Sun, Sep 10, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Does Taiwan have a ‘brain drain’?

By Emilio Venezian

The remaining talent outflow is often accounted for by mass migrations of talent from regions of low demand to regions of higher demand.

This frequently happens in teaching. When my son was born in 1969, Massachusetts schools were reported to receive about three applications for every teaching position available. The birthrate had been declining, so by the time he reached first grade, the rate had reached more than 10 applications per opening. By the time he was in the third grade, it was 30 per opening.

Some of these situations can be easily anticipated, such as a demand for future teachers, which is based on changes in demography. We have six to 12 years of advance notice about a probable future demand for elementary school teachers and 20 to 25 years of advance notice about a need for university instructors.

I have yet to see a nation that uses such information to guide students into or away from specific careers, but I have known several that complain bitterly when that talent moves away.

Emilio Venezian is a former visiting professor at Feng Chia University.

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