Conference: Remigration and Brain Gain in the Baltics

The research team at BICEPS  undertook four-year research on the ‘brain drain – brain gain’ process for the Baltics, in particular Latvia, by studying human capital gain and loss resulting from mobility.

When migrants return, the skills, experiences and networks they bring back constitute net human capital gains, often described as brain gain. The aim of the conference is to analyse the practical aspects of this process.

We also look at the future; we asked high school graduates and soon-to-be graduates about their plans and expectations about career and mobility. Sixty percent of students plan to go abroad at some stage of their lives.

We will be joined by thought leaders, practitioners and students to discuss the topic.

The conference is organized as an online event with only speakers present – you are welcome to watch the livestream of the conference on our website. The video record of the conference is available here.

Program of the conference:

11:15 – 11:25
Welcome by Anders Paalzow, SSE Riga Rector

11:30 – 12:15
Discussion on the project

12:30 – 13:15
Presentation & Roundtable: Remigration and brain gain in the Baltics

  • Lisa Andersson, OECD
  • Dalia Petkeviciene, TRIBES LT
  • Andzelika Berga, Latvijas Banka
  • Ričards Križanvskis, UpMatched Impact
  • Zane Culkstena, ERDA
  • Anders Paalzow, SSE Riga
  • Marija Krumina, BICEPS
  • Zane Varpina, SSE Riga/BICEPS
  • Kata Fredheim, SSE Riga/BICEPS

13:15 – 13:45
Insight videos on the project

13:45 – 14:30
Roundtable: Should I stay or should I go?  – Highschool graduates’ plans for the future

  • Dana Narvaiša, Cēsu Primary School
  • Inga Treimane, Riga State 2nd Gymnasium
  • Igors Grigorjevs, Ogre Municipality
  • Alika Prjanisnikova, a student at SSE Riga
  • Anders Paalzow, SSE Riga
  • Marija Krumina, BICEPS
  • Zane Varpina, SSE Riga/BICEPS
  • Kata Fredheim, SSE Riga/BICEPS

14:30 – 14:45
Closing remarks

Remigration and brain gain – why it matters and what we found

Why do migrants return? How do employers think about the skills they bring back? Are they more likely to start an enterprise? We also looked into the future: what are high school graduates’ plans about leaving? These are some of the questions we sought insight about and explore in this four-part video series.

Returning on a jet plane: Why do Baltic migrants return?

Why do migrants in the Baltics choose to return home? Is it for money, lifestyle, or was it planned all along? We explore return migrants’ narratives of return to find out. We also discuss how those who returned during the Covid-19 pandemic made the decision to come back.

Should I stay or should I go? Why and where do Latvian students want to migrate?

As many as 60% of Latvian students consider migration. We discuss why they want to move and find that economic reasons are not the main driving force behind youth migration! Where do they want to go, and why are some of the main questions the research team explores in this research. This matters because migration intentions are a powerful predictor of future migration.

Let’s get started: Entrepreneurship among returnees.

Returnees are more likely to become entrepreneurs than those who did not migrate. Why is that? Is it about funding, ideas, skills or an appetite for risk? The research team discusses the reasons and the benefits: