3.3 Comparative Education: What policy solutions should developing countries employ to reverse Brain Drain?


3.3 Identify six possible policy solutions that developing countries should employ in order to reverse brain drain.


In order to curb brain drain for the less developed countries a number of proposals need to be

implemented.  First the home government needs to raise the salaries and improve the working conditions in their countries. The government should offer higher wages for insiders according to their qualifications instead of estimating and hiring expatriates, which is more costly. The government  should  guarantee  jobs  for  those  who  might  return  and  recruiting  abroad  for important public service positions for example the government of Korea successfully lured back Korean scientists trained abroad.

In cases where there was political turmoil, a change in political set up as it happened in Jamaica in 1975 and in Nigeria in 1997 may encourage migrants to return.   But this is a very tricky position for any country. Good governance at the national and international level, especially maintenance of reasonable security for peoples lives and property is essential for economic progress. Transparency in leadership is essential and should be maintained. For the politically distressed countries the professionals may be relocated to places  where they can be productive rather than confining them in refugee camps and then return home once the situation in their countries normalizes.

The government can encourage economic incentives on selective basis.     For example the government of Sri Lanka launched a programme in 1979 to encourage professionals to stay or return home by revising its pension systems, easing exchange controls so that people could finance the education of their children abroad and by facilitating re-entry of senior staff to appropriate positions in the government.

Education plays a powerful role especially in the growing problems of international migration. Therefore, offering those individuals the necessary education qualifications in their homes countries and expanding a better educational infrastructure may definitely prevent emigrants who are seeking a higher education abroad. Furthermore seeking alternative measures for return of warranty from the beneficiaries, such as the withholding of academic degrees until the graduates return and are willing to serve the people may be another considerable alternative.

Another proposal, are imposing heavy emigrating taxes and passport fess on trained manpower in  order  to  discourage  them  from  leaving  and  introducing  compulsory  public  services employment for certain categories of personnel akin to the military service as it being tried for medical doctors in Turkey. The restrictive policies should be aimed at delaying emigration such as adding extra years to medical students’ training. Various tax proposals have been put forward as government realize that the large numbers of citizens living outside their borders are a potential economic resource.For example due to economic hard ships, Zimbabwe has come up with a new proposal where graduates who received state assistance are now required to surrender a third of their salaries if they choose to work in a foreign countries on completion of their studies. The cash strapped government has set up a special cadet scheme whose stringent conditions it hopes will stem a crippling brain drain that has hit most of the countries economic sectors. The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education has come up with conditions and a memorandum of agreement for special cadets who access state funds to pay for their studies. Other proposals include one-time exit taxes to bilateral tax arrangement, which would require the receiving nations to tax citizens of another and remunerate the home country. Another strategy may include adoption of international agreements by industrialized and developing nations under which the wealthy countries should pledge not to recruit people from developing countries. Adopting a strategy that involves transferring skills through networks of professionals and intellectuals and the time-tested approach of repatriation can enhance this. Lastly, urban rules should be handed by the less developed countries for certain categories of temporary immigrants that require them to leave upon completion of their study or research mission.

There is a large and growing pool of African scientist living and working in the industrialized world. African countries should develop and adopt strategies to mobilize and utilize their Diaspora.  The  region  can  no  longer  afford  to  ignore  this  capital.  Indeed  it  should  tap  the enormous  scientific  and  technological  talents  of  African  abroad  and  use  them  for  its  own scientific and technological development.In conclusion, due to the impact urbanization and globalization, the less developed countries have to change their modes of education to suit the market.   They also have to readjust their economics with the global trends and put policies, which can encourage their professionals to remain within the country.  Those countries with political regime, which do not take care of professionals, and war ravaged countries will always face emigration and brain drain.






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