Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله
  • entries
    94
  • comments
    166
  • views
    7,711

Brain drainers & brain drainees

Haji 2003

211 views

Summary

The factors which allow countries to produce lots of brains may be the very factors that mean such brains will find better opportunities in countries that are better able to pay brains.

Whether the countries producing the brains are able to benefit from their education-positive actions depends on whether the brains who leave for better opportunities consider their success to be a function of their childhood country or their own hard work.

Countries that produce brains need to work hard in order to ensure that people recognise the source of their success.

Brain drainees

Brain drainees are countries that lose qualified people to other countries. Brain drainees typically need to create the brains in the first place and typically there are some conditions that need to be met in order to do this. In order to develop an educated population you need pupils who have enough to eat and drink, feel secure and who are not compelled to work as child labourers. Ideally, they should not have so much wealth that they have too much access to distractions that will keep them away from their studies. 

You need parents who are willing to provide the time and attention needed for children to learn i.e. people who don't feel compelled to work excessive hours in their employment activities either because such work is badly paid or because it is so well paid but competitive that they have to work those hours to keep up with their peers. You need a social system that keeps parents with children rather than in bars.

You need teachers who are qualified, i.e. those who know their subjects well enough that they want to impart knowledge rather than rote learning. And you need education leaders who see their leadership positions as ones that serve society rather than their own pockets.

Countries can create brains for export without the above conditions, but the above represent an ideal, a sort of goldilocks zone. Societies that are neither too dysfunctional or too successful.

Being in the goldilocks zone also means that parents, teachers and children see the value of utilitarian, functional subjects such as maths and engineering. In contrast in more developed societies there may be a tendency to study more values-expressive subjects such as the arts and social sciences.

Brain drainers

These are societies that systematically draw brains from other countries. Typically these societies are rich. People with brains do not move to poor countries unless they are on a World Bank or an NGO contract.

The wealth of these societies means that the children within them have access to distractions, X-boxes do not play themselves, this means that they don't create as many brains as they could. There are other factors at play as well. Parents may find it more economically beneficial to spend time at work rather than with kids and they may also find it more productive to have less kids to begin with. Both factors reduce brains. 

In such societies, there are good teachers, (obviously). But supply may be limited, this is because people who are well-qualified have a lot of other employment opportunities that are typically better paid than education. Teachers could be paid more, but typically these societies find it more effective to reduce tax rates in order to encourage commerce and enterprise and/or spend their budgets on the military which in turn create non-education job opportunities.

The lack of parental support at home, the availability of distractions and other social forces that challenge traditional teacher/pupil relationships can also mean that teaching becomes more demanding and challenging.

Because these societies are rich, however, it remains relatively easy to recruit qualified people in a range of different activities from other countries that are effective at producing them.

Assessments of cause and effect

It may well be that the very factors that allow countries to produce brains are the ones which reduce the opportunities for those brains to exploit the skills that they have developed in their home countries.

Crucial to this issue is the perception of the brains themselves. If they attribute their success to their own labours and that of the brain drainee country that allowed them in, then there will be a net loss to the brain drainee country, it may be less likely to see any future returns to its investment.

If however, the brains feel that they either owe a debt to the drainee country and/or that the drainee country offers opportunities in the long-term they may make a contribution to it.



2 Comments


Recommended Comments

Salam!

Sorry I've been on a bit of a blog-stalking spree since I recently re-joined SC! 

But I must say I found this to be a very interesting and observant blog entry Haji - one that also hit close to home! Kids graduating from top schools in my country (traditionally a 'drainee' country) have always been slapped with that label of being responsible for the 'brain drain' in the country that direly needs them. The emphasis on trying to send them on a guilt trip back back to their country if they decide to move can sometimes get really out of hand (coverage and negative publicity in the press etc).

The argument is (at least for private schools) if someone was put on their mettle to get into these schools and pay the exorbitant fee out of our own pockets (or private loans etc) then they have every right to take the brain where they want without feeling guilty. If they were born in a 'drainer' country, they'd probably be able to achieve just the same (or more) without the added guilt if they decided to move elsewhere. 

These drainee countries arguably and potentially keep these brains from reaching their full potential leading to a 'functional drain'. For example, over time many of these countries have developed decent undergraduate programs in STEM specialities but have not been so successful for postgraduate/doctorate programs. So how far are the brains themselves responsible for the drain if they leave the drainee country just to get access to greater academic opportunities? 

Finally, the academic fraternity often argues for the pursuit of a global academia without borders - where institutions are not defined by their geographical location. With that argument in mind, it's interesting to consider that this pattern of moving from one institute to another exists even within 'drainer' countries (so people who complete their medical school at Yale are less likely to also pursue their PhD at Yale in favor of another institution). Here these brains do it for professional growth. If brains from drainee countries do the same with the same goal, they also have to live with the label that they fueled the drain. 

Some more interesting thoughts in these articles from people I know:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1275995/

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e938/e1c2d3d77c1b947cf4f74c061524e361a7ac.pdf

Share this comment


Link to comment

Sorry for the delayed reply, I got no alert that someone had.

Welcome back. I guessed you were likely to have been hard at work.

While I understand the motivations for brains leaving drainee countries for the drainers, I think the process entrenches the more hierarchical and less meritocratic feature of the drainee countries, because honest achievers don't replace the patronage appointees and the corruption in the system persists.

Of course, there may be some doubt as to whether the honest achievers would have gained senior positions, anyway, had they remained.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Latest Blog Entries

    • By starlight in Combat With The Self
         0
      Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) said: 'Allah revealed to Dawud(as): " When one of my servants resorts to me and not to anyone of My creation, I know that from his inner intention, such that even if the skies and the Earth and their inhabitants were to conspire against him, I will make an outlet for him in spite of them. And when one of My servants resorts to one of my creatures, I know that too from his intention, such that I cut off the means of subsistence of the skies from him, and I will make the Earth disintegrate from under him, and do not care in which valley he perishes."'  al-Kafi,v.2, p.52,no.1.
       
      Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) said: ' Whoever from among the servants of Allah devotes himself towards that which Allah loves, Allah too devotes Himself to that which he loves. And whoever resorts entirely to Allah, Allah protects him, and whoever turns towards Allah, Allah accepts him and protects him, such that whether the sky was falling upon the Earth, or a calamity was to befall all the inhabitants of the Earth, he would in the Party of Allah, secure from all calamities. Indeed,does not Allah say: "Surely those who guard against evil are in a secure place?"' (Qur'an 44:51)   al-Kafi,v.2,p.53,no.4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
    • By Ali in ShiaChat.com Blog
         16
      [This will be a series of blog entries on the history of ShiaChat.com; how it was founded, major ups and down, politics and issues behind running such a site and of course, the drama!  I will also provide some feedback on development efforts, new features and future goals and objectives]
      Part 1 - The IRC (#Shia) Days!
      Sit children, gather around and let me speak to you of tales of times before there was ever high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, YouTube or Facebook; a time when the Internet was a much different place and 15 yearold me was still trying to make sense of it all. 
      In the 90s, the Internet was a very different place; no social media, no video streaming and downloading an image used to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast your 14.4k monster-sized dial-up modem was.  Of course you also had to be lucky enough for your mom to have the common courtesy not to disconnect you when you’re in the middle of a session; that is if you were privileged enough to have Internet at home and not have to spend hours at school or libraries, or looking for AOL discs with 30 hour free trials..(Breathe... breathe... breathe) -  I digress.
      Back in 1998 when Google was still a little computer sitting in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s basement, I was engaged in endless debates with our Sunni brothers on an IRC channel called #Shia.  (Ok, a side note here for all you little pups.  This is not read as Hashtag Shia, the correct way of reading this is “Channel Shia”.  The “Hashtag” was a much cooler thing back in the day than the way you young’uns use it today).
      For those of you who don’t know what IRC was (or is... as it still exists), it stands for Internet Relay Chat, which are servers available that you could host chat rooms in and connect through a client.  It was like the Wild West where anyone can go and “found” their own channel (chat room), become an operator and reign down their god-like dictator powers upon the minions that were to join as a member of their chat room.  Luckily, #Shia had already been established for a few years before by a couple of brothers I met from Toronto, Canada (Hussain A. and Mohammed H.).  Young and eager, I quickly rose up the ranks to become a moderator (@Ali) and the chatroom quickly became an important part of my adolescent years.  I learned everything I knew from that channel and met some of the most incredible people.  Needless to say, I spent hours and dedicated a good portion of my life on the chatroom; of course, the alternate was school and work but that was just boring to a 15-year-old.
      In the 90’s, creating a website was just starting to be cool so I volunteered to create a website for #Shia to advertise our services, who we are, what we do as well as have a list of moderators and administrators that have volunteered to maintain #Shia.  As a result, #Shia’s first website was hosted on a friend’s server under the URL http://786-110.co.uk/shia/ - yes, ShiaChat.com as a domain did not exist yet – was too expensive for my taste so we piggybacked on one of our member’s servers and domain name.
      The channel quickly became popular, so popular that we sometimes outnumbered our nemesis, #Islam.  As a result, our moderator team was growing as well and we needed a website with an application that would help us manage our chatroom in a more efficient style.  Being a global channel, it was very hard to do “shift transfers” and knowledge transfers between moderators as the typical nature of a chatroom is the fact that when a word is typed, its posted and its gone after a few seconds – this quickly became a pain point for us trying to maintain a list of offenders to keep an eye out for and have it all maintained in a historical, easily accessible way.
      A thought occurred to me.  Why not start a “forum” for the moderators to use?  The concept of “forums” or discussion boards was new to the Internet – it was the seed of what we call social media today.  The concept of having a chat-style discussion be forever hosted online and be available for everyone to view and respond to at any time from anywhere was extremely well welcomed by the Internet users.  I don’t recall what software or service I initially used to set that forum up, but I did – with absolutely no knowledge that the forum I just set up was a tiny little acorn that would one day be the oak tree that is ShiaChat.com.
      [More to follow, Part 2..]
      So who here is still around from the good old #Shia IRC days?
    • By starlight in Combat With The Self
         0
      Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) said:' Allah Almighty has said:'The one whose prayer(salat) is the most readily accepted is the one who abases himself to My Greatness, holds himself back from his desires for My sake, passes his day in My remembrance, does not behave haughtily over My creatures, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, has mercy on the afflicted, and gives refuge to the traveller who is away from his home, as all this makes his light shine forth, and like the sun I create a light for him in the darkness and a clemency for him in the times of ignorance, I protect him with my Might and My angels guard him, for all that I have in my possession is like the Gardens of Perpetuity whose fruits are always within reach, and remain eternally fresh*.''"    - Al Mahasin, p.15, no.44. 
      * Refers to Qur'an verse 69:23: 'The fruits of which are near at hand' and corresponds with the humility of the believer. 
    • By starlight in Combat With The Self
         0
      One of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(as)'s companions, 'Abdullah b.Sanan once asked him: 'Are the angels better or humans better?' to which he(عليه السلام) replied: ' Amir al Muminin, Ali b. abi talib said:"Allah endowed angels with intellect without desire, animals with desire without intellect and man with both of them. So he whose intellect manages to conquer his desire is better than angels, and he whose desires overcome his intellect is worse than animals.'"   Illal al Sharai, p.4, no.1 
       
       Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) narrated on the authority of his infallible forefathers that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: 'Blessings upon the one who abandons his desires for the sake of a promised place that he has not even seen.'              Thawab al-Amal, p.211,no.1
       
      Imam Amir al- Muminin(عليه السلام)said:' How many a fleeting desire that lasts but an hour brings about an enduring sorrow.'          Nahjul Balagha,v.3, p.193, no,171
       
      Imam Amir al- Muminin(عليه السلام)said: " How many an indulgent meal prevents several meals.'                    Al-Mahasin, p.15, no.44
    • By Haji 2003 in Stories for Sakina
         0
      I had a thoughtful afternoon in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens some years ago and was inspired to write this. 
      One day, many hundreds of years ago, there was a storm in the Mediterranean Sea. And it was no different to all the other storms that happened before or after, but this storm must have been a special storm because it sank a special ship. 
      The ship itself was no different from the many other ships that have sailed before or after this event, but this one was special because it carried a special cargo. And the cargo itself was no different to what has sunk in the Mediterranean either before or after, except that there was just one piece in that cargo that is, so far, unique. 
      It’s unique because the person who put it together thought a lot about what they were doing. Obviously, lots of people think about what they make, but these must have been special thoughts because no one else has yet come across anything so clever that was made so far back in ancient history. And the thoughts were special because unlike many pretty things that you can only look at, this little item can be used for a specific objective and that is what really makes it special. It can be used to tell the positions of the stars and predict eclipses and it does this because it has lots of moving parts that all move very precisely indeed and that is why it can be called a ‘mechanism’.
      And why was this little item on the sea? Because someone far away wanted to buy it. The people who made it had become famous in other countries for their creations because they were clever and beautiful. But over time the creators had become poor and the people in other countries had become rich. And what the poor people had left were their thoughts and ideas but perhaps they were not so happy when other peoples' appreciation of those ideas meant that they wanted souvenirs and these were often the physical representation of those ideas and the more such souvenirs that were taken away the fewer there were left.
      Eventually, these rich people (the Romans, inspired by the Greeks) would become known for their own beautiful and clever works and when they became poor their children too would see things their forefathers had made taken away by rich people in other countries.
      And so it came to be that this little mechanism, was being transported over the sea because someone else could afford to buy it. Perhaps they knew how to use it, or perhaps they didn’t. The storm meant that it never reached its destination. It was a loss for the person who sold it, it was a loss for the person who bought it and it was obviously a loss for the sailors who carried it.
      And so, it remained a loss for many hundreds of years, except when it was found in the sea and people started to work out what it was and how it worked. And the cleverer people became the more they realized how clever the mechanism was. So what had been a loss for so many years became a discovery and then an important discovery and will remain so, for many more years. 
      And because by this time people had invented all sorts of different mechanisms, they needed to give it a name and they called it the Antikythera mechanism because that’s the island near where it was lost. And this time instead of rich foreign people taking it away, they paid for it to be seen near where it was found. But they wanted their name linked to it because they wanted everyone to see that they were clever and that they knew what was beautiful. 
       
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         2
      The photo-journalist Cartier-Bresson coined this phrase, with a book of the same name, whose English title was 'the decisive moment'. Capturing such moments can be fun and rewarding.
      I've been trying to encourage Maryam to see photographic picture taking as being an opportunistic exercise where good shots can be unexpected, unplanned and based purely on the recognition that there might be something there.
      We were in Regents Park yesterday and she was taking pictures of Abbas cycling on the Broadwalk. I noticed this group and told her to switch her attention. She came up with this. There were, better compositions but they were out of focus etc. Still, as I told her the trick is to practice these situations enough so that when a money shot does happen you know exactly what to do.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Blog Statistics

    74
    Total Blogs
    386
    Total Entries
×
×
  • Create New...