Home Institution

Occidental College

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Islands Studies


The migration of people is a prominent issue in Samoa. According to statistics, Samoa has a high emigration rate compounded with a small yet significant brain drain (Docqueir and Marfouk 2006: 174, 188). More and more skilled Samoans are going abroad for greater economic attainment and career advancement. However, the term brain drain implies that the migration of skilled professionals is a severe loss to the Samoan nation; it does not take into consideration the benefits of migration. The objective of this study is to qualitatively measure the accurateness of the term brain drain when describing the international movement of skill Samoans.

Research was conducted by using both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources consisted of interviews with Samoan government officials and students, educators and staff members of the University of the South Pacific Alafua campus. A survey was also handed out to the students. Secondary sources consisted of available literature on remittances, migration and brain drain.

Results showed that the migration of skilled Samoans provide many benefits to the Samoan society. In conclusion, the term brain drain should be excluded when describing the migration of skilled Samoans because it defines it in a Western derived context that skilled Samoan migration does not fit. The phrase folauga ia tautua has been suggested in its stead.


Education | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


Article Location