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Vietnam faces increasing brain drain phenomenon

10:59 | 07/10/2020

While most elite intellectuals trained abroad have no intention to return home country, a lot of Vietnamese are seeking opportunities to develop their career oversea, resulting in an increasing brain drain phenomenon in the country.

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vietnam faces increasing brain drain phenomenon
Unreasonable policies and remuneration are among the reasons why many oversea intellectuals won't return their home country after studying (Photo: TBSVN)

Not enough policies

Mr. Nguyen Huy Hoang from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) was quoted by Vietnamnet as saying that Vietnam still doesn’t have sufficient policies to develop a contingent of intellectuals. The current policies were not attractive enough to attract overseas Vietnamese intellectuals to contribute to solving national problems, and domestic intellectuals to work with scientific and cultural centers in the world.

Hoang also pointed out that there were many problems in financial policies for science and technology, culture and art activities. Scientists therefore had to use some ‘tricks’ to get disbursement for their scientific research projects. This affects the quality of creative work, wastes time, effort and money, and affects the prestige and reputation of intellectuals.

Because of the unreasonable policies, Vietnam is facing a brain drain.

Vo Dai Luoc from the Asia-Pacific Economic Center, commented that the elite contingent remains modest, limited in number, and weak in quality.

Meanwhile, among intellectuals and the elite, the people working in state agencies play the decisive role, because the policies used to regulate the country and facilitate intellectuals’ work are created by them.

Unreasonable remuneration

Citing the reasons behind the brain drain, Luoc emphasized the unreasonable remuneration for the elite.

Intellectuals move freely all over the world and it is necessary to apply reasonable policies to attract them. Vietnam needs to compete with other countries, not only to attract Vietnamese talents, but also talent from the rest of the world.

In fact, Vietnam reserves a large proportion of budget for training, but it cannot retain intellectuals.

According to Pham Ngoc Linh from the Central Propaganda and Training Commission, Vietnam has been implementing Resolution 27 on building a contingent of intellectuals for 10 years, but many problems still exist.

vietnam faces increasing brain drain phenomenon
(Photo: Tap Chi Tia Sang)

If there are, the efficiency is not high

Ministries and local authorities have been applying many policies to attract intellectuals, but the efficiency of the policies is not high.

One of the biggest problems is the placement of intellectuals with good professional knowledge in the posts of managerial officers. This is a big waste, because talented people are not used for the right work and they cannot advance or promote their abilities.

State agencies and local authorities spend a lot of money to fund training courses for talented people, but they don’t place them in the right posts.

Earlier on September 25, a forum on the solutions to develop the contingent of intellectuals in 2021-2030 was organized by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS).

Last year, Vietnam's business was thriving thanks to the vast number of expats return whose skills were to stimulate the country’s economy, and the government wanted to cash in. The phenomenon is a brain drain in reverse. Professionals young and old are moving to Vietnam to do business, invest in property, and resettle. Sons and daughters of refugees are heading for their ancestral home.

The reasons were attributed to the fact that thousands of oversea Vietnamese had traveled back to Vietnam, the Vietnamese government also tried to lure oversea Vietnamese back by smoothing their returning path, treating them as domestic investors and domestic real estate buyers, exempting them from personal income tax and some import duties, etc.

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