Jump to content
  • entries
    90
  • comments
    162
  • views
    7,530

Brain drainers & brain drainees

Haji 2003

175 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

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Latest Blog Entries

    • By 3wliya_maryam in deep poetry
         0
      I'm only pretty if I have enough likes
      I'm not so pretty if I only have five 
       
      I'm only popular if I have many friends 
      I'm only special if I start to follow these trends
       
      I only get noticed with makeup
      Without it I'm no longer recognised
       
      You need that flat stomach and those fine curves 
      So you choose to put yourself  through that pain you don't deserve
      Starving yourself till your rib cages begin to show
      You want to be like the rest, because your self esteem is so low
       
      Society is committing a crime
      With how they define beauty
      Girls can no longer be themselves
      'Cause they fear society's judgements.
       
      Society made you forget your true beauty 
      That lies beneath all those flaws.
       
      "And you don't have to change a thing the world can change its heart" ~ Alessia Cara
    • By Bakir in Reflections
         0
      Tolerance is inherently moral and necessarily social. And it can only be applied to people who are different, people you wouldn't consider part of "your" group. It is taught, a developed moral characteristic that may become part of who you are. We aren't born tolerant though, and that is why so many groups of influence have tried to develop this concept of group. Fascism itself is based on it. Our natural intolerance spreads as the worst virus if there are no forces to put an end to it. This is what sociology, so far, has been able to appreciate in the concept of tolerance at a macro-social level, and it has its reasons.
      If tolerance is not natural to us, but rather "homophily" (the preference of those with similar characteristics: race, socio-economical class, ideology, etc.), then tolerance is a trait that we can only develop through education, and only if we find it any useful or right.
      In the Qur'an it was already pointed that we were created in different groups:
      "O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another." (Surat al Hujurat)
      So I can just expect that for an early Arabic society this indeed meant a call for tolerance for a religion that was going to spread across many nations. It was useful. However, nowaday, this is not what we, as individuals, face. Living in a globalized world, being connected by the Internet and its very own culture, tolerance seems less and less necessary and useful. Ideologies and groups compete between each other, and a call for tolerance is against the efforts to reinforce that feeling of group. It isn't useful for many. Not to mention that tolerance is a highly difficult trait to acquire, as it requires great efforts of empathy. Ask yourselves to which point can you accept the different? And I don't mean their mere existence, most don't care about that. I mean tolerating someone different that is part of your life, in some way or another. We have always been taught to be tolerant when it has been useful, but not because it is good, because it is morally right. Because it is not among the interest of any group of influence. Groups, as the master of history and sociology of the Muslim world once said, Ibn Khaldun, have only one goal: power.
      That's why, even revolutions, that are supposed to be the fight for ideas, end up in some sort of fascism and/or dictatorship. Even when the people that lead them truly wanted free elections (modern history is full of examples of this, it is something we can't avoid). They are still necessary, though, for the progress of ideas.
      What happens, however, in our societies? In the West, tolerance has been imposed as something useful, but racism, mysogyny, LGBTphobia, etc. are still realities that many people even hate to discuss (many people attack feminism, for instance). In the Muslim world, tolerance died centuries ago, and an enormous amount of groups appeared. We are still reinforcing through our culture this intolerance, based on unreasonable discrimination: country of origin, skin color, studies, amount of money, gender, sexuality, beliefs, family/tribe name, etc. You can realize this inability to accept the different for instance in the topic of marriage, at what type of characteristic will people, parents, or ourselves if we have sons or daughters to marry, will look at. And it's not always the obvious (like don’t be racist). It is usually ideological. We can't accept other mentalities because we weren't taught about that, because the group we belong to doesn't want that.
      Tolerance isn't only about accepting black people, or trans people, or seeing women as equals. People will probably try to appear as tolerant in that sense, because it is useful for them. However, as a moral trait, these people are not genuinely tolerant, but conveniently civilized. Real tolerance is being able to respect others by their opinion, beliefs, lifestyle, and of course, biological circumstances. Accept them as long as you are not tolerating the intolerant.
      This conflict is paradoxical, and it is a well known paradox in social sciences (originally proposed by Karl Popper). The problem with tolerating the intolerant, as I said at the start of this entry, is precisely how fast and easily their intolerance spreads (because it is natural). As individuals and iA as free thinkers, we should fight to develop tolerance within ourselves and condemn intolerance even when it is present in those people who are part of "our" group (be it our racial "group", ideological, whatever). Intolerance isn't a joke, it's a social human and moral issue of high importance, and has always shaped our destiny.
      Thus, I can only advise my readers to dedicate some time to observe that aspect of their hearts, if they behaved in a tolerant manner, identify our errors, ask for forgiveness to the Most Merciful, and ask him to guide us and make us more aware of being tolerant when we are, again, tested in life. Remember to ask Him to guide me as well, iA.
    • By 3wliya_maryam in deep poetry
         1
      Please let me help you 
      Let me help you get this through 
      We share the same blood
      And I want you to be loved
       
      Look I know that you're depressed
      And I know that you're in distress
       
      But I wish you could open up
      Instead of always shutting up
      You choose to conceal yourself 
      And I still don't know why 
      sometimes I hate myself 
      For even having to try 
      To make you fess up 
       
      I know you don't want my help 
      Maybe I do suck at giving advice 
      But why should I leave you to silently yelp
      When I'm here for you, but you're just like ice
       
      I am always contemplating
      And always wondering
      Whether I've done more than enough 
       
      I want to be there for you
      But you keep pushing me away
      So I chose to do the same
       
      Please let me help you 
      Let me help you get this through
      We share the same blood
      And I want you to be loved.
    • By 3wliya_maryam in deep poetry
         0
      When I'm in pain you say it won't last
      But I see you still paining about the past
       
      When I'm in tears you tell me to keep smiling
      But I still see you curled up in the corner crying
       
      You tell everyone it'll be alright 
      But the space around you is tight 
       
      You tell everyone you're fine
      But I already know that's a lie
       
      It's never that easy to let go 
      That strong feeling of betrayal
      But one day they'll know 
      Just how much they left you in denial .
       
      "It's never easy to walk away, let it go
      Nothing heals the past like time" ~ Dean Lewis
    • By starlight in Light Beams
         0
      Part II A Detailed Description of the Method and Way of Godward Wayfaring
      My notes on the book's content. I had to reformat and reduce the size of file to meet the specifications of the forum. Hopefully this image will be readable after zooming.

    • By 3wliya_maryam in deep poetry
         0
      You say it was a curse
      'Cause I became worse
      You say I am being punished
      'Cause I caused my old self to be diminished
      You say I am beginning to deteriorate
      As time passes by
      I don't know how much longer I can wait
      As I sit there and cry
      Staring at the blank wall
      Hoping for a miracle
      You say it was a curse
      But I believe it was a test
      You say I became worse
      But I am trying my best
      To return to where I was.
    • By starlight in Light Beams
         2
      Salam,
      Growing up we had a poster like this in one of my grandparent's home, handwritten in Urdu by my great grandfather and framed in wood. It was displayed in a prominent place. I remember standing there studying it on many occasions, at others I just stole a cursory glance passing by. Either way it helped me a great deal in acquiring the basic knowledge about the Ahlebayt(عليه السلام). Many of the important dates unconsciously stuck in my memory and other facts,like so many of our Imams (عليه السلام) being poisoned,aroused in me an interest to study more about their lives.
      For some time now I had been wanting to make a similar table for my children.I made it in English for obvious reasons.I plan to print it out and put in their room and hopefully they will imbibe and memorise or at least be familiar with the basic facts about the lives of Masoomen (عليه السلام). Since this is an area where sadly lots of us grownups are lacking too(from personal experience many of the Shias don't know the names of mothers of Imams(عليه السلام) or where are all of the Imams (عليه السلام) buried) I thought I would share it here.
      I made it on excel. With the ShiaChat file upload limits the quality might not be very good and since I enlarged it for sharing here,it's in two parts.(if anyone can suggest anything better, you are welcome)


      Coloured in pink(Imams 6-12) is the era of Abbasid caliphs.All of Imams (عليه السلام) during that time period(except the 12th (عليه السلام)) were martyred through poisoning by their own cousins,the Abbasid Caliphs.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Blog Statistics

    73
    Total Blogs
    375
    Total Entries
×