International mobility and its impact on education: ‘Brain gain’ or ‘brain drain’
2013 - Mobility in Kosovo has started very early. People started to use mobility to escape from the suppressive system. Throughout the years, people started to migrate to find jobs that would enable them to raise their living standard. In the past two decades, one of the most popular forms of mobility here in Kosovo, is the mobility for educational purposes. This study seeks to examine the pro’s and con’s of mobility for educational purposes through the scope of brain gain and brain drain, how it is affecting Kosovo and what can be done to encourage people to come back so they can bring their know-how practices here.
BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 1 “International Mobility and its impact in Education; ‘Brain Gain’ or ‘Brain Drain’” Blerim Murtezi Edita Malazogu Endrit Saracini Lyra Osmani Vjosa Morina Supervisor: Besnik KRASNIQI Spring school on sustainable Human Development, 2013 BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 2 International Mobility and its impact in Education “‘BRAIN DRAIN’ OR ‘BRAIN GAIN’” Abstract Mobility in Kosovo has started very early. People started to use mobility to escape from the suppressive system. Throughout the years, people started to migrate to find jobs that would enable them to raise their living standard. In the past two decades, one of the most popular forms of mobility here in Kosovo, is the mobility for educational purposes. This study seeks to examine the pro’s and con’s of mobility for educational purposes through the scope of brain gain and brain, how it is affecting Kosovo and what can be done to encourage people to come back so they can bring their practices here. Introduction Mobility is defined as the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Based on the fact that education is a valuable asset for the society, one of the main reasons for the increment of movement is the educational issue, spurred on by the dynamics of globalization. Since the times of civilization, education has been perceived as a foundation for a good economy, culture and welfare of the society. This paper will explain how mobility and education correlate, feed each other and the product that these two separated concepts bring together. This paper will also analyze the concepts of ‘brain gain’ and ‘brain drain’. Furthermore the paper tries to explain the impact of mobility in the development of education in different countries, ranging from high BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 3 developing countries like US, to countries that are still in the early stages of development such as countries in the East Europe. Another thing which will be explained is the effect of mobility in the Republic of Kosovo. Due to the lack of the primary and secondary sources, it was necessary to conduct a research consisting of 40 people who studied abroad and came back. The purpose of the research was to observe how the Kosovo job market expected them, what were the challenges they faced when they came back and about the opportunity given to them in the foreign countries. The second focus group consists of 100 students who are currently on undergraduate studies. The survey answers to the profound question of what makes people go study abroad and what makes them come back. Based on the literature, interviews, surveys and data obtained we come up with the policy recommendations in order to use the gained knowledge of people who studied abroad and to create further opportunities for people who want to move abroad. Claims of the “brain drain and brain gain” literature The traditional literature has seen the movement of human capital as an anathema for the development countries and has considered policies such taxation of migrants’ income abroad in order to prevent its negative influence on emigrations countries (Bhagwati and Hamada 1976). ‘Brain drain’ does involve certain benefits, such as: remittances, knowledge, increasing trade as well the gain of skills by migrants who return in the relevant countries (Lucas 2005). “A benefit which is not considered in the traditional literature is the ‘brain drain’ induced ‘brain gain’, a central feature of the new ‘brain drain’ literature”(Schiff 2005). While ‘brain drain’ means that a group of capable individuals will earn a higher emolument while migrating, the new ‘brain drain’ literature posits that: a) ‘Brain drain’ increases the expected return on education BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 4 b) This induces an additional investment in education (‘brain gain’) c) This may result in a beneficial ‘brain drain’ or net ‘brain gain’, i.e., in a ‘brain gain’ that is larger than a ‘brain drain’; and d) A net ‘brain drain’ increases welfare and growth (Schiff 2005) The number of talented migrants in total has risen in recent decades. There is an in increment of 50% in the period between “1990-2000” of skilled people who migrated in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries (Decquier and Hillel 2004). So, the requirement of accessing new ‘brain drain’ literature is related with the large number of skilled people who emigrate from developing countries toward the developed countries? (Schiff 2005). The impact of mobility in some different countries Developed countries are attracting the intellectual capacities of less developed countries which may suffer from ‘brain drain’. Foreign fee-paying students, for instance, are now a significant source of revenue for higher education institutions, while those who specialise in science, engineering and technology are also valued for their potential contribution to the development of new ideas, innovations and patents. Nowadays the globalization and migration is widespread where education as an impeller, can affect in the transformation of the potential (Collins. 2009). Schooling and formal education is seen as an important factor to socio-economic mobility (Dreze & Sen. 1995). Countries, regions and cities are now developing strategies for attracting talents, or seeking to lure talent back. Historically, the United States is known for the politics they apply to keep the immigrants with specific skills, inside their countries. For example, they promote the mobility of BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 5 students through “Fullbrights” scholarships (Robertson. 2006). About 50% of all (European) doctoral graduates stay in the USA when they finish their studies, and many of them do not return at all (Mahroum, 1999). The growth rate of foreign students in the USA is 5% p.a. (Brinck, 1999). This qualifies the education of the US as one of the best selling exports, but it also means that the US experiences ‘brain gain’ in a great way, which influences the future of their economy. A survey done for Central and East Europe countries, served to examine the motivations, attitudes and experiences of some people who studied abroad, towards employment in their motherlands. Those who had a preference to work abroad were asked for the places they would go, so 40 per cent of them specified the US, 20 per cent said any ‘Western’ country, and 19 per cent of them chose a country in the EU, with no difference between male or female choices. (Tung & Lazarova, 2006). Those students or workers on Europe, who moved from East to West, have learned and earned new and different skills which they will use when they turn back to their home countries with the ambition that they will impact directly on the economy and the welfare of the citizens. The movement toward the developed countries doesn’t mean necessarily that people will have better living conditions or a chance to develop their skills. For example, Caribbean doctors or Eastern European scientists work as taxi drivers in US, or Moroccan doctors in France despite their high qualifications, work as interns or even in lower job positions (Schiff 2005). Furthermore, the impact of migration in Mexico has been seen as a negative impact in education (McKenzie,2005). So, in order to prevent the migration of skilled people, different countries have implemented various strategies. E.g. The Croatian government, trying to prevent the Croatian scientists from BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 6 leaving the country, created a $2 million biological research institution, known as the Mediterranean Institute Sciences for Life Sciences, to offer an attractive research facility where Croatian scientists can work (Tung &Lazarova, 2006). Malaysia is another country which has a national strategy for bringing back home talents and scientists, whereas the European Commission (EC) has launched different programs such as Erasmus Mundus (launched in 2004) or a resettlement packages known as Maria Curie in order to promote Europe as the best destination to study for students all over the world (Robertson 2006). Mobility related to the Republic of Kosovo Kosovo has one of the highest rank of migration in East Europe. Kosovo has gone through three major phases of migration. The first one occurred before 1944, the second during 1945- 1990 and the third phase after 1990s. (Bank, 2011). Most of them live in Germany (39 %), Switzerland (23%), Italy and Austria (6-7 % each), Great Britain and Sweden (4-5 % each), USA (3.5 %) and in France, Canada and Croatia (2% each). ('Riinvest', 2007) As for their level of education, 46 percent of the migrators have secondary education and approximately 10 per cent of them have finished higher education, whereas above 22 percent of them, have finished a part of their studies on other countries. ('Riinvest', 2007) From 2012, Ministry of Diaspora organizes ‘Summer Schools’ for 60 kids of Diaspora to interact with the kids of Kosovo and learn about the history of Kosovo. Also, the ‘Summer University of Prishtina’ which started in 2001 and continues each year, is an extraordinary chance to meet up with Diaspora students and learn different subjects. (Selani, 2012) BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 7 During the 90's, in Diaspora, supplementary education was quite well organized, with the support of the institutions of Kosovo. Now it is not so and this is the main concern for our Diaspora. After 1999, the education of youth in their native language, culture, history and national art, has remained a private issue of immigrants. The visitor survey shows that 56% of respondents have children living in host countries, but only one third of them take supplementary education ('Riinvest', 2007). By this situation, the evidence assumes that a majority of our Diaspora speaks and understands their native language only by TV and by communicating with their family. However, they do not learn the language through any institutional mechanism. So, in this point, it's important to focus on the effectiveness of supplementary education for the next generations to come, and so far this is also an issue that even people from Diaspora have shown their concern for. The role of migration on building capacities and abilities, it is not an issue to underestimate. Moreover, migration itself can be motivated by the desire to acquire skills and education abroad. 3.2 per cent of emigrants achieve at least an undergraduate degree abroad and up to 10 percent improve their level of completed education from primary to secondary or secondary to the professional. If these emigrants return, Kosovo can experience ‘brain gain’. (Bank, 2011) Methodology Due to the absence of relevant data for Kosovo, a survey was developed in order to understand the attitudes, motivations and experiences of those who have completed studies abroad and those who currently study here in Kosovo. We have surveyed about 40 people (20 women and 20 men) who have completed their studies abroad and returned home (Please see appendix 1 for sample survey) and 100 students who are finishing their studies in different universities here in Kosovo BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 8 (Please see appendix 2 for sample survey). The respondents were of different ages, different cities of Kosovo and had different profiles of study. They were professors and students from various universities, employees in non-governmental organizations and in public institutions. Through the first survey, some statistics were derived about countries where the returnees have studied. Also, upon examination of the data from the survey made to the returnees, it was found how much they were integrated in society after they came back and how knowledge and international experience gained abroad, helped them to find a job in their home country, respectively Kosovo. Through this survey we have identified some of the main reasons why they have returned home after completing their studies. Also, we also tried to get their perceptions on the issue of mobility for educational reasons. As for the survey conducted from students, we tried to understand their evaluation for the general higher education in Kosovo. They also have shown their ambitions to study abroad and their plan on financing their further education. In addition, the last interest from this survey was to perceive their opinions about opportunities to find a job in Kosovo after finishing their studies abroad. Findings The survey for the returnees The first question stated the country where they have studied, through which we came to determine that most of them have studied in Europe countries, approximately 62 per cent (30% males and 32% females), 30 per cent of them in USA and the other 8 per cent to other countries. A method which has affected the movement of the youth to study towards Europe is Erasmus BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 9 Mundus programme, which aims to enhance quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between Europe and the rest of the world. (Commission, 2013) At the time this survey was done, the respondents were all living in their home country, respectively Kosovo. Over the half of them (65%) had had an opportunity to work abroad after they finished their studies and 35 per cent of them didn’t have that opportunity. The second question sought to determine whether they wanted to live and work in their home countries or elsewhere. Some of them went to study abroad after they won a scholarship offered by the government, so after completing their education abroad, the recipients had to return to their home countries and work for a while, and then they would be able to live and work in any other country in the world. The survey, then inquired reasons that could affect their choice to return back at their home country. In general, it appears that most of them returned to their home country ‘to contribute and to help their country’s economic development’, where 22.5 per cent of them were males and 17.5 per cent females. The other reason why they returned home was because they ‘found a job’ here in Kosovo and wanted to have ‘better career opportunities for themselves’ (10% of them were males and 7.5% females). And the other reason presented from the survey was ‘familyrelated reasons’ (15% males and 25% females). Another question in the survey had to do with the way that was enabling them to study abroad, so from the choices we listed, we found that approximately 38 per cent studied through selffinancing, 35 per cent through scholarships and 27 per cent of them were funded by private institutions. In the question on how much they were integrated into society after returning to Kosovo, 77.5 BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 10 per cent said that they were completely integrated and 22.5 per cent of them, quite well integrated. International knowledge gained abroad and their role for obtaining employment upon return This survey then had the purpose to identify the reasons why people who have studied abroad are more qualified for their current jobs. From their perspectives, they emphasised reasons like their knowledge of foreign languages, technical skills and international experience. When asked to compare themselves with their colleagues at their current place of employment, a large majority indicated that they had more international experience than their domestic colleagues, which has a positive impact on the performances of their work. They also qualified themselves as being more valuable candidates than the others, because they were given the opportunity to study/work abroad and others were not. Over 80 per cent of the respondents believed that their international experience was among the primary reasons why they had been hired. Furthermore, 70 per cent of the respondents agreed that their international experience had helped them to attain a higher status in their organization than others whose background was solely domestic. The last question in survey was whether they consider 'brain drain' or 'brain gain' studying and bringing experiences from abroad to their country and all of the respondents supported the fact that studying abroad is definitely a case of ‘brain gain’, as long as people plan to study and then turn to their motherland to contribute. BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 11 The survey for students On the first question of the survey about the level of satisfaction with the general higher education in Kosovo, the results indicate that 80 per cent of the students are not satisfied and 20 per cent of them are satisfied with the higher education system in Kosovo. BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN When they were asked if they are interested to continue their studies abroad, 94 per cent of them answered they are planning to continue their studies abroad, whereas 6 per cent of them showed no interest on continuing their studies away from their home country. Based on the answers of the secondary question, they were also asked on the way they would plan to finance their further education. The survey assumes that the major number of students 12 BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 13 (72%) planned to study abroad through scholarships, 20 per cent of them through self-investment and a small percentage of 8%, through sponsorship. On the last question, whether studying abroad opens or not opportunities to find jobs in Kosovo, the survey assumes that 95 per cent of the respondents favor the opinion that having studied abroad, opens up more opportunities to get hired on better jobs, while only 5 per cent of them didn't see any difference on finding a job, based on the fact if they study abroad or in their home country. BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 14 Conclusion and Policy Recommendations The impact of mobility in education differs in different countries. The literature suggests that there exists a relation between ‘brain gain’ and ‘brain drain’. Whereas in some countries mobility has affected positively in education, some other countries have received negative consequences. Despite the limitations associated with the topic of this study- the minority of data according with relevant studies, the characteristics of the sample and the small size of the sample which made it difficult to fulfill more exact analysis- it has empathized some strong arguments by giving importance to the subject of creating a stronger relation between Kosovo’s institutions with Diaspora, that certainly need further researches. Based on the interviews and researches conducted, it is realized that most of the students are concerned with the level of high education studies and plan or would prefer to study abroad. BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 15 The Republic of Kosovo as a country in transition is facing with a huge number of the movements of people toward developed countries. By the results of this study, the surveys conducted by the returnees and students who plan to study abroad, it didn’t come to an exact conclusion if Kosovo is a case of ‘brain drain’ or ‘brain gain’ but more likely, it has to do with ‘brain circulation’. This kind of conclusion, is due to answers of the majority per cent of students who plan to study abroad, which temporarily may be considered like ‘brain drain’ and then they plan to come back to contribute here in Kosovo. But then we have the answers of the returnees, who consider that studying abroad and returning to their home country is a definitive ‘brain gain’ case. So, this leads the study to a new term which is named as ‘brain circulation’, which means that even the home country and the country people migrate, have benefits from them. Authorities of The Republic of Kosovo should make rights policies in order to prevent the phenomenon of ‘brain drain’. The governments should develop clear policies in order to promote the return of skilled people who move toward developed countries. Some of the policies that should be implemented to reach the ‘brain gain’ in The Republic of Kosovo are: A. The creation of a specific agency only for communication and contact with Diaspora, that would take the form of workshops, political dialogues, official mettings and international conferences aimed at Diaspora. B. The creation of a database which will include all of the intellectual potentials of Diaspora. C. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) should support projects to estimate the emigrants with their native country such are; summer schools for children and youth. D. MEST should support travel agencies to offer tours to visit historic, cultural and recreational places. BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 16 E. Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports should organize and promote cultural and sports events, especially during the vacations. 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BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN Appendix 1: Spring School on sustainable Human Development Gender: F M 1. In which country have you studied? • • • USA Europe Other 2. In which way did you manage to study abroad? • • • Self-financing Scholarship Other 3. Did you have any opportunity to work after completing your study? Yes No 4. Which were the main reasons for your return in home country after finishing your studies abroad? • • • To contribute To find a better job Other 19 BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN 20 5. How much were you integrated in society after returning in Kosovo? • • • Not at all Little Very much 6. How much did your international experience and knowledge gained abroad helped you to get hired in Kosovo? • • • Not at all Little Very much 7. Do you consider as a brain drain or brain gain studying abroad? • • Brain gain Brain drain BRAIN GAIN VS BRAIN DRAIN Appendix 2: Spring School on sustainable Human Development 1. Are you satisfied with the general higher education in Kosovo? Yes No 2. Do you plan to continue your studies abroad? Yes No 3. If the answer to the question above is positive, how do you plan to finance your further education? • Self-investment • Scholarship • Sponsorship • 4. Do you think that studying abroad opens up the opportunities to find jobs in Kosovo? Yes No 21