The Talent Trade

From University World News

There has been a lot of talk about the ‘brain drain’ phenomenon in higher education, whereby the brightest students and academics are attracted from East to West and from South to North. But as competition for students and academics has grown in countries such as India and China, there have been reports that this process may be going into reverse. For example a just-published report by the leading business consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan predicts that there will be a steady flow of returning migrants to countries like India to fill vacancies for senior positions – and that they will be joined by Americans and Europeans seeking better prospects.

Universities are already beginning to see this reverse movement and analysts like Peggy Blumenthal and Rajika Bhandari of the Institute for International Education argue that there will be increasing mobility in higher education with ‘brain drain’ being replaced by ‘brain circulation’, ‘brain exchange’ or the ‘brain train’. In this special report, University World News investigates this phenomenon and asks whether economic insecurity and rising tuition fees in the West could be factors influencing the talent trade. We also look at migration of the highly educated from Africa and efforts to counter the ‘brain drain’.

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