Beyond the Western Core-Periphery Model: Analysing Scientific Mobility and Collaboration in the Middle East and North Africa

09/16/2020 ∙ by Jamal El Ouahi, et al. ∙ 0

This study investigates the scientific mobility and international collaboration networks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region between 2008 and 2017. The main goal is to establish mobility and collaboration profiles at the region and country levels. By using affiliation metadata available in scientific publications, we track international scientific mobility and collaboration networks in the region. Three complementary approaches allow us to obtain a detailed characterization of scientific mobility. First, we study the mobility flows for each country to uncover the main destinations and origins of mobile scholars. Results reveal geographical, cultural, historical, and linguistic proximities. Cooperation and exchange programs also contribute to explain some of the observed flows. Second, we introduce mobile scientists' academic age. The average academic age of migrant scholars in MENA between 2008 and 2017 was about 12.4 years. For most countries, immigrants are relatively younger than emigrants, except for Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, and Turkey. Scholars who migrated to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Jordan and Morocco were in average younger than emigrants by 1.5 year from the same countries. The academic age group 6-to-10 years is the most common for both emigrant and immigrant scholars. Third, we analyse gender differences of scholars. We observe a clear gender gap in terms of scientific mobility: Male scholars represent the largest group of migrants in MENA countries. We conclude discussing the policy relevance of the scientific mobility and collaboration aspects and discuss limitations and further research.



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