This project, led by Dr Majella Kilkey and with Professor Louise Ryan as Co-I, is a collaboration funded through the World Universities Network between the Universities of Sheffield, Alberta, Ghana, Sydney, Dublin, Western Australia, Warsaw and the Open University.

It seeks to develop knowledge and understanding of migrants’ decision-making in the context of shifting migration regimes, focusing on highly skilled health and social care professionals (H&SCPs), such as doctors and nurses. Migration regimes globally are in flux as governments respond to multiple challenges. A common challenge across high-income countries (HICs) is plugging labour-market gaps. Healthcare represents one sector with significant current and future labour demand. Increasingly countries are engaged in a ‘global race for talent’ to attract highly skilled H&SCPs.  Understanding what matters to migrants themselves – i.e. what underpins their decision-making – is a critical, yet overlooked, dimension for governments in destination countries to consider as they re-work their migration policies. It is also important for governments in countries of origin. These predominantly low- and lower-middle-income countries are experiencing significant shortages of H&SCPs, partly because of outward migration. This jeopardises their capacity to meet their own populations’ healthcare needs and to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through virtual platforms and in-person contacts, this project will develop a range of activities, generating sustainable scholarly research with public and policy relevance.