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Justified Brain Drain In Pakistani professionals-A current conflict!

By Hassaan Ahmed

Statistical data from the Higher education commission of Pakistan and educational institution's graduate placement data suggests that a brain drain is currently happening in Pakistani professionals. In the recent decade, more and more Pakistani able students are bagging a lot of positions and scholarships for graduate studies in top institutions around the globe, The USEFP, and HEC, governing bodies for scholarships by the government and foundation, have recognized the issue. The students go abroad and gain a top-notch education from leading professionals and they never come back to their homeland. With an increasing number of skilled individuals leaving the country for better lives, Pakistan might be on the brink of losing its brain capital. According to a Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment report, more than ten million Pakistani citizens have bid-adieu to the country for better professional and financial opportunities.


With inflation rising and economic uncertainty gripping the country, more and more skilled professionals opt to leave Pakistan. Unemployment is another potent factor that forces professionals to exit the country. In the last two years alone, some 884,000 young Pakistani have left the country, according to the official registrations at the bureau of emigration. The record indicates more than 300,000 Pakistanis left the country in 2018. The figure soared to 500,000 this year. The data from the bureau shows a growing trend of what easily qualifies as the flight of human capital from the country. Most of these individuals are fresh graduates from local universities going for graduate education. Close examination of the figures provided by the Bureau reveals about 10,000 engineers, 3,500 doctors, and 9,500 accountants traveled abroad for jobs during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government's tenure, which came into power with the promise of reducing unemployment in the country. This data highlights the politicalness of the conflict. Of course, the non-existent facilities and hopeless economic venture show a clear case for this flight of brain drain. Officially registered individuals end up sending foreign currency back to Pakistan which helps our economy but again is at the expense of national brain drain. What future holds for this conflict with an exponential curve? Only timely efforts will tell!

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13 Comments


Zersh Salman
Zersh Salman
Aug 22, 2021

I wonder if and how this trend has changed post-covid, with increasing remote-work opportunities in a lot of fields. I would really like to know what you think, and if you found any recent studies around this topic.

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wonderful question. I think the trends remain the same because there is only worsening of economy happening due to a pandemic.

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I agree with you. You have shared some bitter facts of our country. It is not enough to work on the agenda of "Education for All". What is the purpose of restructuring the whole education system of the country and creating SNC when there are never enough opportunities for the fresh graduates in their own country. It is necessary to work on creating opportunities for our young graduates and professionals so that they contribute to their own country instead of going abroad to seek better opportunities.

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What an amazing post! You raised a serious issue that is probably being ignored since forever. No one here cares about the brain drain, unfortunately. Living in Pakistan, we are always submerged in so many social issues that we just want to escape. I hope things get better in our country in the near future, and our young talented minds get the deserved opportunities!

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a fun resource to look up in this regard would be Ken Robinson's "Do schools kill creativity?"

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yes i have already watched this on youtube. Thanks for sharing


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You have rightly pointed out how teaching and learning has been reduced to a delivery system. It reminds me of the banking model of education by Freire, describing how information is deposited into the student's mind. Teacher is an active participant while students are just learning what he teaches them. No critical thinking.

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I agree! Also not just teaching, but gaining an education itself is popularly limited to rote-learning, and a very surface level absorption of all that is taught without correct implement of tools such as critical thinking etc.

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