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Brain Drain Continues in Iran

According to a survey of 232 students at Tehran University conducted by the university’s Islamic Association in March, around one in two students (64%) said they have considered the possibility of leaving the country for whatever reason
In 2014, around 120,000 Iranian students were studying abroad, most of them in Malaysia, the US, Canada, Germany, Turkey, the UK and Tajikistan.In 2014, around 120,000 Iranian students were studying abroad, most of them in Malaysia, the US, Canada, Germany, Turkey, the UK and Tajikistan.

Well-qualified and talented Iranians continue to go abroad for higher studies or to seek better living standards. Many are driven away by the high unemployment rate (12.7%) in the country, but issues like social and economic pressures that come up as a consequence of not being able to earn a fair and reasonable wage also play a significant role in exacerbating the brain drain.

Brain drain is a major global concern due to its impact on a nation’s development. Without skilled manpower, a country or a region cannot achieve sustainable development, says Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Mohammad Farhadi.

According to a survey of 232 students at Tehran University that was conducted by the university’s Islamic Association in March, around one in two students (64%) said they have considered the possibility of leaving the country for whatever reason; only 14% were 100% sure that they didn’t want to leave, Khabaronline reported.

From among those considering leaving, 41% said they would return home after completing their education, while 13% said they prefer to stay on. The rest of the respondents were uncertain whether they would return or stay on.

The most popular destinations for the students were the US (38%), Europe (36%), Australia (15%), Eastern Europe (9%), and East Asia (2%).

Also, the researchers found 21% of the students want to migrate overseas for high-quality education.

Among some of the reasons highlighted for wanting to leave were, “a more relaxed atmosphere abroad, prospects of a new life, being independent from parents, getting away from the unfavorable economic climate and social constraints.” The study found out that 62% wanted to move overseas by applying for study programs.

In 2014, around 120,000 Iranian students were studying abroad, most of them in Malaysia, the US, Canada, Germany, Turkey, the UK and Tajikistan.

A report by the International Monetary Fund in 2009 indicated that Iran tops the list of countries losing their academic elite, with an annual loss of 150,000 to 180,000 specialists.

Other countries with high rate of human capital flight were Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, China, Mexico, Jamaica, Malaysia, and the UK (with over 1.1 million university graduates living and working outside the country).

  Lack of Research Funds

In 2013, Professor Hamid Gurabi, head of Royan Research Institute warned that Iran’s stem cell scientists are increasingly being driven to the Arab countries and other parts of the world, as for many it is difficult to get research funding here.

Based on statistics released by the Management and Planning Organization, over the past 14 years, 62% of the students who had won awards in international scientific Olympiads migrated to developed countries and are now working in the most renowned universities and research centers across the world.

According to a report released by Iran’s National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR) in 2013, the US, UAE, Canada, the UK, Germany, France and Sweden, have been top 7 destinations for Iranians.

In 2014, around 390,000 Iranians were living in different parts of the US and 80% had a university degree.

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