Tunisia – Experts warn Tunisia’s increased brain drain to lead the state to ruin
Location: Tunis, Tunisia
Source: A24 Tunisia
Restriction: A24 Subscribers
Brain drain is a growing phenomenon that experts say will destroy Tunisian society if it is not dealt with immediately. Recent studies anticipate a further rise in human capital flight, particularly in digital engineering and medicine, which will lead to further staff shortages in the public sector, especially in the health sector.
Specialists and university graduates attributed the reasons that prompt scholars, educated and highly skilled people to leave Tunisia to low wages, unemployment, and a lack of training and research fields that are incompatible with their qualifications and aspirations.
Soundbite (Wael Al-Tarzi – Tunisian scholar residing in Italy):
“I loved Tunisia and wanted to serve my country, but after graduating from university and after many years of studying to get my first postgraduate certificate, starting with the second, and after being active in civil society, I opened my eyes to the reality of the Tunisian situation. Many young, educated Tunisians and I decided to emigrate from the country. We could have benefited our country, but it refused to respect our qualifications and asked us to leave. Tunisia is a very beautiful land that many would like to live in, but in order to be able to live in it comfortably and decently, you only have to have power and influence.”
Soundbite (Khaled – A 23-year-old student who aspires to leave the country):
“There are no more encouraging and reassuring reasons for us to build our future here. We study in universities for many years to face unemployment or work for 10 or 15 Tunisian dinars (3 or 4.5 dollars), as we are exploited, which means we lost half our life studying in vain.”
Soundbite (Walid – a 37-year-old employee and family man):
“I am seriously considering emigrating so that I can improve my life. Although I have a job here, thank God, the wages are very low compared to the cost of living. Given the many other conditions in Tunisia, we are no longer able to continue and live here.”
Soundbite ( Ramadan Benomar – Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights):
Tunisia is the second Arab country in brain drain rates after Syria, which, as we know, is facing many crises related to the war. Tunisia is also going through a similar crisis that is driving thousands of brains to emigrate. The national community spent money on these people to reach a scientific and technical level. Tunisia has always bet on human capital. In the next stage, this phenomenon may constitute a major drain on the country, especially with the decline in public services, considering that the public sector, such as the medical sector, suffers from a lack of cadres.”
Soundbite (Nizar Bensalah – Secretary General of the University of Higher Education of the Labor Union):
“The Tunisian Agency for Technical Cooperation (a national agency responsible for cooperation with other countries and providing job opportunities in the framework of partnership with those countries) has 2014 higher education teachers registered with the agency, 1,811 of whom range in ranks between assistant professor, lecturer and professor of higher education. They are the core of the general education system but tend to emigrate from the country. These numbers (of brain drain) are shocking, and we consider them to be a serious drain on our system. We wonder if an educated Tunisian decided that he could not combine a decent life with stability in a homeland. Those who did not emigrate are struggling and the state must take care of them. They have accepted the service of the homeland and sacrifice. They suffer with pride and believe that they have a noble mission to perform, believing that the teacher almost became a messenger of god. This is a trust we make and we have not given up, but it is time for our country to offer us concrete things other than speeches.”