Is Brain Drain inevitable with the rise in importance for International Education?
With more and more affordable study options opening up to students globally, the higher education trend has shifted drastically. Gone are the days of limiting your education to local institutions, students today realise the advantages of international education and look to opt for study abroad options for their higher education needs.
One of the main pitfalls that arise from such a situation is what is termed as ‘Brain Drain’. The term typically means the emigration of highly skilled or trained people from a particular country. Statistically such a transition is observed from developing countries to developed countries and the numbers are growing exponentially within the last decade. The attraction of the skilled labour force is obvious involving higher wages, better infrastructure, cheaper transport and medical privileges encouraging the migrants to seek jobs in developed economies. This reverse flow of skilled labour force tends to create an imbalance in the economies further affecting the progress of developing countries.
So does this mean that we block all emigration of skilled work force? Not at all! A healthy flow of skilled emigration is crucial to any budding economy; the trick is to reach the perfect balance so as to avoid outflows. Like most social processes, the overall impact of skilled emigration is a balance of direct and indirect effects. One of the most direct effects of skilled emigration is the reduction in the number of educated workers who are vital to the overall productivity of a developing country’s economic growth. However, on the other side we do have some very positive aspects to this such as expatriates who remain abroad contribute money via worker remittances and even the return migrants tend to bring back their skills and work experience from abroad boosting the productivity in the home country eventually.
The best means of addressing this dilemma is education, training and targeted economic development which may actually increase skilled migration in the short term but will eventually be the best solution in the long run.