A Qualitative Research of the Causes of Iranian Female Students Immigration to Developed Countries

  •  Sareh Nazari    
  •  Fariba Seyedan    


According to the latest data from United Nations population Fund-UNFPA-in 2015, 244 million people, or 3.3 per cent of the world's population lived outside their country of origin. A number of these migrants are skilled and educated women. This movement usually occurs from developing to developed countries in the world like the US, the UK, Germany, England and so on, to achieve new opportunities and a better life. Iran is a developing country, which is suffering from this serious issue. The aim of this study is to identify the causes of Iranian female students' immigration to developed countries from the perspective of female students of Al-Zahra University. The present qualitative study included 20 master and doctoral female students who were completing their degree programs at this University, through purposive sampling. Data was collected via in-depth, semi structured interviews which were audio-recorded and analyzed by Content analysis method. The main themes and sub-themes were “Economic” (including Unemployment, Low income, Inconsistency between field of education and jobs, Gender discrimination in employment and payments delays), “Educational” (Lack of proper facilities in university, professors' lack of knowledge, lack of public respect for well-educated people in society, and Women’s restrictions in selecting certain academic disciplines), “Socio-political” (Limitation of individual freedom, political pressure, Lack of freedom of speech) and “Personal and Familial” Issues (marriage and parental related factors). The findings present a deeper understanding of the main causes of female migration and why these educated women are less likely to return to Iran.

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