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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

A life course approach to highly skilled migration: migrant biographies of Indians in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

Principal researcher

Anu Kõu

Type of research



Prof. dr. Leo van Wissen (promotor)

Prof. dr. Jouke van Dijk (co-promotor)

Dr. Ajay Bailey (daily supervisor)


By using the lens of the life course, this project views migration behaviour not only in response to labour market triggers, but also in relation to other domains of life. I n order to gain insights into the complexities of migration behaviour and to link experiences throughout the migration process, we adopt a biographic approach that embeds the specific migration decisions in the life course contexts of high-skilled Indian migrants in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. We focus on the interrelationships between the parallel careers of migration, education, employment and household. Furthermore, we highlight the influence from significant others in structuring the migration trajectories of high-skilled Indians through the linked lives mechanism, as well as the role played by institutional factors, such as immigration policies. The analysis enables us to understand the migration process through the lives of the highly skilled and reveals how the often culturally conditioned life course interdependencies shape their migration decisions.

Last modified:07 August 2020 3.04 p.m.