JDR Vol.14 No.9 pp. 1287-1292
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2019.p1287


Higher Education and Destination of the Youth in the Republic of the Marshall Islands: Implication for Climate-Induced Migration

Nagisa Yoshioka*,†, Irene Taafaki**, and Yolanda McKay**

*The Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
1-15-16 Toranomon, Minato, Tokyo 105-8524, Japan

Corresponding author

**Marshall Islands Campus, The University of the South Pacific, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands

May 31, 2019
June 28, 2019
December 1, 2019
climate change, education, migration, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)

Little is known about the extent to which climate change drives migration from the Pacific atoll nation of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). How and to what extent the youth of RMI aspire to migrate to other countries was investigated through a survey of 106 students at the Marshall Islands Campus of the University of the South Pacific (RMI-USP). While 44% of respondents indicated an aspiration to move abroad either for study or employment, and most students were well aware of the adverse effects of climate change, climate change was not cited as the primary reason or motivation for migration. Analysis of data in a second study explored the University’s tracking data of Foundation Year graduates from the RMI-USP Joint Education Program. This analysis found that students who have studied abroad are more likely to have the opportunity to either stay abroad or to migrate at some time after their studies.

Cite this article as:
N. Yoshioka, I. Taafaki, and Y. McKay, “Higher Education and Destination of the Youth in the Republic of the Marshall Islands: Implication for Climate-Induced Migration,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14 No.9, pp. 1287-1292, 2019.
Data files:
  1. [1] Republic of Marshall Island, “Republic of the Marshall Islands 2011 Census Report,” 2011.
  2. [2] Pacific Climate Change Science Program, “Current and future climate of the Marshall Islands,” 2011.
  3. [3] J. A. Church, P. U. Clark, A. Cazenave, J. M. Gregory, S. Jevrejeva, A. Levermann, M. A. Merrifield, G. A. Milne, R. S. Nerem, P. D. Nunn, A. J. Payne, W. T. Pfeffer, D. Stammer, and A. S. Unnikrishnan, “Sea Level Change,” T. F. Stocker, D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S. K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex, and P. M. Midgley (Eds.), “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” pp. 1137-1216, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  4. [4] M. Ford, “Shoreline changes on an urban atoll in the central Pacific Ocean: Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands,” J, of Coastal Research, Vol.28, No.1, pp. 11-22, 2012.
  5. [5] G. Johnson, “Marshall Islands plans to raise islands to escape sea level rise,” Radio New Zealand (RNZ), February 25, 2019, [accessed April 4, 2019]
  6. [6] Republic of Marshall Island, “National Strategic Plan 2015–2017,” 2014.
  7. [7] Republic of Marshall Island, “Tile Til Eo 2050 Climate Strategy,” 2018.
  8. [8] Republic of Marshall Island, “Disaster Management Reference Handbook,” 2016.
  9. [9] C. Mortreux and J. Barnett, “Climate change, migration and adaptation in Funafuti, Tuvalu,” Global Environmental Change, Vol.19, No.1, pp. 105-112, 2019.
  10. [10] C. Corendea, “Development Implications of Climate Change Migration in the Pacific,” Climate Law and Governance, No.3, pp. 1-20, 2016.
  11. [11] United Nations Children’s Fund, Global Migration Group, “Migration and Youth: Challenges and Opportunities,” 2014.
  12. [12] H. Oosterbeek and D. Webbink, “Assessing the returns to studying abroad,” CPB Discussion Paper No.64, 2006.
  13. [13] A. Drabo and L. M. Mbaye, “Natural disasters, migration and education: an empirical analysis in developing countries,” Environment and Development Economics, Vol.20, No.6, pp. 767-796, 2015.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Apr. 22, 2024