"Brain drain" a matter of intellectual security

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Baku, 9 April 2013 –

Submitted for the competition held by "” web portal on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the declaration of the first secular and democratic republic of the Orient.

Lately, the key objective of the transnational companies has become the alluring of knowledgeable human resources. The subsequent mission is protection of the "mind force” and its containment within the company. Intellectual exodus, "brain roaming” or "brain drain” is considered to be an unchecked aspect of the migration process. Making its way into the commonly used lexicology as "Brain Drain”, the process of intellectual outflow is variously described by the researchers. The likes of C. Bhagawati, T. Straubhaar, L.Viagen and R.Martin recognized that directly connected with migration processes, "brain drain” is a resettlement of highly-qualified workforce in the developed countries due to insufficient salaries in their native countries. Most economic, legal and social terminology dictionaries provide following interpretations of "Brain drain”: - Migration of highly qualified specialists abroad due to failure to establish descent life at home.

Notion of the "brain drain” has entered scientific literature upon the report prepared by the British Royal Society. The term was used in 1962 to describe the migration of engineers, technicians and scientists form the UK to the U.S. The mentioned report caused great resonance around the world and the term "brain drain” became widely used by the scientists in the same meaning.

One of the eminent Turkish scientists Dr. Muhammer Kaya believes that although the quest of the well-educated, skillful and qualified professionals leaving their countries bound for scientific and research institutes and transnational companies abroad contributes to scientific and technical growth, it nevertheless is detrimental to their home countries.

It should be added that "brain drain” or accumulation of qualified persons in a single favorable destination (example: accumulation in the U.S. prior and after the WWII) led to tremendous growth in science and technology. Science and technology is an asset not confined to concrete country, the entire mankind benefits from it. Internet, computers, modern telecommunications, machinery and equipment are the vivid examples. Ultimately, even the poorest nations stand to benefit from the "brain drain” as it spurs the overall global growth.

There is a need for scientific research of the problem of "brain drain” being an integral component of the process of globalization. The "brain drain” is a process comprised of fooling aspects: - domestic "brain drain” (highly qualified professionals abandoning the field of science due to insufficient salary and poor working conditions and looking for employment in more profitable private sector. It also entails a shortage of intellectual potential in the society and undermines the human resources foundation of science and research centers and educational institutions), and foreign "brain drain” (resettlement of educated and qualified individuals in the developed countries in pursuit of financial and career gains).

According to statistics released by the UN economic loss inflicted upon the country by the "brain drain” is measured by the following formula: Y = (R+P+K) N1 – (V+E+D). G.Bumovskaya and C.Lanorin, researchers with one of the stakeholder funds interpreted the formula in the following fashion:

  • R – capacity building expenses for scientists and experts;
  • P – lost profit;
  • K – depletion of scientific-technical potential, quality loss in human capital in the field of science;
  • N1 – number of experts and scientists to never return;
  • V – profit made owing to "brains” that joined the "brain drain” but later considered returning home;
  • E – profit made by the host countries thanks to former migrants encouraged to re-engage economic-scientific field;
  • D – profit made by the country thanks to personal wealth generated by the "brains", money transfers, scientific and technical inventions, tax contributions, business ventures built, and etc.
  • N2 – number of experts and scientists to return home.


There are two commonly accepted concepts with respect to "brain drain”:

I. Knowledge and experience sharing or brain exchange. According to the concept people joining "brain” migration share their labor and skills in the new enterprises and transnational companies. In the meantime, the very transnational companies "lend” their experts without sustaining losses.

II. Brain waste – brain loss concept. In this event a country exposed to the process faces total loss of intellectual potential which entails social-economic degradation and wellbeing decline.

Azerbaijan was also affected by the process of "brain drain”. Azerbaijan enjoys developed areas of educations and science that require knowledge and skills of Azerbaijani scientists and of the qualified personnel. Azerbaijani scientists occupy prominent and irreplaceable position in the international science community. Future growth of Azerbaijan as a nation is closely connected with its intellectual capital.

Zaur Aliyev, PhD in Political Sciences

Literature used:

  1. Bhagawati C. A Stream of Windows: Unsettling Reflactions on Trade, Immigration and Democracy, Cambridge (MA), Themi+Press, 1998, 480 p.
  2. Straubhaar T. International Mobilithy of Highey Skilled, Brain Gain. Brain Drain or Brain Eхchange. Hamburq, Buttle, 2000, pp 212
  3. Утечка Умов в общественном мнении // "Общественное мнение", №7(8), 2001, стр. 25-35
  4. Клочко Ю., Савельев А. Утечка умов в контексте нового мирового порядкa. Киев, 1994, стр.147


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