General Project DescriptionUpcoming Event


Qualification and Skill in the Migration Process of Foreign Workers in Asia

General Project Description Upcoming Event

Graduate Student Summer School

18–19th July 2022, Goethe University Frankfurt

Upcoming Event Research Blog

Welcome ToQuaMaFA

QuaMaFA (Qualification and Skill in the Migration Process of Foreign Workers in Asia) is a four-year collaborative project looking into different aspects of qualifications and skills in the process of migration. It is the brainchild of five women scholars who use their regional expertise, academic experiences, and mixed-methods approach to investigate the role of skills in labour migration in major migrant-receiving market economies in (South)East Asia. 

Based in Frankfurt, Ruth Achenbach (project leader) has a strong interest in East Asian entanglements. She has been working on migration and Japan’s international relations with East Asia and Africa for over a decade now. Joohyun Justine Park, based in Frankfurt, is originally from Korea and had lived in New Zealand for seven years. Based on positive psychology, her current research is focused on the success and well-being of skilled migrants in Korea and she has a passion for building up supportive networks for the migrants. Aimi Muranaka is originally from Japan and currently based in Duisburg/Düsseldorf. For five years – during her PhD program and as a research associate, her research focus has been on Vietnamese IT workers in Japan and she will also look into the roles of Japanese intermediary actors and language schools. Helena Hof from Germany, currently based in Zürich and in Göttingen, has conducted extensive qualitative fieldwork on highly-educated migrants’ socioeconomic mobilities and migration motivations in Tokyo, Singapore and Sao Paulo. After seven years of graduate school, including a post doctoral fellowship, in Tokyo, she now combines her research and teaching in Japanese Studies and sociologically grounded migration studies. Megha Wadhwa, originally from India, lived in Japan for fifteen years and is currently in Berlin. She conducted ethnographic research on the Indian Diaspora in the Tokyo region and is interested in migration trends of Indians around the globe, with her primary focus being Japan and Germany.

In 2020,  Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany (BMBF) approved the grant for QuaMaFA, and in March 2021, we all joined together from different parts of the world to work on growing this idea. We hope our research and this space would be of use to you. Keep in touch 🙂


Learn more

What we study

Research interest

Skilled Migrants

Asian foreign professionals who are (not)

perceived to have a high level of human capital

East Asian knowledge economies

Highly developed (East) Asian countries

Japan, Korea, and Singapore

Definition of Skills

Qualifications and skills as defined in

Asian migration regimes and labor markets

Migrants' agency

Role of skilled migrants’ agency in the process of

(labor market) integration and for future migration decisions

Labor Migration

Mobility of migrants from home country

to Asian host society for employment 


Influence of the interaction of race, class, gender, and skill

in the migration and integration process


Our Team

Megha Wadhwa

Free University of Berlin

Indian Professionals in Japan and Singapore: Migration Trends, Labor Integration and Challenges In…

Aimi Muranaka

University of Duisburg-Essen

The role of Japanese intermediaries and language schools in the integration of Vietnamese…

Ruth Achenbach

Goethe University Frankfurt

Labor Market Integration and Staying Decisions of Chinese Graduates in Japan and Singapore…

Helena Hof

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Foreign entrepreneurs in Tokyo’s and Singapore’s knowledge-intensive start-up sector Helena conducts her individual…

Joohyun Justine Park

Goethe University Frankfurt

Accelerators and Obstacles of Labor Market Integration of Asian Professionals in Korea Like…