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Hewlett-Packard and UNESCO piloting solutions for alleviating brain drain


Since 2003, through the project “Piloting Solutions for Alleviating Brain Drain” UNESCO and HP have contributed to fighting the brain drain phenomenon that countries in South East Europe and Africa are facing.

Many countries in South-Eastern Europe experienced emigration of up to 70 percent of their skilled professionals, as a result of the 1990s, conflicts, with up to two-thirds of the teaching and research staff leaving universities. This devastated higher education and scientific research. Likewise, over the past decades, African countries have suffered greatly from the emigration of skilled professionals, scientists, academics and researchers who are estimated to be leaving the continent at the rate of 20,000 a year. In both contexts, this has lead to a problem known as brain drain/waste.

The project aims to establish links between researchers who have stayed in their countries and those that have left, connecting scientists to international colleagues, research networks and potential funding organizations. Faculties and students at beneficiary universities will also be able to work on major collaborative research projects with other institutions around the world.

UNESCO and HP’s joint response to the brain drain problem also aims to improve research, increase dialogue and strengthen human capital across the affected regions: measures such as development of websites, databases and new research projects as well as collaboration with international colleagues. Provision of grid computing technology to universities is also a key objective.