The motives of return migration of Russian citizens who got higher education abroad

Grebenyuk A.A.

M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Polezhaeva D.A.

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article:

For citation:

Grebenyuk A.A., Polezhaeva D.A. The motives of return migration of Russian citizens who got higher education abroad. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 4. P. 37-41


A “Global Education” program is launched in Russia. The purpose of this project is to finance Russian citizens’ getting master’s and PhD degrees abroad. After graduating Russians have to work for a company in Russia. Will the above program work effectively? It is necessary to understand what exactly motivates citizens of the Russian Federation to leave foreign countries and come back. For this purpose in-depth interviews were conducted with the Russians with higher education abroad and in Russia. As a result of research main motives for migrants’ return are folowing: to find a job in their field, to increase income, to reunite with the family, to start a family in the homeland, to apply the knowledge obtained, skills and abilities, to change type of activity, the sense of belonging to the native culture and desire to have similar sociocultural environment. These interviews show a potential of return migration of Russian citizens with higher education. Moreover, reintegration of the respondents is one of the most favorable in our country. The economic crisis and growing unemployment in some Western countries can stimulate the process of return. It will to a certain extent compensate for negative effects of the “brain drain” and to bring the advanced practices, competencies and skills needed for the development of Russian society.

higher education abroad; educational migration; brain drain; motives for return migration; reintegration
Content No 4, 2016