This working paper set out to examine the links between migration and forests through a case study of Malinau District in North Kalimantan, Indonesia. The findings indicate that there has been a generational shift in migration patterns: educational migration is the primary driver of migration from the research sites. An implication of such a shift is that migration has switched from being an income-generating activity to one that is a financial burden on rural households. To cover the costs of education, households whose livelihoods are based primarily on farming and forests, are intensifying agricultural production and forest product collection. The research highlight the urgent need to create jobs and economic opportunities for young people at the forest frontiers. This is created by a rise in migration for education, a growing need to earn regular cash income to finance such migration, and aspirations among young people to return to their villages upon completion of their studies. The study links the findings to social forestry policy as it is potential both to provide economic opportunities for people in the forest frontier and at the same time will also benefit from absorbing the returnee educated migrants.