The rate of brain drain rate in Russia has been rapidly increasing. Right now it’s one of the biggest problems in the country. In 3 years from 2013 to 2016 the number of scientists who left Russia more than doubled, according to RBC.
Russia keeps losing educated specialists
The latest data provided by the Russian Academy of Sciences suggests that the brain drain over the last three years has doubled.
Since 1990, the number of researchers in the country has decreased by 2.7 times. The average annual reduction in personnel engaged in research and development has been at 1.3% per year since 200. On the contrary, in the European Union and the United States, the number of scientists has grown by 2-3%. Brazil, Korea and China increased their numbers of researchers by 7-10%.
In 2013 the number of migrants from Russia among highly qualified specialists was 20 thousand, while in 2016 it jumped up to 44 thousand people.
According to chief scientist of the RAS Nikolai Dolgushkin, the situation is even more complicated by the ongoing drain of human capital in the last few years, the losses of which are yet to be quantified.
Dolgushkin also noted that there have been fewer scientists involved in working for the institutes of the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations. Generally, among scientists, the share of doctors of sciences among researchers dropped from 13.8% to 13% (from 2013 to 2016), and candidates of sciences (PhD) — from 31.7% to 30%.
The average age of a Russian researcher exceeded 50 years while every third reached their retirement age. It means, the Russian science is losing its young specialists and the older scientists are about to retire. But there are too few academics to take their place and push the science forward.
In February 2018 Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called the brain drain “the biggest weakness of the country”. According to Rogozin, the government invests a lot of money in developing young talents and then gives no opportunity to the specialists to implement their ideas. This is how such potentially strong human resources leave the country seeking a better life.
Qualified specialists leave Russia
The report “Qualified migration in Russia: Balance of losses and acquisitions” released in January 2018 mentioned the data by Rosstat. The figures show that in 2015 51.8 thousand people left Russia and in 2016 the number of migrants jumped to 59.7 thousand, Lenta.ru reported. However, the authors Julia Florinskaya and Nikita Mktrshyan believe that the actual numbers of emigrants are much higher. Data of migration services by other countries show that it’s about 100 thousand people that move out of Russia every year.
The differences are due to the method of calculation. The Russian statistics only show people who informed the internal service about their desire to move abroad and registered with the Russian consulate as a citizen living overseas. However, many migrants prefer to remain in the status of a resident because they keep their property and real estate they own in Russia.
The majority of people who left Russia are educated. At the same time, most new migrants who move to Russia don’t have degrees.
Olga Golodets, the deputy prime minister of Russia on social issues, stated recently that there are about 1.5 million of Russian specialists working abroad. However, experts say that even this number is several times higher.
Russian scientists state that the reason for moving overseas is not only higher wages. In Russia, scientists are required to deliver a result, but it’s not always possible when you are doing a research. You may discover something outstanding or it may not happen. In western countries scientists are valued for the efforts they put in their work, not for the results they have managed to deliver. But in Russia if a researcher could not deliver an outstanding result, then he is basically blacklisted, Alexander Konfisakhor from Saint Petersburg University complained.
Even if a scientist made a discovery, its results are unlikely to be unitized, the vice president of the Russian Academy of Sciences Zhores Alferov stated. Alferov believes that this is the biggest problem of not only for the science but for the whole country.