• Poland in the World of Circulating Brains

    Poland in the World of Circulating Brains

    Janusz Mucha i Kamil Łuczaj

    PL (EN version below)

    W świecie globalnych migracji mamy do czynienia ze szczególnym ich typem: mobilnością wysoko wykwalifikowanych specjalistów (HSM). Prezentowany projekt dotyczy przede wszystkim imigracji do Polski zagranicznych badaczy, nazywanych dalej „uczonymi” bądź „naukowcami”. Cechą migracji uczonych jest samoorganizacja, motywowana przez dążenie do osiągnięcia wyższego i uznania zawodowego, oparta na osobistej sieci kontaktów zawodowych. Motywacje to głównie chęć dotarcia do bardzo dobrych laboratoriów i bibliotek oraz cieszących się międzynarodowym szacunkiem badaczy.

    Proponowane badania koncentrują się na dwóch obszarach. Pierwszy należy do szeroko rozumianej socjologii produkcji wiedzy naukowej. Wzięte pod uwagę mają być zarówno perspektywa migrujących uczonych (w tym ich drogi życiowe, motywacje), jak i perspektywa zatrudniających ich polskich instytucji akademickich. Drugi obszar to funkcjonowanie tych imigrantów w obrębie kultury kraju goszczącego. Społeczna psychologia kontaktu kulturowego, socjologia i antropologia etniczności i migracji, a także społeczna antropologia akulturacji dostarczają sugestii na temat funkcjonowania zagranicznych naukowców w obcym kraju. Badania powinny przyczynić się do wzbogacenia wiedzy na temat znaczenia HSM dla modernizacji kultury naukowej w Polsce. W oparciu o wskazane dalej koncepcje teoretyczne oraz wyniki zagranicznych badań empirycznych, proponowane tu badania powinny wskazać specyfikę społecznego funkcjonowania HSM w Polsce, szczególny typ relacji między biografiami imigrantów, ich życiem osobistym i doświadczeniami i praktykami życia w obcym środowisku kulturowym a dynamicznym i mającym potencjalnie wielkie znaczenie rozwojowe środowiskiem instytucjonalnym – systemem nauki. Powinny pomóc w usytuowaniu sposobów funkcjonowania zagranicznych naukowców pracujących w Polsce w obrębie własnych rodzin, społeczności etnicznych, kulturowych diaspor uczonych, w kulturze kraju przyjmującego. Jeśli imigracja (w szczególności HSM) do Polski będzie rosła, to wyniki badań mogą pomóc w kształtowaniu polskiej polityki społecznej wobec imigrantów, a także tego fragmentu polityki edukacyjnej, który dotyczy zatrudniania zagranicznych kadr.

    Według bazy danych, zgromadzonej przez polskie Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego, w 2012 roku pracowało w Polsce etatowo 1887 zagranicznych naukowców (spośród nich 1319 osób miało co najmniej doktorat). Stanowili oni 1.9% wszystkich naukowców zatrudnionych w Polsce (w krajach wysoko rozwiniętych – między 1.6% a 13%). Ministerialna baza danych dostarcza jedynie wysoce zagregowanych informacji ilościowych i to nie na wszystkie tematy tutaj proponowane. Inaczej niż w krajach zachodnich i w Azji Wschodniej, nie ma w Polsce badań poświęconych imigrującym uczonym. Trudno więc o godne zaufania uogólnienia, porównania i wyjaśnienia. Głównym celem projektu jest wypełnienie wspomnianej luki poznawczej.

     

    EN

    POLAND IN THE WORLD OF CIRCULATING BRAINS. ANALYSIS OF PROFESSIONAL AND CULTURAL FUNCTIONING OF FOREIGN ACADEMICS IN THE POLISH SYSTEM OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION

     RESEARCH PROJECT OBJECTIVES

    Introduction. “Circulating brains[1]

    The proposed research concentrates on two fields. The first is the analysis of the broadly understood production of scientific knowledge. Both the perspective of migrating scholars (including their life trajectories, motivations) and the perspective of their Polish employers will be taken into account. The second field is the functioning of foreign researchers in the host culture. Theoretical and empirical social sciences and humanities provide suggestions on the functioning of foreigners in alien cultures. The proposed research project should contribute to our understanding of the impact of the highly skilled migrants (HSM) on the modernization of academic culture in Poland. Based on theoretical ideas (concepts, hypotheses) and findings of foreign empirical field research, the proposed research project intends to outline the specific character of social functioning of the HSM in Poland, the particular kind of relations between, on the one hand, biographies of immigrants, their personal life as well as experiences and practices of living in alien cultural environment and, on the other, the academic system in the host society, dynamic and potentially very significant for social development. The project should help us understand the functioning of foreign scholars in their own families, ethnic communities, academic diasporas in Poland and in the global academic community. If immigration (particularly, that of HSM) to Poland increases, the findings should help to shape the Polish social policy toward immigrants and the educational policy related to the employment of foreigners.

    In a world of global migrations, which were always present but have intensified in the 20th century (see, e.g. Okólski 2004; Czaika and de Haas 2014), there is a particular type of migration: that of highly qualified specialists (such as managers, experts, engineers, doctors etc.), and academic researchers (see, e.g. Kaczmarczyk and Okólski 2005). This phenomenon is often called highly skilled migration (HSM). Scientific research and advanced studies have always connected a local perspective (from the beginning of modernity generally known as “national”) with a much wider perspective, which can be called international. In this sense, recent globalization is merely a strong intensification of the important processes that have already been taking place for a very long time. This project deals predominantly with the migration of researchers, usually referred to as “scholars,”  “academics” or “scientists.”

    Scholars migrate to many different parts of the world, however the main (not necessarily permanent) destinations comprise of only a few countries. In 2001, the share of foreigners employed in ten leading national systems in Europe and the United States combined were as follows: Switzerland (13%), the U.S. (8.9%), the UK (5.9%), Norway (4.3%), Belgium (3.3%), Austria (3.0%), France (2.8%), Germany (2.8%), the Netherlands (1.6%), and Italy (0.3%) (Kaczmarczyk and Okólski 2005). In 2011, a survey based on a different methodological scheme with a different definition for “foreigner,” was conducted. In this case, scholars, particularly those who had published scientific articles in selected journals) were studied. Most analyzed foreign-born scientists (regardless of their citizenship) worked in Switzerland (56.7%), Canada (46.9%), Australia (44.5%), the U.S. (38.4%), the UK (32.9%), Sweden (37.7%), the Netherlands (27.7%), Denmark (21.8%), Germany (23.2%), Belgium (18.2%), and France (17.7 %). Four out of five leading countries on this list are English-speaking (and in Switzerland this language is commonly used among highly skilled professionals). A much smaller percentage of foreign-born researchers were observed in Spain (7.3%), Brazil (7.1%), Japan (5%), Italy (3%) and India (0.8%) (see: Franzoni, Scelatto and Stephan 2012).

    Among these countries, a place in the rankings quoted above does not necessarily reflect rankings based on GDP or GDP per capita. In the United States (the country studied most thoroughly), foreigners work primarily in the most prestigious research universities. Most of these foreigners are life scientists and engineers. In some areas, one out of three newly employed researchers is a foreigner. At the beginning of the 21st century, most foreigners came to the United States from China, India, South Korea, Japan, Germany and Canada. Since 1965, most foreign scholars in the United States have come from regions other than Europe, such as Asia, Africa and South America (Kim et al. 2011).

    Scholars are a particular kind of migrants. Their spatial mobility is characterized mainly by self-organization (motivated in turn by the desire to gain greater prestige and professional recognition) and is usually based on individual’s a professional network of international colleagues. Economic motivations are important here, but in many cases migrants care mainly about the costly access to well-equipped laboratories, libraries, and personal contact with renowned scientists. Many scientists do not migrate “from-to” but lead “boundaryless lives” (see: Krings et al. 2013).

    When analyzing the evolving new world order, emerging from the end of the 1980s on, Anthony Richmond divided migrations into two polar types: “reactive” and “proactive.” The latter, which includes academic migration, refers to the spatial population movements, which are associated with relatively large personal choice, concerning for example, whether or not one is willing to move at all, when to take such an action, where to go, whether to do it alone or as a part of a group, how long to stay “outside the home,” as well as whether to return home after completing the objectives, or to go somewhere else (Richmond 1994).  Bauman, when he analyzed recent stage of globalization, pointed out that we should talk about two different worlds and two different categories of travelers. In the first, cosmopolitan and exterritorial world of global business, managers of global culture and academics, there are no borders, control, etc. (1998). Similarly, Margit Fauser and her colleagues, following other transmigration scholars, present the opinion that there are two worlds of migrants, and the transnational engagement is not a mere characteristic of the most marginalized and deprived. To the contrary, those who are well established, better educated and who have lengthier periods of residence are in many ways among those most involved in cross-border exchanges of money, goods and ideas. These people are represented among the transnational economic and political entrepreneurs and generally in the more public forms of transnationality (Fauser et al 2012, see also Vertovec 2009).

     

    Polish academic system and foreign academics

     

    In Poland, most of the scientific (scholarly) research is done in institutions of higher education and in the research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (the PAN; some of these institutes have doctoral and even master’s programmes) and research institutes preparing analyses for individual state ministries and supervised by them. Institutions of higher education are divided into public and non-public schools. Some regulations are identical, others are not. Schools are also divided into “academic” (having accreditation allowing them to grant the scientific degrees) and “non-academic”, so-called “schools of applied sciences”.

    In Poland, according to the “Bologna Agreement”, there are three tiers of higher education: bachelor (or engineer), master’s and doctoral levels. In order to get the accreditation for running an undergraduate, graduate, or PhD program, a school has to employ a certain minimum number of PhDs with habilitation[2] (or professors with the academic title) and PhDs without habilitation. In one school and one discipline, only two foreign PhDs and PhDs with habilitation (or full professors) can be included into this minimum number. Institutions of higher education can employ foreigners (as well as Poles) without the PhD degree, for instance as instructors and/or language teachers. These teachers will not be, however, included into the minimum mentioned above.

    Institutions of higher education have various kinds of names in Poland. In English, many schools which are formally not universities use the name “university.” In the following, the terms “university” will be used for schools with full academic privileges and the term “school” if we do not need and/or wish to distinguish between universities, academies and other institutions. Vast majority of schools are non-public. Nearly all universities are public. Public schools are usually more prestigious than non-public. Polish universities do not belong to the global elite of institutions of research and higher education. However, neither do Polish commercial institutions.

    According to the newest report issued by the Polish Ministry for Science and Higher Education (see: SIoSW 2012), there are 1,887 foreigners employed full-time on the academic positions in Poland (1,319 with the PhD degree). Foreign academics constitute 1.9% of all scholars working in the country. When one compares the Polish data of 2012 with the above quoted global data of 2001, we would place Poland on the ninth position as regards the percentage of foreign academics. They work here in 270 public and non-public schools (and research institutes). In the academic year 2010/2011, there were in Poland 470 institutions of higher education, 132 public and 338 non-public. 58% of all Polish schools employ foreign academics. From among 1,887 foreign scholars, 629 specialized in social sciences and humanities and 426 in the other large field. The Ministry did not have information about the specialty of others. Countries of origin of top ten groups are: Ukraine  (398), Slovakia (138), Germany (119), Belarus (102), Russia (90), Czech Republic (89), United Kingdom (52), US (51), Lithuania (38). Most of foreign academics work in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, where Warsaw, the national capital and the stronger centre of research and higher education, is the dominant city. Relatively often the academics coming from a particular country are concentrated in a particular Polish region (like Lithuanians in Bialystok) very close to the borders with their countries of origin. Probably they are commuting to work in Poland. Foreigners work in Poland mostly in public institutions. Only 43% of Polish non-public schools, as compared with 93% of the public schools, employ foreigners. Among the public institutions, universities employ the largest number of immigrant (42% of them work here). The largest groups of foreigners work in the best (according to the rankings) schools, those with at least the MA programmes (see: Mucha and Łuczaj 2013).

     

    Examples of research on highly skilled migration (HSM) in Poland

     

    This topic will be developed in a substantive way in the second chapter of this proposal. In this section, suffice it to state the following. Poland has been the country of migrations for centuries. For more than two hundred years it was a country of mass emigration rather than immigration. Among the emigrants, low skilled people dominated. There has been a lot of significant research on this, mostly economic, emigration. Since the Polish access to the European Union in 2004, new wave of economic emigration has been visible. Even during the Communist times, there were some relatively highly skilled temporary immigrants to Poland. They were mostly students, mainly from the “Third World” countries. They were researched both “by themselves” (see, e.g., Carvalho 1990; Zaleh 1995) and by Polish scholars (see, e.g., Nowicka and Łodziński, eds, 1993, Mucha 2000, 2003; see also Szymańska 1997). The post-1989 period of student migration is covered by Cezary Żołędowski (2010). In Polish social sciences there is a growing interest in the HSM nowadays. A synthesizing demographic study by Paweł Kaczmarczyk and Marek Okólski (2005) was already quoted. The concrete, empirical research projects concentrate on experts and managers, from economic (see, e.g., Przytuła, ed, 2011) or sociological (see, e.g., Piekut 2013) points of view[3]. A summary of findings on immigration to Poland was published recently (Górny et al. 2010).

    Emigration of academics was studied both before and after 1989. However, very few findings were published (see, e.g., Hryniewicz et al. 1997, Jałowiecki and Gorzelak 2004). Young emigrating Polish scholars (mainly after the Polish accession to the EU) were studied by foreign scholars (see, e.g., Ackers and Gill 2008). Recently, an important book on the return migration of Polish scholars was published in Poland (Wagner 2011). The importance of such a kind of migration is visible in context of “Homing Plus” project launched by the Foundation’s for Polish Science (FNP), which is dedicated exclusively to the returning academics. The results of the “Polonez programme” (targeted at foreign academics, see: https://www.ncn.gov.pl/ogloszenia/konkursy/polonez1) inaugurated in 2015 by the National Science Centre will be possible to assess not earlier than in a couple of years. In this research project we focus on the scholars who came to Poland without an incentive such a special grant for foreigners. This may serve as the solid ground for further analysis and comparisons.

     

    This research proposal. Research questions

     

    As presented in the above sections of this chapter, there hardly are available research findings on foreigners in the Polish academic system. This is surprising in the view of a number of important facts and approaches (inside and outside of the migration studies), presented below.

    1. The percentage of foreign scholars is slightly lower than in many countries higher developed than Poland, but it does not deviate very much from them.
    2. There exist interesting research reports on economic immigration and on asylum seekers and refugees.
    3. Any immigration opens up the issue of public policy which attracts a lot of public and scientific attention in Poland (and in other countries).
    4. There is a lot of criticism of inbreeding in the academic system in Poland. In many debates, the employing of very good foreign researchers is presented as one of the instruments to open the system to new, fruitful ideas.
    5. International mobility, including the employment of experienced and knowledgeable foreign researchers, is often presented in public debates, as one of the instruments to bridge the gap between the leading world universities and the Polish ones.
    6. There has been a very long tradition of migration studies in the Polish humanities and social sciences. It concentrated on mass low-skilled emigration until now.
    7. There has been equally long tradition of ethnic studies in Poland. Scholars have researched the functioning of established and “new” ethnic communities, large groups and small groups, territorially concentrated groups and territorially dispersed groups,
    8. Social theory offers a number of interesting approaches which can be used on the new research field.

    Since there hardy exists comprehensive quantitative or qualitative sociological and anthropological knowledge on the foreign academics employed in Poland, the main goal of the proposed research project is to analyze and explain the Polish situation as well as to bridge this gap between Western and Polish scholarship. Methodology will be presented in the following chapters but the research field, research problems and research questions are as follows.

     

    The first research subfield is a broadly understood sociology of science and production of scientific knowledge. Both the perspective of the individual foreign migrating academics and the perspective of the Polish host research institutions will be taken into account. In general, research questions concern, in this area:

     

    1. the flow of educational and research career (including migration flow of the scholars),
    2. recruitment of individual foreigners from the perspective of the Polish research institutions (reasons, procedures, expected advantages and disadvantages),
    3. foreigner’s contribution to research and academic teaching in Poland,
    4. his/her ways of collaboration within the research teams in Poland; cultural problems of communication in the research team work and in teaching; possible tensions between the earlier internalized roles of scholars and Polish roles of scholars,
    5. his/her problems in the legal and institutional work environment in Poland,
    6. his/her comparative evaluation of the research (and work in general) conditions in his/her Polish institution, quality of the student body, etc.
    7. his/her international research collaboration during the stay in Poland, with particular stress on collaboration with research institutions in the country of origin; “invisible colleges”,
    8. global ethnic diaspora of researchers coming from his/her country of origin.

     

    The second subfield is the functioning of the foreign scholar (and his/her family) within the host culture and society. Most of scholars migrate individually (or with immediate families) and settle in Poland in a new cultural environment. Therefore, social psychology of culture contact, sociology of ethnicity and immigration (also “postmigration ethnicity”), as well as socio-cultural anthropology of acculturation will inform this perspective on the functioning of foreign scholars in Poland. In general, research questions concern in this area on:

    1. the impact of close family (including parents) on the migration decisions of the foreign scholar, transnational and intergenerational caregiving,
    2. functioning of the immediate family (spouses, children, if any in Poland); language, education of children, employment of the spouse, circle(s) of close friends – Polish and foreign,
    3. levels of his/her (and family’s) acculturation to the Polish culture; their participation in local and national culture in Poland; possible “mediation” between the culture of origin and Polish culture,
    4. religious life,
    5. “pre-migration” (actually, before coming to Poland) period, expectations concerning the future stage(s) of migration,
    6. “culture shock” during the history of foreign scholar’s migration flow, in particular in Poland; “uprootedness” and the “U-curve” (see below),
    7. ethnic diaspora of the foreign scholar in Poland; its functioning,
    8. pan-ethnic communities of foreign scholars in Poland,
    9. migration as a lifestyle.

    The significance of answers to these questions will be addressed at the end of the next chapter of the proposal.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROJECT

     

    Introduction. General concepts and approaches

     

    This project is based on some concepts as well as models and theories strongly connected with them. The most important concepts are: brain circulation, flows of people and knowledge, knowledge transfers, migration networks, transmigrations, diasporas, panethnic communities, family in unstable environment, culture contact, acculturation, uprootedness, liquid identity, modernity and neomodernity.

    Contemporary research on academic migration is generally carried out from three distinct (but sometimes overlapping) perspectives: the broadly understood sociology of science, migration studies, which sometimes resembles ethnic studies, as well as the broadly understood sociology of work. In next sections of this proposal, particular problems will be presented which are usually investigated within such broad fields, as well as methodologies which are being used to face these problems.

     

    Brain circulation, knowledge transfers

     

    Migrations of scientists (and, more broadly, of highly skilled specialists) are often analyzed in terms of brain drain. This concept (and its transformations) is useful if one wants to briefly present various phenomena characterizing the multifaceted and multidirectional migrations of scientists in the world which is far from equilibrium, world in which centers, semi-peripheries and peripheries are shifting all the time, and individual countries have various interests related to the production of knowledge. The notion “brain drain” refers to a phenomenon in which people of a high level of skills, qualifications, and competence leave their countries and emigrate. One major case of the brain drain happens when students from developing countries studying in the developed countries decide not to return home after their studies” (see, e.g., Baruch et al. 2007). The term first appeared in 1963 and it initially referred to British scientists and technologists who sought work in the US (Hart 2007). Globalization, increasing significance of phenomena called transmigration and transnationality, shifts of centers of technology, internationalization of scientific activities, above mentioned multidirectional character of migrations, all demanded new ideas. Concepts like talent flow, brain gain and brain circulation became more and more popular (see, e.g., Jałowiecki and Gorzelak 2004; Baruch et al. 2007; Fontes 2007; Ackers and Gill 2008). According to Bohdan Jałowiecki and Grzegorz Gorzelak, while the brain drain processes are in general spontaneous, the brain gain processes are usually organized, both by governmental programmes and non-governmental organizations. Brain drain ideas became considered too simplistic when the migration scholars learnt that with the obvious lack of symmetry in this exchange, all partners gain (to a different extent and in different sense, though), and costs, unequally divided, again, are shared by all parties. However, even in 2014 this concept informs some interesting empirical studies, not only in historical contexts (see, e.g., Galan and Agasisti 2014; Breda 2014).

    Scientists are a specific part of the broader category of highly skilled migrants. Spatial mobility of researchers has been, for centuries, a significant aspect of the habitus of the world of knowledge production and its main characteristics are the relatively independent and individual way of the organization of migration, stimulated by the ambition to achieve higher prestige and recognition and founded on the networks of professional relations, built by the individual persons. Economic motivations are obviously important, but in many cases they do not necessarily mean the wish to increase individual income, but rather to get access to well equipped labs and libraries, to the tacit aspect of the knowledge production, built upon the personal contacts with recognized scientists, and to the access to other coveted resources.

    In the scholarly literature, the term “foreign scientists” (or migrant scientists) is usually employed with reference to people born abroad. Rafael Alarcon, describing the American situation, introduced four types of highly skilled migrants coming from developing countries: a) children of immigrant families, b) former employees of subsidiaries of U.S. companies located abroad, c) former foreign students at U.S. universities, and d) ‘high-tech braceros’. Children of immigrants, regardless of the place of birth, usually are, culturally very similar to Americans. If they came to the US before the grade school, they will speak English fluently with no foreign accent (Alarcon 1999, 2007). Dongbin Kim and her colleagues distinguish incoming researchers into two groups: those who immigrated without college education and those who came with foreign college  education. These two collectivities are to have completely different cultural experiences what reflect in their success in the US (see: 2011). However, the latter factor seems to be important not only in the US.

    Separating research on migrating scholars from other migration studies (within the field of HSM) is here both difficult and necessary. Many foreign scholars migrated when they were university students, so understanding their initial situation in the host country would require one to refer to research on migrating students. There were numerous studies of this kind both within sociology and social psychology (some, Polish, were already quoted; see also, recently, Lowell 2005; Alberts and Hazen 2005; Galent, Goddeeris and Niedźwiedzki 2008; Findlay 2011; Mosneaga and Winther 2013). There are also reports presenting statistical data on recent migration of students (see: OECD 2013). These works highlight, among others, the “culture shock” which will be taken into account in the context of the proposed research. Studies on the highly skilled migrants are often conducted from the point of view of the sending country, but in this proposal the point of view of the host country is dominant. Another important context in the research on scientists is migration of foreign engineers employed in research laboratories (see, e.g., Saxenian 2000; Bozeman and Corley 2004). Their positions do not differ much from the positions of university researchers as both groups often operate in a host culture which is different than their own home culture and they face similar challenges, using similar resources. However, research lab engineers do not teach students, and belong to different (usually even more globalized) organizational cultures than academics do. The same can be said about foreign experts and managers. Furthermore, according to the findings, the latters’ organizational and emotional relationship with the host country is usually much weaker than in the case of scholars. Academic organizational cultures and participation of scholars in ethnic immigrant cultures are very interesting to this proposed study. It is also to deal with their relationships with global academic cultures and with their particular home country, where they may return and where they can work in future. At the same time, the experience of immigration itself may be similar in the case of scientists, engineers, experts and managers. The issues related to the “return” to the home country and its academic institutions open up another interesting field, namely, return migration studies (see, e.g., Morano-Foadi, 2005; Delicado 2011; Bielsa et al. 2014). These fields are very important in themselves, and they are also associated with a new culture shock.

    Thus, while focusing on the migration of scientists, one is not able to completely skip the methodology of research on spatial mobility of similar populations, its determinants and consequences.

     

    Culture Contact

     

    We can put the studies on migrating scholars into a broader category of research on the relationship between foreigners and the host cultures and societies in which they live for a time. One has to bear in mind the fact that in the modern and postmodern globalized transnational migrations (in particular HSM) we have rather to do with flows of movements in a number of directions (again, leading “boundaryless lives”) and not only with emigration and (sometimes) return migration. However, to simplify the model, one can limit it for a moment to three stages. The culture contact as an aspect of social change has been, for decades, studied by anthropologists (see, e.g., Malinowski 1945; Herskovits 1958). The individualized culture contact was researched during the last decades mostly by social psychology (see: Bochner, ed. 1982). It has many important aspects for this proposal.

    The culture contact is a complex social process. The first stage begins already in the migrant’s country of origin. It is here where the decision whether a person will go abroad and to which country (or even: which region) is taken. For the actual course of the following direct culture contact it is important if there is in the country of origin a “generalized communication intention” with the outside world and adequate general and detailed information on the potential host society. Therefore, one can study the situation before the actual culture contact, but mostly in an indirect and “post factum” way.

    The second stage is the actual contact, taking place in the host country. If the return or further migration is considered, it is a period of “in-betweenness”, a period which begins in many cases with a more or less strong (already mentioned in this proposal) culture shock in the sense of Kalervo Oberg (1960). The strength of this shock depends, at least partially, on the level of preparation of the sojourner for the contact, on the support from people being in similar situation, on the routine, regular work, friendly contacts with the “natives”. Oscar Handlin, a great student of mass and collective immigration to America, was talking about the “uprooting” processes, and this concept was later adopted by social psychologists (1951). Social psychologists studying similar (but much less dramatic) issues put forward the “U-curve hypothesis”. According to Hwa-Bao Chang, this hypothesis “asserts that a foreign student has a favorable attitude toward the host country upon his arrival, has an unfavorable attitude during the adjustment stage and has favorable attitude during the post-adjustment stage” (Chang 1973). This concept was later refined and revised (see, e.g., Klineberg 1980). The stage under consideration is a period of “liminality”, of keeping the old ways and simultaneously learning the new ways. This is the period when the individualized “third culture” in the sense of Bronisław Malinowski (1945) is born, a period of the development of “internal cultural pluralism” in the sense of  Jerzy J. Smolicz (1979).

    Finally, in some cases, we can identify the third stage of the contact, the stage of the return home to the migrant’s “old country” where he/she will have to re-adjust to the “old culture”. In this period, the sojourner quite often becomes a “cultural ambassador” of the former host society. If the migrant goes to a third country, he/she may experience next culture shock, next uprootedness, next liminality. We are not able to learn much about this third period from the migrant during his/her stay in the host society, but the sojourner can at least anticipate his/her future situation. It is also possible that the third stage does not happen at all, if the foreigner stays in the host society.

    The proposed study is to concentrate on the second stage, the phase of the direct post-migration culture contact between the foreign scholars and the host society.

     

    Migrating families of scholars and their lives

     

    Only recently it has become clear that the assumption that academics in migration are independent and highly individualized individuals who freely decide about their career paths was proved to be false (see, e.g., Ackers and Gill 2008). Therefore, important part of any HSM project must be devoted to the – actually under-researched – family life and situation of migrating families. Although, in the relevant literature this topic is missing, one can distinguish four types of such family situations: (1) migrating scholars do not have their own family at all, (2) they have a family that migrate with them (in such situation their members also have to learn how to function in new social settings), (3) migrating scholar has a partner coming from the host society and creates with him/her a family there, (4) their partner and child(ren) stay in the sending country.

    In the literature the difference between women’s and men’s situations in the academic world is often underlined. It is usually strictly connected to the issue of work-life balance and decisions about parenthood (see: Marotte et al. 2011; Evans and Grant 2008; Siemieńska and Zimmer 2007; Wagner 2011). Additionally the character of academic migration is also different for women and men (see, e.g., Sassen 2000; Slany 2008; Urbańska 2015). The in-depth interviews can reveal how the decision about migration is made, what are the patterns of gender division of domestic and care work in families, how the migration affects the decision of (not) having children and the career of scholars’ partners/spouses. Situation of female and male partners would substantially differ. Since the overwhelming majority of foreign scholars in Poland are men the question is how female partners of migrating academics function on the Polish labour market, if they have an opportunity to find paid work or rather they concentrate on unpaid work within the household. In the latter case the migration would reinforce the traditional gender order. The situation of male partners is also important here. In the situation of migrating female scholars a crucial issue is motherhood and care work. Migrating female scholars face different than men expectations about their parenting, in consequences they experience more conflicts as dealing with work-life balance.

    The second important aspect is an experience of family functioning within a newly experienced culture and society. Again the situation on the labour market is relevant, but also the problem with language barrier, cultural differences, as well as the relations with other people, such as new friends or colleagues. In case of parents the issue of children’s education and leisure time should be also investigated. Neighbourhood, structure and culture of the host city, interactions with the urban environment, are important for both the immigrant and his/her family and the long-term residents (see, e.g., Petermann and Schönwälder 2014). Migrating scholars and their families are “aliens” with relatively high social status what is a very important factor which may influence the urban interactions under consideration.

    Finally, an important element of the family perspective on academic migration is the impact of migration on internal family relations, conflicts and the ways of solving them in the new social settings. In case of foreign scholars who are in a relationship with the “native”, one should analyze how the cultural differences affect their family life but also how the “native” partner helps to function in the host culture and society.

     

    Research areas dominant in the recent literature

     

    In the journal papers related to academic migration (and to some extent to the migration of other highly skilled specialists) one can notice a number of particular research areas, as presented below. They were grouped here into sections with some interesting examples.

    From a demographic point of view, the first research area deals with patterns of spatial mobility: places from which immigrants come to the scientific centers where they have been identified, life (or only career) trajectories of migrating scholars, or the concentration of scientists from one home country in another host country (whether or not this concentration occurs, and if so, why and where) (see, e.g., Hakala 1998; Franzoni 2012; Ngoma and Ismail 2013). Many studies on patterns of academic mobility are focused on large populations of migrating scholars, but there are also opinions questioning usefulness of such studies. For example, Grit Laudel suggests that a premium should be put rather on scientific elites, for those are people, as opposed to the wandering masses, who contribute vastly to the development of knowledge. At the same time it is the emigration of scientific elites and not that of the average scientists, which constitutes a great loss to the country of origin, and a big gain for the host country. This issue, of course, opens up the debate on who belongs to the scientific elite (Laudel 2005).

    It is a widely known fact that spatial mobility, even if we consider only the “proactive” migrants (Richmond 1994), does not take place in a social vacuum, and the main context of migration is not always the nation state. Scholars (and other highly skilled specialists) migrate with their families, and use their own, or their friend’s and colleagues’ personal and institutional contacts in many countries. Maggi Leung analyzed how, in the case of relationships between German and Chinese research communities, migration “chains” and “corridors” are being used. Chains are individual intergenerational contacts between professors and younger academics supported by the first ones. Corridors are research institutions, in which the exchange takes place (Leung 2011).

    The second research area is a broadly understood environment of work. One of the particular issues examined here are the career paths of talented migrating university graduates to employment in research centers in the host country (Mosneaga and Winther 2012). Alarcon was interested in how the Indian and Mexican engineers and scientists find employment in the U.S. high-tech companies and research laboratories. He also studied more general processes of getting into the high-tech industry (Alarcon 1999). Employment of foreigners in laboratories (industrial and academic) is often connected with the fact that host countries need well-educated specialists but their secondary education system does not provide these in sufficient quantities. This is one of the main causes of the “circulation of brains.” Kim and her colleagues raise the issue of productivity of foreign workers (in the research field) in comparison with “locals” and discusses potential reasons for disparities. She also deals with the issue of satisfaction with the work of foreign scholars and its determinants (2011). Since the work in industrial design offices or labs requires knowledge of a host country’s language or English, students of this area were also interested in the question of how language proficiency affects careers of immigrants (see, e.g. Chiswick and Taegnoi 2007). Kumju Hwang studied a language barrier in research laboratories, and its impact on the communication and the evolution of leadership relationships (Hwang 2008, 2012). Similar studies were conducted by Marko Monteiro and Elizabeth Keating (2009). Collaborative scientific work in multicultural societies, such as in the United States, is affected also by ethnicity. The impact of the nationalities of the heads of laboratories on the ethnic composition of these labs was examined, for example, by Tanyildiz (2013). G. Chellaraj and colleagues studied the effect of immigration of highly skilled workers (and foreign graduate students) on the dynamics of technological innovations in the U.S. (Chellaraj et al. 2004).

    The third research area is the functioning of the global world of science. From this perspective, migrating scholars were considered as potential links between home and host countries. Ana Delicado, who generally deals with return migrations of scholars, devoted some of her papers to such questions as how migrating academics maintain bonds with colleagues from different countries where they work; how they themselves contributed to the internationalization of research and building bridges between national academic circles; and if they publish in renown international journals (see, e.g., Delicado 2009; 2010; 2010a; 2011). Margarida Fontes examines similar issues: the formation of international networks of knowledge production, as well as social (e.g. institutional and interactional) and cultural (e.g. a new culture shock) problems of those scholars who have decided to return to the home country after emigration (see, e.g., Fontes 2007; Fontes et al. 2012). Research focused on Russians who applied for scholarships in Germany and their intentions to return to their home country afterwards were conducted by Andreas Siegert. He stressed the fact that it is not only the possibility of obtaining a good job in the home country that may influence the decision to return. Some ideological beliefs (like patriotism) and confidence in the political system of the home country should also be taken into account (Sieger 2011).

    Fourth, on the intersection of the global problems of the world of science and the problems of national academic systems, the issue of national academic diasporas becomes more and more important. This was examined by Fontes, as well as Mihaela Nedelcu, who analyzed a Romanian online scientific diaspora (2008).

    Fifth, research on communities of highly skilled “expats,” who work and live in a particular foreign country is worth mentioning. It is difficult to find such studies focused on academics, but one can single out, for example, a project on work and life of a very heterogeneous population of highly qualified foreign specialists in Warsaw (Piekut 2013). The author raises issues of familiarity and strangeness, tensions between the willingness to change one’s life and the need for stability, social distances, “familiarized” social spaces, relations with Poles, etc. An interesting current in the migration studies concerns the spatial mobility as a “lifestyle”. Mostly educated people of means, with “civilizing mission” and idealized perception of place and local realities in the host society settle in less developed countries than their own. Sometimes they just want to escape and live better in a country where the life is slower than it is in their homeland  (see, e.g., Spalding 2013; O’Reilly and Benson 2009).

    Another research area is the ethnic integration (conceptual and theoretical issues related to differences between ethnic integration, assimilation, acculturation, adaptation, etc., will not be discussed here). Yehuda Baruch and his colleagues analyzed the perception of differences between ethnic cultures and labor markets among foreign graduate students of management at American and British universities, and considered divergent interests in a long-term stay abroad as a consequence of these perceptions (2007). In Asia, namely in Singapore, a quite similar studies were conducted by Brenda Yeoh and her colleagues (Yeoh 2013; Yeoh and Huang 2004, Yeoh and Eng 2008, Yeoh and Yap 2008). Singaporean official policy aims at creating “a city of international talent.” Hence, issues such as integration of talented and highly skilled migrants with the city residents, both on the workplace level and local community level; daily routine activities, lifestyles, types of social interaction, dynamics of attachment to the city, are very important research topics here. Social policy studies, in the context of HSM, seem to be increasingly important area of research, not only in East Asia (see, e.g., Skeldon 2009; Boucher and Cerna 2014; Cerna 2014). There is a growing understanding of the social policy aspects of immigration to Poland (see, e.g., Szymańska-Zybertowicz 2011) and of emigration from Poland (see, e.g., Lesińska and Okólski, eds, 2013).

     

    This proposal and its contribution to the social research on migration

     

    Answers to the first set of questions presented in the first chapter of this proposal should help to find strong empirical arguments in the general debates on the impact of the HSM on the modernization of scientific culture of the host country. They should also indicate similarities and difference between immigrant scholars in Poland and in other countries.

    Answers to the second set of questions should help to put the work (research and teaching) situation of foreign scholars in Poland into a broader cultural and social-psychological context. Foreign scholars come to host countries with various goals in mind. They function not only in labs, lecture halls and libraries but also within families, ethnic communities in Poland, Polish culture and the culture of the country of origin. As mentioned earlier, there exists information on the functioning of other HSM collectivities and on low skilled immigrant communities, so this research should contribute to the comparisons within Poland as well as between Poland and other countries with HSM.

    If immigration (in particular HSM) to Poland increases, the finding should inform and help to shape the social policy in this country.

     

    1. WORK PLAN

     

    The project has been divided into 6 major research tasks (RT):

    1. Foreign Scientists in Poland (I): Solving the problems with the definition of this collectivity (Constructing and testing the research tool).
    2. Foreign Scientists in Poland (II): content analysis of the public domain materials (websites).
    3. Way of Life and Motivations to Work in Poland (I): development of a conceptual framework.
    4. Way of Life and Motivations to Work in Poland (II): conducting interviews and analysing qualitative data.
    5. A Professor-Student Relationship: conductingparticipant observation of classes taught byforeignscholarsat Polish universities and analysing the results.
    6. Foreign Scientists in Poland (III): developing a model of migration of highly skilled workers.

     

    The detailed order and the duration of each task are also presented on a Gantt Chart, which has been attached below.

     

     

     

    The research project is a development of previous research activity of Janusz Mucha and Kamil Łuczaj, which resulted, among others, in the article that discusses, in the quantitative way, the presence and distribution of foreign scholars throughout the country (Mucha 2013; Mucha and Łuczaj 2013), the methodological paper by the same authors (Mucha and Łuczaj 2014), and the paper based on the content analysis of the websites of universities located in Cracow (Mucha and Luczaj 2016, in press). We have also conducted the pilot interview study comprised of 23 qualitative interviews with foreign professors and PhDs  from this city. The methodological findings of this study will inform the final research tool to be used in the proper, nationwide, project.

    The financial support from NCN is intended to significantly expand our primary, explorative, research. We would like to conduct interviews on a nationwide sample, using quota sampling (on the grounds of nationality of a scholar and type of institution: public and non-public, minor and major scientific importance).  The pilot study enabled us to 1) create the initial version of the interview scenario, 2) identify the patterns of migration trajectories, 3) create the tentative structure of codes, which will serve as a basis for the final research, 4) identify the sensitive areas of interviews and the issues which the interviewer may encounter (e.g. language barrier, both in Polish and English language, definition of sensitive problems, set of stimulus materials to be used during the interviews, e.g. statements to be assessed, photos, video material).

    Interviews will be divided into two parts. The first will contain questions concerning the life course and motivations of migrating scholars as well as the institutional context of their mobile careers. The second will be devoted to the family life and gender roles.

    In the first stage of the study, based on our past experience, we would like to once again address the theoretical issues such as definition of the collectivity in question and ways of reaching the respondents. This will allow us to improve the tools used so far. These, in turn, will allow us to carry out an extensive analysis of the content of websites of all Polish universities. Then we will conduct approximately 100 interviews with foreign academics in Poland.

    Moreover, we would like to examine one additional issue: the attitude of students towards the group of our interest. The answer to the question of how students evaluate the performance and competence of foreign scholars will be possible through participant observation of their classes. This particular task, unlike all the remaining ones, should be considered exploratory because the interviews will allow us only to produce some hypotheses but not to test them. The observation will be focused on communication skills (language, cultural knowledge, rules and customs), and the subjective assessment of those issues by students. Second main part of the observation diary (see the chapter on Methodology) is related to attitude of students towards foreigners (e.g. stereotypes, fear, or, on the other hand, respect, reverence).

     

    1. METHODOLOGY

     

    The project is based on three different research methods: a/ the content analysis of webpages (see, e.g., Krippendorff 2004; Nawojczyk 2010), b/ the qualitative interviews, and c/ the participant observation (see, e.g., Konecki 2000; Gobo 2009; Denzin and Lincoln 2009).

    Analysis of webpages of Polish universities is meant to identify foreign scholars working in Poland. It will be carried out on the basis of the recording sheet, divided into five main categories focused, respectively, on (1) the employment, (2) basic demographic information, (3) the scientific career of each person, (4) the history of his/her migration, as well as (5) teaching duties in Poland. All Polish public and private universities will be analyzed by a team of three graduate students (coders). According to the most up-to-date information from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland we have 467 universities, of which 326 are private schools. Thus, each coder will have to analyze approximately 150 university websites. The unit of analysis is, however, not the university, but an individual scholar (who holds at least a PhD).

    At some universities, there are publicly accessible lists of staff, which makes it easier to search for foreign scholars. In other cases, the coder has to analyze the pages of all organizational units (schools, departments, institutes etc.) which together create the university. It is quite a laborious job, which depends of the size of an institution. Furthermore, the data related to every individual scholar is meant to be found in Google. As our pilot study has shown the detailed analysis of one scholar takes approximately 1.5-2.5 hours.

    The main problem with content analysis is associated with the criteria for the identification of scholars. Referring to the solutions adopted in the international studies, mainly the “onomastic method” (see, e.g., Salentin 2014, Recchi 2015),  we initially classify as a ‘foreigner’ a person who was holding foreign or ethnic first name and last name (e.g. Petra Berg), foreign last name, even if it is accompanied by neutral or Polish first name (e.g. Adam Savigny) or foreign first name accompanied by Polish last name (e.g. Noam Kowalski). However, further scrutiny shows to what extent the first criterion was correct. In all cases coders were obliged to use the Google search engine in order to verify whether the person actually is a foreigner (especially in the second and third case). It will allow us to eliminate the situation when scholars with foreign first or last names will be invited for an interview despite the fact they were raised in Poland and are Poles from the ethnic point of view. We adopted also two additional criteria for the classification someone as a foreigner:

    1) the citizenship (if one has a foreign citizenship, he/she is treated as a foreigner; if one is Polish citizen, the criterion no. 2 applies),

    2) the country in which the person achieved a MA, or equivalent title (if one completed them abroad, and a person has a foreign name, he/she is treated as a foreigner).

    Our pilot study (interviews) indicated that there are people in case of who researchers have sound, “objective”, reasons to classify them as foreigners (e.g. place of birth, family bonds, language) but who at the same time did not feel like foreigners, because they treat themselves as Poles. Because of that, each interview will be preceded by a screening call, the main point of which is to ask about subjective self-identification. Due to the anthropological spirit of our research, this self-identification will be an important information.

    Interviews used in the project have the form of individual encounter with a selected scholar. Again, we intend to employ the quota sampling here (based on: the nationality and field of expertise of the researcher as well as private or public employer). Each of 100 interviews with scientists is conducted on the basis of instructions for the interviewer. Such a number will allow us to achieve data saturation. In the pilot study we used an instruction sheet based on 50 questions, focused on the family situation of the interviewee; the lives of other foreigners coming from the same country; the scientific life of an interviewee; motivations to come to Poland; Polish language; assessment of Poland as a country to live and conduct research and interviewee’s plans for the future. Each individual interview will be recorded and subsequently transcribed. Transcription is then encoded using specialized software (e.g. MaxQDA or NVivo). The encoded version of the transcription will serve as a source material for the analysis.

    In the entire project, due to relatively small population of potential interviewees (approximately 1900 scholars), data will be anonymized and the way of presenting it will exclude the possibility of identifying individual people, i.e. in some justified cases we may need to omit some information in order to ensure the anonymity of our interviewees. For instance, we may refer to someone as a “chemist from the former USSR”, instead of explicitly quoting Moldova as his or her homeland (because there is a very limited number of chemists from Moldova in Poland). The ethics and privacy policy is more important than some, potentially relevant, pieces of information, which we will be obliged to hide. Nevertheless, we are convinced that this data is not substantial, and the analysis, as well as our final answers to key question, will not suffer from hiding it.

    A participant observation, the additional element of our project, due to the ethnographic nature of this part of study, will be conducted on a small purposeful sample. We would like to follow the real cultural practices of foreign scholars in their interactions with Polish colleagues and students. We would like to reach comparable number of men and women as well as a comparable number of scholars specializing in science and humanities/social sciences. Three observers will be attending selected classes of a foreign professor for three months, and observe them as well as the attitudes of students. Observation will be partly covert, i.e. a scholar will be asked for permission to participate in the study, but he/she will not know which particular classes will be observed. The task of the observer will be to fill out a diary. From the technical point of view the diary will be divided into four sections. The first will be the focused on the lecture itself (with a particular focus on language and communication skills of the lecturer). The second one will address the attitudes of students in the classroom (reception of the lecture and the language of the lecturer; all non-verbal communication). The third part will cover the results obtained during conversations with the students before and after each class (reception of the lecturer, attitude towards other foreign lecturers). In the fourth part of a diary each of ethnographers will be able to put his/her additional observations and suggestions for interpretation.

     

     

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    [1] The analytical part of this research proposal draws partly upon Mucha 2013 as well as Mucha and Łuczaj 2013.

    [2] In short, a second doctorate. The habilitation degree is a necessary requirement to get any academic position higher than assistant professor. The habilitation process can be compared to tenure review in the US.

    [3] Another topics which will not be covered here are: low skilled, documented and undocumented economic immigrants from Europe, Asia or Africa (see, e.g., Halik 2006) as well as asylum seekers and refugees (see, e.g., a summary in Ząbek and Łodziński 2008). Also, very significant issue of public policy and social work will not be directly addressed here (see, e.g., Szymańska-Zybertowicz 2011; see also Lesińska and Okólski, eds, 2013), but it will be taken into account.