools. As mentioned above, male
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interviewees moved to urban areas for secondary education if they came from a rural background. It is noticeable that all of them, who attend the successful state-boarding public elite high schools, come from the families with primary school graduate, housewife mothers and skilled worker fathers. Another distinguishing factor in the context of HSLM is the absence of daughters not only in the rural families but also in the pre-migrant working class families with the uneducated housewife mother. At the same time, however, it implies that women have higher chance to be HSL migrants if their family has more cultural and economic capital. In fact, all female HSL migrants in the sample come from the new petty bourgeoisie families living in urban areas.
Typology of HSL Migrants Due to Backgrounds
All participants say that whilst still in Turkey they had entertained a disposition to go abroad in order to study or work at least for a while. However, in no case the decision to depart from Turkey to Germany was made after a long period of unemployment.19 In addition, the driving force behind HSLM is not better pay in almost all cases. In fact, the migrants seek to build careers. That is to say, their migration is foremost a stage of life that is devoted to career construction. There is actually a clear list of socially-constructed “achievement” in their lives: attendance at one of the best high schools, acquiring acceptance from one of the best departments in one of the best universities, and then at least short-term educational and professional experience abroad. In fact, on the educational path, studying abroad is one of the most yearned for elements of cultural capital. Since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the most preferred schools and universities have been the ones teaching in a foreign language, with English, French, and German being the most popular. This is very telling regarding the attitudes of particularly the upper and middle classes toward cultural capital. Even long before the recent increase in the importance of learning a foreign language for the labor market, the teaching languages of the elite institutions of Turkey have been foreign languages. Attending these schools and universities, together with its function in the reproduction of cultural capital, creates symbolic capital, and in fact, is regarded an upward mobility by itself. In addition to the cultural capital, these elite schools render their attendees well prepared for the internationalised labor market. As a consequence, the HSL migrants did have an emigration disposition, aimed primarily at the West, in their pre-HSLM period.20
Language competence and familiarity with the future destination are important factors in the actualization of HSLM potential. Many of the HSL migrants in the current sample from elite high schools were taught in English and learned German as a second foreign language.
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This German competence is not enough but provides a basis for HSLM to Germany. Another group had started learning German as their first foreign language in their secondary education. In fact, there are about 40 high schools in Turkey whose teaching language is mainly German and partly Turkish.21 These schools also offer English lectures as a second foreign language. A few of those schools even provide their graduates with the opportunity to complete Abitur, which allows them to be placed in the German tertiary education directly. All subjects but six in the sample attended university programs where the teaching language was English. Two of the remaining six had finished German programs. Only the other four were graduates of programs in Turkish that correspond to the vast majority of university programs in Turkey. But those four had already learned German or English before the start of the university, either during secondary education or directly in Germany as a child. Obviously, individuals in the current sample had either good English skills, which would allow them move to any country in the West, or they had even basic to good German.
Going abroad to study and to work as an intern has been encouraged politically more since the 1990s. The mobility of students and graduates has hence accelerated in the last two decades. As a matter of fact, together with the modified skilled migration programs, many advanced economies also shifted their policies on student mobility from a purely educational basis to one linked to longer-term interests in the future recruitment of HSL. They eased legal regulations, such as those concerning student, internship, and business visas as well as the facilitating the portability of grants and loans. Moreover, student club organizations such as ESTIEM, student exchange programs such as DAAD, and internship programs such as AIESEC, got more institutionalised and effective in this context.22 The European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS) has also supported the mobility of students within the EU since 1987. Having been an associate member of the EU since 1963, Turkey joined the ERASMUS program in 2004. Turkey’s primary student exchange partner in Europe is Germany, ahead of Netherlands, France, and Italy.23 This program did not affect the current study since all subjects in the sample had already become HSL migrants prior to 2005. It is predictable that as the number of ERASMUS students increase; this type of mobility from Turkey to Germany will accelerate.24
The number of students abroad from Turkey is more than 50,000 in the middle of the 2000s, making Turkey the seventh highest-ranking country in terms of gross outflow of students.25 According to these Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) statistics, Germany is the largest receiver of Turkish students.26 However Germany owes this
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high ranking to the so-called “Bildungsinländer” who comprise two thirds of the overall total.27 In the case of “Bildungsausländer”, we see Turkey only at the fifth position among the sending countries in 2007, whereas it always came first until 2000.28 The outflow statistics, produced by General Directorate of Higher Education (Yükseköğretim Genel Müdürlüğü), correct the distorted image of Germany in the HSLM picture, despite the fact that it does not cover the students abroad with scholarships. In the period between 1994-2005, 1,755 students in Turkey were sent abroad with state funding.29 Moreover, the total number of private students from Turkey studying abroad as of October 2, 2006 was 19,658.30 As the host country for 17 per cent of the students from Turkey living abroad, Germany comes second after the USA, which has a share of 18 per cent.31 The amount of women among tertiary students in Turkey is more than 40 per cent, but the amount of female students abroad is less than 10 per cent.32 The gender imbalance in favor of male students in tertiary education abroad is clear. It again stresses less chances in HSLM for women than men.
Transitory residence abroad for training purposes like student exchange, language course, summer school, graduate study, or internship, easily result in prospective labor migration for a longer period. However, even though they do not appear as prerequisites to HSLM, they are facilitative acts leading to it. More than two thirds of the sample had experiences abroad before becoming migrant laborers in Germany. Majority of those experiences were internships, graduate studies, summer schools, or language courses, practices which I call “warm-up exercises” to HSLM.33 The rest were working experiences. “Warm-up exercises” display the internationalization of university education, and turn the host country where such exercises took place into the most likely destination of HSLM. It can be said that the people who have warm-up exercises in Germany are well-trained to emigrate to there. At the high schools and/or universities whose classroom language is German, they were well informed about such “warm-up exercises” in Germany. Furthermore some of their ex-schoolmates were already in Germany at the time they migrated, making their migration experience less complicated.34 Indeed, attendance at such institutions correlates with having more institutionalised opportunities for HSLM to Germany. It can be read as full preparation for HSLM career in Germany.
In Table 3, I present a typology of backgrounds with respect to five related traits: having received at least three-year education in English in Turkey, having received at least three-year education in German in Turkey, German language course attendance in Turkey, internship in Germany, and graduate study in Germany. These attributes reveal four highly educated types as follow:
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1. Fully-Prepared for Germany This requires education in Turkey with German as the teaching language. This mostly leads to “warm-up exercises” in Germany. The first choice of a fully-prepared HSL migrant is Germany.
2. Well-Trained for Germany This type requires such “warm-up exercises”, which cover a German language course in Turkey, or an internship and/or graduate study in Germany. This type of HSL migrants intend for HSLM to Germany as the host country. Being well-trained for Germany, just like in the case of full-preparation for Germany, gives this country precedence among the possible destination countries.
3. Well-Trained This requires education in Turkey with English as the teaching language. They are professionally ready for HSLM career in any host country. The potential host countries in their mind are one of the Anglo-American countries. The decision to come to Germany instead of another country seems at first sight coincidental. But some explicitly said that getting a visa for Germany would be easier than getting one for the UK, for instance. This suggests that the Green Card Program Federal Republic of Germany functions well in terms of pulling HSL migrants from Turkey.
4. Root-Trained This type requires parents, unexceptionally fathers, who worked in Germany as “guest worker” for a while in the 1960s and 1970s. Unlike in the case of the other middle-class types, where educational variables lead to the selection of Germany, it is the previous migration history of the family that renders Germany as the most likely target destination of HSLM for this type. Self evidently, their access to institutionalised family networks creates a distinctive point in their proximity to Germany.
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Table 3. Typology to backgrounds
INTERVIEWEE
IN TURKEY
IN GERMANY
TYPE*
Education in English
Education in German
German Language Course
Internship in Germany
Master’s Degree in Germany
Prunus
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Buxus
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Magnolia
Present
None
None
Present
Present
Well-Trained f.G.
Juglans
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Sorbus
Present
None
Present
Present
Present
Well-Trained f.G.
Salix
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Rhus
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Castanea
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Acer
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Populus
Present
None
None
Present
Present
Well-Trained f.G.
Tilia
None
Present
Present
None
None
Root-Trained
Cercis
Present
Partly
Present
Present
None
Well-Trained f.G.
Fraxinus
Present
Partly
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Abies
Present
Partly
Present
Present
Present
Well-Trained f.G.
Fagus
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Ailanthus
Present
Present
None
Present
None
Fully-Prepared f.G.
Laburnum
Present
Partly
Present
Present
None
Well-Trained f.G.
Sambucus
Present
Partly
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Juniperus
Present
Present
None
Present
None
Fully-Prepared f.G.
Rhamnus
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Syringa
None
Partly
Present
None
None
Root-Trained
Hippophae
Present
Present
None
Present
Present
Fully-Prepared f.G.
Quercus
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Mespilus
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Picea
Present
Partly
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Euonymus
Present
Partly
Present
Present
None
Well-Trained f.G.
Betula
Partly
Present
None
Present
None
Fully-Prepared f.G.
Morus
Present
Partly
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Platanus
Present
Partly
None
Present
Present
Well-Trained f.G.
Robinia
Present
Partly
Present
None
None
Well-Trained f.G.
Celtis
Present
Present
None
None
None
Fully-Prepared f.G.
Pinus
Present
Partly
None
None
None
Well-Trained
Carpinus
Present
None
None
None
None
Well-Trained
* f.G.: for Germany
195 Ulaş Sunata
Conclusion
This study considered HSL migrants from Turkey to Germany in order to illuminate the dynamics of international migration and thereby investigated their backgrounds that are relevant for the realization of migration. The study constructed the background typology in order to explain patterns that form a basis for migration of the highly-educated people from Turkey in order to work in Germany.
The analysis first presented the map of movements during pre-HSLM period in Turkey. It shows that urban migration for the purpose of secondary education is a first prerequisite route for accessing the HSLM status if the population under consideration comes from a rural background in Turkey. In other words, living in the city, at the latest during secondary education period, is sine qua non. The second direction of geographical mobility in Turkey shows an ascending hierarchy between four regions. If any HSL migrant was from East, they inevitably moved to Istanbul via first the West and then Ankara. If they were from the West, they necessarily move to Ankara and then Istanbul, or directly to Istanbul. If they were from Ankara, they stay there or move to Istanbul. Istanbulers were not in need of any movement before HSLM. The study displays that one hardly sets off in the opposite direction.
The study underlines the extremely lower chance to-be-HSL migrant of the rural-origin girls and working class family background. Indeed, it then indicated predominance of middle class family background among HSL migrants, like other studies about HSLM.35 It however reveals existence of a type of HSL migrants from Turkey as a consequence of return labor migration with respect to Germany as the host country: the root-trained.
Another way this study contributes the literature that the mothers of the HSL migrants, thanks to their cultural capital, guide the children for better educational attainments in Turkey. Middle class families in Turkey primarily try to take advantage of public elite education opportunities for their children. Nevertheless, access to these opportunities is restricted with cultural capital resources in the differentiated educational preferences in the education system of Turkey. For this purpose, in the families not only convert economic capital into cultural capital for the education of their children but also reproduce their cultural capital by means of efficient usage of the middle class motherhood.
This study further contributes to literature in showing that HSLM is not directly associated with unemployment and wage differentials, but is an element of career construction. Their professional career abroad depends on educational achievements in Turkey. The difference in their educational background in the context of HSLM from Turkey to Germany, is dealing with German language ability and familiarity with Germany through a
Alternative Politics, Vol. 4, No. 2, 180-201, July 2012 196
“warm-up exercise”. Hence, German usage as a teaching language in secondary or tertiary education in Turkey, German language course in Turkey, summer school, graduate study, or an internship in Germany in the pre-HSLM period are evaluated as crucial factors to develop the background typology. Still, the fact that the well-trained type rather than the root-trained, the well-trained for Germany, and the fully-prepared for Germany types constitutes the main group of the HSL migrants from Turkey to Germany displays achievement of the German attractive program in 2000s for HSLM.
197 Ulaş Sunata
ENDNOTES
*Asisstant Professor, Bahcesehir University, Department of Sociology, Istanbul, Turkey.
1 Source: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge. Currently, between 2000 and 2005, Turkey has remained the largest origin among the third countries, in every category of the stock statistics of HSLM for Germany, with more than 20 per cent (about 25,000 persons).
2 The outline of interview contents includes ten segments: (i) Demographic Profile including sex, age, marital status, ethnicity, and education; (ii) Family and Social Background including parent’s education and occupation, sisters and brothers, living atmosphere in family household; (iii) Occupational Career including professional experiences, certificates and occupational training; (iv) Current Occupation and Work Conditions; (v) Migration Career including factual courses of migration processes, and legal and financial situation; (vi) Understanding and Interpretation of the Migration Project including sense making patterns of the migration project, feeling at home; (vii) Lifestyle Preferences including opinion on having a regular and secure job, anxiety of losing job, and opinion on marriage and divorce; (viii) Future Expectations including professional goals, investments, and plans; (ix) Social Networks including personal and social relations, membership of labor union, membership of associations, organizations, society, club, and etc., membership of virtual society, and contact with Turkey; and (x) Social Aspirations and Political Attitudes including political points of view and attitude, opinions on nationalism in Turkey, on the European Union, and on Germany, and media for following news. See Sunata (2011) for all analysed findings of these interviews.
3 Therefore, the so-called Green Card program is very influential for the study. All but six interviewees had taken part in this program.
4 Here the terminology of orders of migration seems suitable. First order migrants are those spouses who migrate first. The second order migrant joins the first in the host country.
5 These cases go abroad through Ankara or Urban-West, mainly Izmir.
6 Among the parents there is the tendency to live on the coast after their retirement, which often coincides with the university graduation of their children. It is also common to oscillate between a metropolitan area and a smaller city. This phenomenon corresponds to the middle class status of the family.
7 Source: National Education Statistics, Formal Education 2006-2007.
8 The World Bank 2005. How Much Does Turkey Spend on Education? Development of National Education Accounts to Measure and Evaluate Education Expenditures.
9 The highest middle-class families spend so much in the stage of secondary education that they prefer to send their children to the most prestigious private old-established “foreign” elite high schools. As mentioned previously, I restricted my study with the criterion that Bachelor’s of Science degree must have been earned from a university in Turkey. I noticed that this exclusion causes the absence of the graduates from these schools that mostly prefer going abroad to study right after high school.
10 As there have been more applications than quotas since at least 1975, there is a strict admission system of numerus clauses in tertiary education in Turkey. Applicants are increasing, as a continuously growing portion of the population in Turkey take the entrance exam each year. It is not uncommon for more than a million applicants to take the exam. In other words, approximately one person out of every four in the theoretical age group 18-21 applies for this exam. However, no more than one-third of the candidates to tertiary education can be admitted, which leads to increased competition. In order to qualify for admission, students start studying for the entrance exams as early as two years in advance.
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11 Ankara Chamber of Commerce estimated current total expenditures by families in Turkey on the university entrance exam preparation for their children are approximately 3 billion US Dollars every year.
12 In that regard, it is remarkable that according to OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), 56.0 per cent of the student performance variance in Turkey can be explained by students’ study programs, the international index of economic, social and cultural status, and the between-school component of variation. This figure puts Turkey at the top of the OECD list, where the average is only 26.4 per cent.
13 The term “public elite high schools” in the context of Turkey refers mainly to Anatolian and Science High Schools, outside of a few prominent General High Schools.
14 In this study, all interviewees graduated from the best public universities in Turkey. Still, it is expected that the increase in competitive private universities in the last decade will bring about a sharp distinction in the HSL migrant profile in the following years.
15 For that matter, the study assesses Alevi cultural capital as an affirmative value, in the context of the parents’ encouraging approach to education of the child, in the rural-origin family (Prunus, Rhamnus, and Carpinus). Alevi philosophy, customs, and rituals differ largely from both the Sunni and Shia traditions. They have a Sufi doctrine of the “Perfect Man” (İnsan-i Kamil) and salvation lies partly in emulating perfect symbolic figures. In brief, the characteristics of the ideal Alevi include (i) love and respect for all people (“The important thing is not religion, but being a human being”); (ii) tolerance towards other religions and ethnic groups (“If you hurt another person, your prayers will prove worthless”); and (iii) respect for working people (“The greatest act of worship is to work”). The Alevi/Nusayri minority culture, especially the emphasis on education and work, had a certain influence on the life course of these three HSL migrants through their family.
16 In 15-64 age interval, people in Turkey having education higher than senior high school graduation consists of 1.4 per cent in 1970, 3.2 per cent in 1980, and 3.7 per cent in 1990.
17 Although popularizing education with the principles of “access and equity” has been aimed at in every period of the Republic of Turkey since its establishment, educational participation still remains discriminatory with regard to gender and geographical locations.
18 The term “professional” is defined in this study as a person who is an entrepreneur, a highly-skilled worker, or a white-collar worker.
19 Only one third of the sample did have working experience in Turkey.
20 Almost all HSL migrants in the interviews explicitly posited that their primary preferences for a destination country were the Anglo-American ones, notably the USA and the UK. It is conspicuous that if a highly-educated person in Turkey has neither education directly dealing with Germany nor any migratory history related to Germany in their family background, her/his first country of choice for working abroad is probably an Anglo-American country. In the global context, this strong orientation is related to the predominance of English language and the related countries’ long-standing immigration policies in trying to attract the HSL migrants. But in the local context, choosing these countries over Germany is partly due to the negative image of Germany too. This image is rooted in the collective memory of Turkey that is fed by the stories of the labor migrants of the 1960s and 1970s, stories characterised by alienation and homesickness.
21 Webpage: Schulen: Partner der Zukunft http://www.pasch-net.de [06.09.2009] Istanbul Lisesi, Cağaloğlu Anadolu Lisesi, Üsküdar Anadolu Lisesi (Anatolian High Schools), as well as Alman Lisesi and Avusturya Lisesi (Private High Schools) are located in Istanbul and much appreciated. In Ankara, there is one private high school whose teaching language is German, mostly for children of diplomats. In Izmir, Bornova Anadolu Lisesi is also notable in the context of German language teaching.
199 Ulaş Sunata
22 ESTIEM (European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management) is a Europe-wide organization for students in the field of Industrial Engineering and Management. DAAD, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service) is the largest German support organization in the field of international academic co-operation. AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) is a “global, non-political, independent, not-for-profit” network platform for young students and recent graduates of institutions of tertiary education “to discover and develop their potential to provide leadership for a positive impact on society” (web page information). In the name of Türkiye İktisadi Ticari İlimler Talebeleri Staj Komitesi Derneği, AIESEC Turkey is among the four leading AIESEC countries in terms of the effect of their programs and internship exchange numbers. Annually, AIESEC Turkey supplies 300 internship opportunities abroad for Turkish students and 300 in Turkey for foreign students.
23 About one quarter of ERASMUS students from Turkey prefer to go to Germany. Likewise, one quarter of the ERASMUS students who come to Turkey are from Germany. http://www.daad.de/presse/de/2007/8.1.1_1107_engl_ERASMUS.pdf Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e.V.
24 In the academic year of 2004-2005, the outflow from Turkey equals 1,142 students, whereas the figure for inflow from the ERASMUS program is 299. In the next academic year, the figures become 2,852 and 894 respectively.
25 Source: OECD and UNESCO Institute for Statistics
26 According to UNESCO statistics, 52,048 students from Turkey studied abroad in 2004, mainly in Germany (27,582), the United States (11,398), France (2,273), the UK (1,960), and Austria (1,820). Source: UNESCO, 2006. In 2005, the OECD statistics state that the total number is 52,027: 25.421 in Germany, 13.029 in the USA, 2.283 in France, 1.913 in the UK, 1.857 in Austria, and 7.524 in other countries.
27 In the context of Germany, the category of “foreign students” consists of “(auslandische) Bildungsausländer” and “(auslandische) Bildungsinländer”. The former group covers students who move to Germany after obtaining the qualification to enter the higher education system in a different country. The latter group, on the other hand, includes those people without German passports who go through normal phases of the education system in Germany to gain the same right. Bildungsinländer” with Turkish passports are a consequence of migration history between Turkey and Germany, including labor migration, refugees, and family unifications. They are, however, not the HSL migrants from Turkey but rather products of German education system.
28 Today China is the biggest sending country to Germany, followed by Bulgaria, Poland, and Russia (http://www.wissenschaft-weltoffen.de/daten ; Quelle: Studentenstatistik Statistisches Bundesamt; HIS-Berechnungen). In comparison with these countries, the number of “Bildungsausländer” in Germany from Turkey, France, Austria, South-Korea, Spain, and Italy have not radically changed in the last ten years.
29 http://www.yok.gov.tr/duyuru/2006/turkey_higher.pdf However, General Directorate of Higher Education (Yükseköğretim Genel Müdürlüğü) declared the scholarship program unsuccessful since many of those students chose not to return to Turkey. The number of government-sponsored students abroad in the academic year 2005-2006 increased to 392 (Türkiye Eğitim İstatistikleri 2005-2006). Güngör and Tansel (2006) still argue that the compulsory service requirement attached to this scholarship increased the probability of student return.
30 National Education Statistics, Formal Education 2006/07. General Directorate of Higher Education (Yükseköğretim Genel Müdürlüğü).
31 The following four countries are Azerbaijan with 16 per cent, France with 12 per cent, the UK with 7 per cent, and Kyrgyzstan with 7 per cent. About 50 per cent have been educated in EU member or candidate countries. The data is impressive: the USA received 56 per cent of students from Turkey for
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graduate study (28 MA, 28 PhD), the UK 53 per cent (46 MA, 7 PhD), Germany 44 per cent (40 MA, 4 PhD), France 18 per cent (12 MA, 6 PhD), and the Central Asian Republics only 2 per cent.
32 It may be a result of a bias in the registration system, since male students must be registered as students abroad in order to postpone their military services, but females have no any obligation to register themselves as students. Still, they display this general tendency. The OECD Database on all students abroad (both Bildungsinländer and Bildungsausländer) shows that female students from Turkey account for about 27 per cent of foreign enrolment in tertiary education.
33 More than one-third in the sample completed one or two internships in Germany. One of every five HSL migrants received a master degree in this country before working. Attendance at German language courses seems as a slightly different position from other “warm-up exercises” to HSLM, since almost all of the people follow language courses after starting to work in Germany, if they do not learn German before. Having received a German language course in Turkey still carries a distinctive meaning in the context of preparation to the related HSLM.
34 For instance, Ailanthus said: “[…] There were some friends who I had met during my internship. Then there was a friend called Paulownia, who I knew from the school… Before I came to here, we were talking about if we could move together. He had come one year before I did. […]”
35 See Vaknin, 2002; Piore, 1979; Khadria, 1999; Sunata, 2002.
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