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International student mobility and professional insertion: the case of Congolese in Belgium

Andonirina Rakotonarivo, Université catholique de Madagascar
Sophie Vause, Université catholique de Louvain

The importance of student mobility is a characteristic of migration from Democratic Republic of Congo towards Belgium. Unlike other African flows towards Europe which are mainly motivated by labor migration, studies are the main reason for migration for Congolese. Congolese migrants are very highly educated, not only compared to Belgians but also to other foreign borns. But on another hand, Congolese population face higher unemployment rate compared to other groups of migrants. To explore this apparent paradox, this paper attempts to explain the effect of studies in Belgium on professional insertion using original biographic data collected among 279 migrants. We make the hypothesis that Congolese migrants who returned to studies after spending several years in Belgium are more likely to gain access to the labor market, since their resumption of study is often conceived as a strategic adaptation to the existing labor market.

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Presented in Session 60: International migration and human capital