Going Back to Pakistan for Education? The Interplay of Return Mobilities, Education, and Transnational Living

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Erdal, Marta Bivand; Anum Amjad; Qamar Bodla & Asma Rubab (2015) Going Back to Pakistan for Education? The Interplay of Return Mobilities, Education, and Transnational Living, Population, Space and Place 22(8): 836–848.

​This paper explores the ways in which experiences with return migration are intertwined with considerations about education. How is education a part of returnees' stories about return to Pakistan, and what are the implications that can be drawn to better understand return mobilities and transnational living? While the academic discussion of education in relation to migration has been pre-occupied with integration concerns, bringing together literatures on transnational parenting, return migration, and integration, with the intersecting theme of education, provides valuable synergies. The paper draws on 21 semi-structured interviews with returnees from Norway in Pakistani Punjab and focus groups with returnees from Europe and with non-migrants in returnee-areas in Pakistan. We argue that education is one of a few reoccurring issues that return migrants mention as a motivation for returning, alongside various family considerations. For many returnees, education is as much about the cultural Pakistani, or religious Islamic dimensions, as it is about purely academic objectives. Seven different ways in which education and return migration are intertwined are identified and discussed. The paper shows the ways in which education and mobility choices are closely connected, for a particular sub-group of Pakistani migrants' who over their lifespan lead transnational lives.

Read the article here (Open Access)