The brain drain phenomenon in higher education in Greece: attitudes and opinions on the decision to immigrate

Marinakou, Evangelia, Giousmpasoglou, Charalampos ORCID: and Paliktzoglou, Vasileios (2016) The brain drain phenomenon in higher education in Greece: attitudes and opinions on the decision to immigrate. In: 3rd Annual International Conference on Humanities & Arts in a Global World, 3-6 January 2016, Athens, Greece. (Unpublished)

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Brain drain is increasingly a matter of concern within the EU, as more and more highly skilled people migrate from the European south to the north and west of the continent. On the one hand, the phenomenon of brain drain refers to the migration of well-educated or talented people, i.e. highly skilled professionals, researchers, academics and students. On the other hand, the term ‘migration’ is used to define the geographical movement of individuals and groups, for temporary or permanent residency in another socio-cultural context. The causes for emigration are mainly financial, such as when the parent country’s economy is undergoing recession. The phenomenon of ‘brain drain’ is most often associated with economic loss for those countries losing their highly skilled workforce. In Economics, this phenomenon is known as ‘human capital flight’, referring to the movement of the capital, which is not invested in the country where it was created. Brain drain is usually also associated with social loss, since it refers to the exodus of highly specialized professionals, scientists, researchers, academics and students. This paper presents the findings of the interviews conducted with 35 educators who have already emigrated from Greece and work in higher education institutions around the world. The findings suggest that the majority left Greece because of the crisis and the low wages in the sector as well as due to the lack of opportunities, as nepotism has been found to be a key issue to the decision to leave. Interestingly most of the participants believe they might return to the country in 5 years time. Overall, the outflow of high-skilled individuals has significant long-term implications for the country’s economic growth potential and its competitiveness. This paper aims at creating awareness of the phenomenon as it affects education systems and societies, which export skilled labour.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: brain drain; Greece; economic crisis; migration; higher education
Subjects: Education
Depositing User: Babis Giousmpasoglou
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2016 16:08
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:19


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