The migration generation – Carola Bertone, Italy


The brain drain is defined as the situation in which many educated or professional people leave a particular place or profession and move to another one that gives them better pay or living conditions. Nevertheless, it is not simple to explain this phenomenon that is continuously affecting every country in the world. This indicator outlines what is happening in Italy, which is experiencing a situation where the flow of talent seems inexorably fixed in one direction: out of the country. Other countries in Europe, as well as the developing world, also suffer from the same problem, but Italy is the only Western European country where the number of intellectuals leaving the country so grossly outweighs those coming in. The fact that a wealthy, developed nation with such a rich cultural history is being slowly leeched of its talent is a highly troubling development.

Italy has known the phenomenon since the sixties and at that time, Germany and Switzerland were the most popular destinations for students. Southern students moved to the north in order to find better job perspectives, but now, because of the economic crisis, with more than one out of two citizens not having a job, people look further.

Where  do students go? The top locations are the United Kingdom, Germany, followed by Luxemburg, the United States and China. The truth of the matter is that the system that has failed its own people also fails to attract new talent to its shores. High levels of corruption, low spending on academic research and a convoluted and frustrating bureaucratic system mean that foreign brains end up looking elsewhere. The historical universities, such as Bologna, one of the best in the country, founded in 1088, which makes it the oldest continuously operating university of the world, are not able to contrast the exodus. According to OECD/OCSE data, less than 3% of foreign students come to study in Italy and in the scientific field, the numbers are even lower. Some years ago, in 2007, the government decided to start offering university courses in English but is it has not changed much until now. Other countries have actualized a policy of  keeping the best students whilst our country is behind, it needs to make itself attractive to outsiders (and this applies all over the spectrum, not just in academic fields) before it can start creating a future for itself. Whether it will be able to do so, however, is another question. It is often said that Italy is a doldrums country and just recently, the government has pointed out how education could be a tool to eradicate problems and form people to have a positive impact on the economy. But doubts come in mind when you get that what the Education Ministry wants to increase are music, art and physical education lessons. This country has a priceless culture and in such an economic stagnation, Italian education system is often accused of being too theoretical and not providing students with the right skills and abilities to enter their future lives. In going abroad, students see a way of escaping from a fixed system that is without flexibility and meritocracy. A country without meritocracy will never grow as much as it could potentially.

One response to “The migration generation – Carola Bertone, Italy

  1. World Migration Day

    In 5 months ( Jan-May 2015 ), some 50,000 migrants from North Africa , crossed Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats, to land on shores of Italy
    That is some 10,000 per month ( soon reaching 100,000 per month ? )
    Irrespective of EU countries’ decision to admit only 20,000 per year , by 2020 this figure could reach 1 MILLION per month !
    Why this huge migration ?

    Apparent reasons :

    > ISIL is terrorizing Syria / Iraq
    > Boko Haram are doing the same in Nigeria
    > Houthies are following both in Yemen
    > Libya is facing a civil war
    > North and South Sudans are at war
    > Tunisia is boiling with massive unrest
    > Taliban is rearing its ugly head in Afghanistan
    > Egypt is simmering with angst against Muslim Brotherhood
    > Pakistan is becoming terrorists’ training ground
    > Turkey / Lebanon / Jordan are getting overrun with refugees
    > All over Mid-East , Shias and Sunnis are fighting
    In short , most of African and Mid-East countries are exploding with local wars , under Europe’s soft underbelly and porous right borders

    Real reasons :

    Millions of citizens of these countries are facing unemployment and consequent starvation ( when not getting killed by terrorists )
    It is no different with migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar trying to find shelter in Indonesia / Philippines / Australia / Thailand

    Closer At Home :

    Of entire World’s 800 million ” mal-nourished ” ( euphemism for ” starving ” ) people , 200 million are in India
    Only , instead of calling them ” Starving ” people , we choose to call them , ” Naxalites / Maoists ” etc !
    We fail to realize that there can be no political solution to ” Starvation ” !
    Where can they migrate ? There is no ” Promised Land ” on India’s borders !

    Solution ?

    Since no developed country wants to admit migrants from poor countries , let UNO declare , Antarctica as ” United States of Migrants ” – USM
    And fix quotas of migrants that each poor country can dispatch to USM each year ( roughly in proportion to ” Starving ” population of each poor country )
    Then contribute funds for creating settlements in Antarctica ( – in any case , due to Global Warming , ice-shelves are melting and soon Antarctica will become habitable ) .

    For the rich countries , this would be the most , economically and socially viable solution

    Let a beginning be made by declaring 27 June , as

    ” World Migration Day ”

    hemen parekh
    09 June 2015


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