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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1936. Volume 7. Number 8.

Exporting Brains

Exporting Brains

Every year several students leave New Zealand to continue their studies abroad, but unfortunately a large proportion fail to return. The chief aim of granting travelling scholarships is that the winners, after completing their benefit from the knowledge and experience they have gained.

The reason for their unwillingness to come back, is not hard to find. Life in the Old Country is no more congenial than in New Zealand, but they do realise that their talents are usually better appreciated. Until they receive some inducement to return, the present state of affairs must continue. It is not suggested that these students should receive all the plums, but undoubtedly they deserve some recompense for the time and money which they have spent on their education. Too often they discover that few suitable positions are offering. Take, for instance, the lot of science students. The fact that they have carried out brilliant research or gained a Doctorate is no guarantee that they will obtain employment here, either in the Government or in industry.

Many New Zealanders are rightly proud of the success of their countrymen overseas, but they do not realise that these men would be doing similar work in their motherland if opportunity offered. There was a time when our country led the world in social legislation, but it will be a long time before she regains her position in this field, or in others, if she makes no effort to retain the cream of her University students. One often hears the statement that it is detrimental to send money out of a country, but seldom any reference to the exporting of brains.