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From Brain Drain To Brain Gain (Mauritius) Can We Reverse It?

968 words - 4 pages

Simply described, brain drain is when a country’s vast majority of educated professionals leave to move to one of the more developed countries for better opportunities. These “better” opportunities can be anything from more academic freedom, high-class research facilities, world class educational institutions or very simply a better quality of life.

According to OECD – UNDESA report published in Oct 2013, 41% of Mauritius highly educated people are currently living abroad in one of the developed countries. Mauritian students are increasingly leaving the country for further studies. Most of these students enroll at overseas institutions in the UK, Australia, Europe (in particular France) and India. It is also a major victim of the brain drain towards America. This trend is already leading to labor shortages in several sectors; in particular health, education and ICT (Information and Communication Technology).

Ever since independence in 1968, Mauritius achieved what many African nations were not fortunate enough to accomplish: the transformation from a low developed, poverty stricken island in the 1970s to an expanding economy and financial as well as technological hub for the region. However these transformational years have also seen a lot of good talent move out in search of better pastures.

Emigration reasons:

Like any developing country, lack of infrastructure, job security, big gaps in health, education, environment and public management, high unemployment rate, and limited growth opportunities plague Mauritius.

Wide range of advancement opportunities in academic and research sectors, higher salaries, a better environment, cleaner air/water and a good basic living standard are some of the top reasons that young Mauritians have sought to leave the country. Mauritius has one of Africa's best education systems and highest living standards. While Mauritians are relatively well educated and the Mauritian education is recognized as having Western standards, salaries in Mauritius are too low to compete with Europe and North America.

Educated Mauritians seldom experience problems achieving legal work abroad. Mauritius produces healthcare workers that easily fit into the demands of Europe’s rapidly growing health sector due to Europe’s age structure. The practical training given in Mauritius is quite advanced and Mauritians have the advantage of speaking French and English - a great asset on the European labor market. The salary offered in Europe for such skills are tenfold in comparison with those offered in Mauritius.

As the world becomes more connected, there is a lot of competition to get the right kind of talent from across the borders if need be. International competition for recruiting the best and the brightest is growing, and creating further opportunities for Mauritius’s mobile young professionals.

Tackling brain drain:

Several countries world over have been struggling with the brain drain phenomena. Ironically, whilst Mauritius...

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