Learner Profile: Inquirer

As an inquirer, I develop my natural curiosity and take initiative to develop certain sets of skills for personal interest, cumulating towards independence in and a love of learning. In the summer of 2016, I attended in a course by Oxford Royale Academy, a summer school at the University of Oxford, where I studied Human Geography and Mathematics, both of which I am particularly enthusiastic about. Over the course of two weeks, I was able to learn a lot more about my two areas of interest. A few years prior to that, in the summer of 2014, I took part in a two-week Mandarin Immersion Program in Taiwan. I was able to develop my Chinese skills, my love of the language, and my understanding of Chinese culture, as well as obtain a scholarship of HK$10,000. 

 

Evidence 1: Oxford Royale Academy, located in the University of Oxford’s St. Peter’s College

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Evidence 2: Essay on Migration for Human Geography course at Oxford Royale Academy, for which I obtained full marks

Describe the different types of migration. What are the push-pull factors affecting migration and the effects on the exporting and receiving areas?

Migration is known as a permanent or semi-permanent change in where someone lives (Smeed), and the movement of people from one place to another (“Migration Trends”). There are various types of migration, as well as myriad push-pull factors that serve as reasons why people choose to leave or migrate to a certain place. With migration also comes positive and negative effects, on both the origin or exporting area, and the destination or receiving area.

Migration can be separated into different categories that are classified based on where or why one migrates. Internal or national migration is when people migrate within the same country or region, such as moving from Beijing to Shanghai, as both are cities in China (Smeed). Internal migration can be further categorised into urbanisation, the movement of people from rural areas in the countryside to urban areas in towns and cities; suburbanisation, people moving to the suburbs at the outer edges of the city; counterurbanisation, people moving from the cities and suburbs to small towns and villages; and reurbanisation, people who are rich ‘high flyers’ who move back to the cities (New Perspectives Human Geography 32). Contrary to internal migration, there is also international migration, when people migrate from one country to another. As for types of migration that differentiate why people do so, it consists of forced migration, where refugees migrate to escape persecution or natural disasters, voluntary migration, where people move to improve their quality of life, and economic migration, which is migration for work, involving higher salaries or promotions.

Push-pull factors are essentially seen as the motive for migration, specifically concerning the particular positive and negative aspects of a place. Push factors are disadvantages or problems with an area that cause people to leave. They include few jobs, religious persecution (Smeed), high crime, crop failure, drought, flooding, poverty and war, as well as lack of educational or medical facilities, services and safety (“Migration Trends”). On the other hand, pull factors are advantages that entice someone to a new place, including a higher standard of living, more friends and family (Smeed), higher employment, more wealth, better services, good climate, safer, less crime, political stability, more fertile land and lower risk from natural hazards (“Migration Trends”).

Migration has numerous effects on the exporting area, also known as the origin, and the receiving area, also known as the destination, whether they may be positive or negative. There are multiple positive effects of migration on the country of origin. If the country is overpopulated or overcrowded with an excess of people in the area than what it is able to support, the out migration can reduce pressure on the country’s natural resources, land and services (Smeed). Migration also reduces the population density and causes the birth rate to fall, further helping to ease overpopulation (Jackson). In terms of the economy, migrants can send back money to the country of origin through remittances, which is considered to be a form of foreign exchange for the country. In addition, migration allows for increased job opportunities for the locals, and results in knowledgeable and skilful returning migrants (New Perspectives Human Geography 71).

As for the negative effects on the exporting area, they are mainly divided into social and economic effects. On the social side of things, migration often leads to a loss of gender balance, as it is typically men who migrate, and a drop in birth rate (New Perspectives Human Geography 71). Due to the gender imbalance, marriage rates fall and family structures break down. Young people migrating out causes the dependency ratio, which measures the number of people who are economically dependent, to increase, while provoking the loss of cultural leadership and traditions (Jackson). With regards to the effects on the economy, the most skilled and young generally move, known as a “Brain Drain”, leading to a loss of workforce and skill which can badly affect public services, income and economic growth. With less money being raised in government tax revenue, it could potentially be increased to compensate for the loss (Smeed). Moreover, migration reduces inward investment by private companies, which in turn increases dependencies on government initiatives.

Additionally, positive and negative effects can also be seen from the perspective of the receiving area. From a positive point of view, the effects can once again be grouped into two categories of the society and the economy. Migration can impact the society of the receiving area, as there is usually a rise in the birth rate and the younger generations, and the multiethnic society allows for a greater understanding and tolerance of cultures, leading to intermarriage, friendship and peace within the country (New Perspectives Human Geography 71). The learning of new languages can be encouraged as well, which would allow citizens to develop skills for working internationally (Jackson). Concerning the effects on the economy, skill gaps and work in industries that the indigenous population does not want to do are filled, the economy gains, as companies have the best people in the correct posts, and government tax revenues go up due to a larger number of people paying taxes (Smeed).

Finally, negative effects are able to arise from migration in the receiving area. Pressure can be put on public services, housing and infrastructure from the increasing population size, and language and cultural barriers could exist, which would lead to friction, racism, resentment and xenophobia having the potential to develop between the host population and the migrant groups (Smeed). The increasing population size could further cause congestion, overcrowding and an increase or a spread in disease, as well as an imbalance in gender and facilities being geared towards the dominant group (New Perspectives Human Geography 71). Aspects of cultural identity may be lost, segregated ethnic areas can be created, and schools typically become dominated by migrant children (Jackson). Regarding the economy and workforce of the receiving area, migration can cause locals to miss out on job opportunities because of the increased competition and pressure from migrants (Smeed). Furthermore, there could be an over dependence on migrant labour, and much of the money earned by migrants is not spent on the host country, and is instead sent back to the country of origin (Jackson).

As shown from above, there are distinct types of migration that exist, each with their own characteristics concerning the reasons for and location of migration. Push-pull factors greatly affect migration in terms of where one chooses to migrate, in which push factors cause people to leave, while pull factors entice people to move there (Smeed). Migration is able to have countless effects on the origin and destination, with both positive and negative effects that can affect the society and economy of a country. From this, the advantages and disadvantages can be compared and weighed to determine the overall significance and impact of migration on a country.

 

Evidence 3: At a local tea shop in Taiwan learning about traditional Hakka culture and how tea is made

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Evidence 4: Summer Taiwan Mandarin Immersion Programme Scholarship of HK$10,000

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