Brain drain- why this will never stop
Thousands of African students travel from Algeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Malawi, Togo, Tunisia, Nigeria; you name it, to seek higher education outside their countries. Canada, USA, UK, and Australia is the most popular choice of international study destination for these students and it will be of no surprise when the number doubles over the years, although there are new trends and preferences emerging such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Malaysia and Ukraine. Cyprus and a few other European countries are also not left out of the picture. English speaking countries and French speaking countries abroad are the most targeted by these African students since most of them were colonized by French and English countries thus making it their official country language.
All it takes to attract these African students to study internationally is better infrastructure and resources. Most African students leave their countries for higher education abroad because their schools either lack the resources/ have insufficient resources for them to pursue their education or either the courses they want to offer are not available for them to pursue. Poor studying conditions and infrastructures also contribute to that. Pursuing your education in Africa is more theoretical, less practicality. For example when majoring in Chemistry, there are only a few state of the art laboratories for students to experiment in, so most of them don’t get a feel of practical lessons since its limited. More often students get accessibility to books rather than practical lessons. Let’s say even with the determination of whether litmus paper turn into red after an indicator has been added, all the student will know is with what the books is saying, that after the experiment this and that will happen, but the student cannot test the process by him/herself in most cases because of the limited resources. In most cases, they are no indicators or litmus papers available for an experimental conduction by the student.
Another contribution to this pursuance of higher education abroad is due to the respect one gains when one travels outside their home country to study. Students enjoy high status and prestige upon their return home. Talk about the lots of job opportunities available for them when they return. Every organization will prefer an employee who has experienced cross-cultural competence and has cutting edge skills over one who has not. With their widened scope of view due to studying abroad, they are able to think from a multi-cultural perspective when confronted with a situation and it’s able to come up with solutions and this helps improve their employment prospects. That is what every organization needs and hence preferring employees who have studied abroad than that of the local ones. Students in Africa are aware of all that thus part of the reasons they seek higher education abroad.
African universities do not have the funds to operate effectively and efficiently. Institutions abroad should take advantage of this deficiency in the home country universities of these African students and capitalize on them. No funds are available for students to be able to research on their works and complete their thesis. This absolutely means that Universities abroad need to become more proactive in recruiting African Students.