We all know that many Kiwis choose to leave and never come back. Student loans have created a new incentive, and a new class of expensively educated loan refugees. Currently we’re loosing folk to Australia in record numbers (another “successful” Nat election promise). And now this:
Top students turning backs on NZ
The brain drain may be sucking another bunch of bright Kiwis down the overseas plughole – high school graduates who leave to study for degrees offshore.
Prime Minister John Key’s science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman says higher numbers of what he calls ”scholarship kids” are passing over New Zealand universities to study abroad.
”They’re very talented kids from top schools and the world’s their oyster. There’s a number of them going to do their undergraduate degree offshore,’” Gluckman said.
”The probability of them returning is very low.”
Brilliant. The brain drain is getting younger. Now they’re leaving straight out of high school.
National made an election promise to stem the brain drain across the Tasman, but last year a poll showed one in eight Kiwis was still considering quitting the country, while figures released in November showed 49,500 people left for Australia last year, with just 14,500 coming the other way. That came after a September study showed around a third of PhD graduates had left to work overseas.
Thanks for that, “brighter future”.
Gluckman, who plans to research whether the problem of undergraduates heading overseas is happening en masse, said it was likely the students left because they didn’t think New Zealand universities were good enough. ”The sad thing is that our universities are as good. It’s crazy to leave New Zealand at this time.”
I’m going to disagree with Gluckman. New Zealand has some excellent universities (though it is true that most of them are slipping backwards under National), and I think that they are perceived as such. What it doesn’t have is excellent prospects for young people. Watching the peer groups of both my kids navigating the school-university transition, it isn’t the quality of tertiary education that they’re unhappy with. It’s the overwhelming sense that they don’t see a future for themselves here…