Migration intentions of engineering students: potential labor market, financial, social and human capital implications


Marise Habib


This thesis, entitled â Skilled Emigration and the Sending State: Using Engineering as a Case Study in Egypt,â was completed by Marise Habib, under the supervision of Dr. Ray Jureidini, at the American University in Cairo. The thesis explores the impact of skilled emigration on Egypt by looking into the migration intentions of the Class of 2010 from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University. Skilled emigration is often considered to be entirely detrimental to sending states as the loss of highly trained minds is viewed independently and not considered as part of a broader movement of persons and capital. Student intentions in this study were gauged using a survey distributed to students online and on their campus, which posed questions regarding desires to work abroad, emigrate, reasons behind these intentions, intent to remit and intent to return. Data gathered was then analyzed in light of existing literature on skilled emigration to see how the migration intentions of the class studied will affect Egypt in terms of direct loss if the student is considered an investment, direct gains through remittances and indirect gains stemming largely from return migration. The thesis then looks at existing and recommended policies as a way to guide the discussion on moving forward. It concludes by reiterating that the gains from emigration cannot be harnessed simply retroactively, but policies and discussions on emigration must be met with an understanding that systemic and societal education and change, whether infrastructural, educational or cultural, are necessary to ensure that sending states do not wind up solely losing in the migration equation.


Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Degree Name

MA in Migration & Refugee Studies

Date of Award


Online Submission Date

September 2012

First Advisor

Jureidini, Ray

Second Advisor

Ullah, Ahsan

Document Type



129 p.


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