A worrying new survey shows that almost 70 per cent of professors and assistants at Macedonia’s universities are contemplating leaving the country.
Some 69 per cent of professors and assistants in higher education in Macedonia would consider leaving the country for better opportunities abroad – and more than 20 per cent have already applied for a job abroad – a survey carried out by the Skopje-based Institute for Strategic Studies and Education, a think tank, shows.
The reasons are mainly existential, including the low standard of living and wages, lack of access to promotion and political influence in universities, which often hampers promotion based on merit.
Respondents to the survey also noted the country’s fragile political stability and the lack of proper rule of law as reasons for wanting to emigrate.
The survey undermines a common perception that only highly educated people working in technical sciences wish to leave.
It shows that professors in social sciences are equally considering packing their bags, even if the jobs offered overseas are below their qualifications.
“Results show that there is a big potential for migration among the highest educated people in the field of social sciences,” law professor Miso Dokmanovic, the author of the study, said.
Aleksandar Nikolov, from the Association for Development Initiatives – Zenith, an NGO, said Macedonia needed to reconsider its current national strategy on preventing brain drain.
“The civic sector should be more engaged in offering suggestions to the government and to the universities on how to change the overall ambient at home, so that less highly educated people see no perspective in the country,” Nikolov told MIA news agency.
He said that ensuring highly educated people get better wages and better conditions for their scientific research should be a priority.
The survey, carried out in September on a representative sample of university professors, assistants and researchers, forms part of the study called “Setting up Criteria to Quality in Social Sciences to Prevent Brain Drain in Macedonia.”
The survey shows that most of the university staff want to leave for the more developed Western European countries. The United States is the second most desired destination.
According to EU statistics, Macedonia, a country of just over two million people, has been badly affected by depopulation and brain drain.
For more read the full of article at The Balkaninsight