BRAIN DRAIN PROBLEM IN LITHUANIA: PO SSIBLE ACTIONS FO R ITS’ SOLUTION VIA BRAIN GAIN
The migration of highly qualiﬁed knowledge workers is a natural phenomenon in the globalized economy, where knowledge has become a highly valued asset. From the national perspective, this process of migration is characterised in terms of the processes of “brain drain” and “brain gain”. Unfortunately for the less economically developed countries, such as Lithuania, the extent of “brain drain” is greater than that of “brain gain”. However, there are few policy measures that such countries can apply in order to effectively solve the problem of “brain drain”.
In this paper, we argue that the problems of “brain drain” can be most affectively addressed by taking a broader perspective and applying the policy measures for the “brain gain”. This argument rests on an assumption that if the “brain gain” policy instruments are successfully implemented, they will also solve the problem of the “brain drain”, i.e. if a country becomes an attractive place for the international knowledge workers, it will also be attractive enough for the national “brain” to stay in the country.
In the paper, we support this argument with the successful examples of the “brain gain” policy measures of the European and Asian countries (India, South Korea, Taiwan). We claim that many of these measures can also be applied in Lithuania, a “latecomer” country in the globalised knowledge economy. Most of the studies carried out in Lithuania so far tend to focus on addressing the problems of “brain drain”, while we try to extend this perspective into a more promising ﬁeld of the policy of “brain gain”. The empirical survey covered three samples of the respondents: competent managers of the progressive Lithuanian companies (participants of the Executive MBA study programme), the high-potential Lithuanian students from the National Student Academy and foreign students in Kaunas University of Medicine. The research helped identify the most signiﬁcant factors and policy measures that would discourage the actual and potential “knowledge workers” from taking an emigration decision. It also helped identify the most signiﬁcant factors and policy measures that would make Lithuania an effective beneﬁciary in the international processes of the “brain gain”.