and this perception can be conceptualized in a hierarchical manner. Ruralparents feel that the quality of teaching is better in the town rather thanthe village, those in provincial towns see schools in capital cities as of ahigher standard, and those in capital cities look to institutions overseas toprepare their children for life in a globalizing economy. Irrespective of whether this perception of educational standard is correct, two criticalfactors enter into the equation: availability of the service and cost. Goodsecondary schools are rarely available in isolated, rural parts of developing countries and the tertiary institutions that are best endowedtend to be located overseas. Even where education is nominally providedby the state or through scholarships, costs are involved where amovement to a school or university away from the home area is involved.As in the case of accessibility, these costs rise in a hierarchical mannerthrough the levels of education, and children leaving their communities topursue their education tend to come from the relatively more advantagedgroups at each level. Education has become a multi-million dollar migrantindustry, particularly at the global level. (Skeldon, 2005) The UNESCO (2005) database provides information on the bilateralstocks of students in higher levels of tertiary education at mostdestinations and allows some insight into the principal sources of studentsin the global system. Of the five countries that dominate the destinationsfor students to pursue tertiary education: It can be seen that
rapid rise inthe numbers of students in Australia in the most recent years for whichdata are available surely cannot be disassociated from that country'spolicy of offering graduates permanent residence status upon graduation(see Hugo 2005).Also, migration of students is seen by some observers as a form of migration of young and qualified labour. In several receiving countries, ithas been easier to switch from a student to worker status than to migrateas fully qualified employee (SOPEMI, 2001; Kofman, 2003).Although the developed countries clearly benefit from themovement of the skilled, it would be difficult to argue that the reason fortheir continuing economic success is predicated upon the importation of skilled migrants from overseas.
Equally, it is difficult to conclude that themigration of students necessarily prejudices the development of thecountries of origin. The reason being the return of a proportion of thosestudents as skilled returnees has surely contributed to the sustainedeconomic growth in that region. Interestingly enough the outflow of skilledmigrants may benefit countries of origin in ways other than through thelater return of some of those migrants with enhanced skills. Stark (2003),in an elegant model, argues that in a closed economy, or a small openeconomy with no migration, there is a tendency to under-invest in humancapital. This tendency is reduced when emigration becomes an option and,despite some losses through migration, the overall average level of humancapital in the economy rises.What does appear clear, however, is that investments are made inhuman capital before the option of international migration becomesavailable and unemployment among the educated is an issue in someeconomies.
That is, economies in developing countries may have difficultyabsorbing the human capital made available to it. Migration, in this case,becomes an economic safety valve (Skeldon, 2005). If the trainedmanpower does not secure employment in the country it stands as a lostcause to the economy anyway, but the migration at least brings benefit tothe individual migrants and their families. However, the economy, too, can