Skilled Indians in Switzerland: Mobility paths and transnational connections

As India has developed into one of the countries of origin with the largest number of skilled personnel and international students, it has been increasingly considered as a priority country in public higher-education and labour-market strategies. Its growing global importance in terms of science, technology and innovation has also seen it become an essential partner for scientific cooperation and research. While the mobility of skilled Indians to Europe has attracted plenty of attention, we still know very little about the Indian skilled professionals and students in these destination countries and their employment or study situation in the local contexts. There is also scant evidence about their transnational contacts and the social capital they have accumulated through their mobility paths and the effects that these have on their mobility decisions and their type of connections with the home country. This chapter illustrates a case study of skilled Indians in Switzerland, who are mostly temporary stayers, ready to leave the country in the short-term horizon. According to the Swiss Federal Statistics Office, almost half of all Indians with a tertiary education remain in Switzerland for less than five years. They stay in Switzerland in the expectation of continuing their migratory journey elsewhere, in new destinations that arise according to available opportunities and personal interests. The social capital they accumulate during their career itineraries plays a decisive role in their migration preferences and decisions. Even though the value attached to social capital depends on time and place, the new spatial forms created by international migrants reveal the power of transnational contacts as valuable assets for their local and transnational-based practices. Based on evidence collected through in-depth interviews, this chapter focuses on the mobility paths and experiences of Indian students and skilled professionals in the Swiss local context, and it examines the transnational contacts, knowledge, skills and further social capital they accumulate in different spaces and places, which influence their subsequent mobility decisions and shape the type of connection they have with India.


Published in:
Indian Migration Report 2019: Diaspora in Europe, 376
Year:
Jan 01 2019
Publisher:
New Delhi, Routledge
ISBN:
978-1-138-60211-3
978-0-429-42575-2
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2019-11-28, last modified 2019-12-05

PREPRINT:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)