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The diaspora from various corners of the world is actively engaged in modernising the education and research system at home

Several qualified specialists from the diaspora have assessed the needs and capacities of higher education institutions in the Republic of Moldova. They have analysed and proposed a series of tools and opportunities for collaboration, studied the challenges, and suggested solutions. This initiative aims to ensure the transfer of knowledge, practices, and expertise from the countries where they are active to their home country. The action took place within a pilot project funded by the European Union (EU), the European Union Global Diaspora Facility (EUDiF), implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

In this groundbreaking initiative for Moldova, several pressing needs have emerged that could greatly benefit from the expertise of the diaspora:

  • strengthening research collaborations, which entails initiating joint research projects, facilitating study visits and hosting specialised events aimed at advancing research, involving harnessing the potential of common grants to drive research endeavours;
  • teaching modernisation, targeting the engagement of diaspora members to share best practices in teaching and learning;
  • internationalisation of higher education, encompassing forging strategic partnerships between universities and various stakeholders such as startups and diaspora-based NGOs, crafting funding proposals tailored to international opportunities, thereby enhancing the global footprint of higher education initiatives.

These aspects have been meticulously analysed and synthesised into a comprehensive document, comprising relevant analyses and essential recommendations.

Diaspora Co-working Hub: Fostering skills and expertise exchange

The Diaspora Co-working Hub represents a significant step towards enhancing the quality and relevance of higher education in Moldova by leveraging the knowledge and experience brought by diaspora members. Through this EU-funded project, a platform for the exchange of ideas and expertise between the diaspora and relevant authorities in the country, including higher education institutions in Moldova, has been established. Recently, the hub held its inaugural session, which brought together over 40 participants, including diaspora members, the Bureau for Diaspora Relations (BDR), representatives from the Ministry of Education and Research, and higher education institutions.

The Diaspora Co-working Hub aims to gather as many specialists as possible willing to engage in skills and expertise transfer in Moldova, offering concrete proposals for various key sectors. In the coming period, the BDR will announce a call for applications for additional professionals.

“I believe there is immense potential within the diaspora community to support education in Moldova. They can bring creative ideas, knowledge, and new contacts. We need to provide them with recognition and space for this exchange of experiences and ideas. The rest is just a matter of logistics,” mentioned Diana Hîncu, project manager of EUDiF.

From economic to social remittances: A new perception of the Moldovan diaspora

Academic research increasingly emphasises the extended impact of knowledge and expertise exchange from the diaspora to countries of origin, thus transforming brain drain into a source of human capital. In addition to Moldova’s educational system, information regarding the skills, knowledge, and interests of the Moldovan diaspora has been gathered. The EUDiF project identified a highly qualified diaspora from Moldova. Over 100 specialists were interviewed, of whom 86% expressed a desire to engage in such an initiative. 72% identified the country’s economic development as an extremely important area where diaspora members’ expertise should be directed.

“If you want change and improvement in your country’s welfare, then you should be part of that change! Many diaspora members are migrants who possess knowledge, and for a country whose economy faces difficulties and where a third of the population resides abroad, its greatest resource becomes its people,” stated Dorina Baltag, lead expert from the diaspora. Dorina has accumulated over 12 years of professional experience at universities in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University in London.

Connections have been established with experts born in Moldova but now living in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the United States, and Canada, having been abroad for from 8 to 20 years. Most of them are employed in the private sector, universities, or research institutions, provide consultancy services, own companies, work in civil society, or are public servants employed in various national agencies. 70% of the individuals contacted are women, and 30% are men.

Why are diaspora members willing to engage?

Their involvement extends beyond mere identity or sentimental connections to the country; it stems from their desire to bring about positive changes using their knowledge and professional experience in a practical and concrete manner. Regardless of their level of education, they all appreciate the opportunity to share their know-how with professional communities in Moldova, which could bring benefits to their communities and to the Republic of Moldova as a whole.

EUDiF is a pilot project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). EUDiF’s mission is to encourage the development of an informed, inclusive, and impactful diaspora ecosystem through research and action, working together with partner countries, diaspora organisations in Europe, the EU, and its member states.


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