Impact of Brain Drain on the Quality of Education in Moi University, Kenya

By Wosyanju, Mary Goretti; Kindiki, J. N. et al. | Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, June 2012 | Go to article overview

Impact of Brain Drain on the Quality of Education in Moi University, Kenya


Wosyanju, Mary Goretti, Kindiki, J. N., Kalai, J., Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies


Abstract

The loss of skilled personnel is a major drain on the development process and is not only a Kenyan but also global issue. The study examined the impact of brain drain on public universities in Kenya's Moi University Main Campus, which has seven schools from which a sample was drawn. Adopting a case study design, both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to analyse the findings. Proportional stratified, random and purposive sampling techniques were adopted to make the sample all inclusive and to cater for all categories of respondents. The total population was 360 students and 120 staffmembers from academic and administrative divisions. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The study revealed that the level of brain drain was rather high with staffmoving to the Americas followed by Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia in that order. Based on the findings, the study recommended that universities should increase the budget on research and put a necessary package of incentives to counteract the negative impact of the brain drain. The findings contribute to calls for collective responsibility among stake holders for better understanding and formulating policies that will put structures in place to alleviate brain drain in public universities.

Keywords: impact, brain drain, quality, education, Moi university, Kenya

INTRODUCTION

Brain drain, which has been on the increase, has been found to bear adverse effects on the country's economy (ECA, 2006; Ayodo, 2008; Amutabi, 2011). The term "brain drain" is frequently used to describe the movement of high-level experts from developing countries to industrialized nations (Odhiambo, 2004). It is the loss of academic or skilled personnel by emigration to settle in another country (Onsakia, 2003). Wikipedia (2007) defines brain drain or human capital flight as an emigration of trained and talented individuals to other nations or jurisdictions due to conflict, lack of opportunity and/or health hazards where they are living. Investment in higher education is lost when a trained individual leaves usually not to return.

"Brain drain" has yet to be stemmed since it continues to deprive the developing countries and those in transition, of the high-level expertise necessary to accelerate their socio-economic progress. Although it has been alleged that unemployment has fuelled brain drain (Korir, 2005), there are other causes. Quality of teaching staffhas impacted negatively on teaching and research at the universities. It is estimated that up to two-thirds of lecturers at the universities have no pedagogical training (Nyaigotti-Chacha, 2004). They have also not acquired their highest level of training as lecturers.

According to Odhiambo (2004), "African governments see professors as mere teachers rather than producers of knowledge and therefore as irrelevant to "development" and policy issues". This is a position taken by an academician whose opinion is that the few African scholars in the Diaspora who want to publish have both access to the relevant journals, and the intellectual capacity to do so while overseas but not recognized in their home countries. Policy matters are reserved for "experts", many of them colleagues coming from the west who are even engaged as "consultants" particularly in cases where the local professionals have superior qualifications yet they are answerable to them (Odhiambo, 2004). Gedamu (2002) posits that the presence of brain drain suggests that the provider nation is at risk of depleting its natural supply of intellectual talent. Migratory trends are stimulated both by the character of national educational systems, by lack and inadequate planning for the training of students from developing countries in developed states as well as the proper utilization of their skills in their home country (Tannock, 2007). Thu (2007) posits that for governments to tackle brain drain, they should focus on who remains inside the country or the organization and create conducive environments to attract them to remain. …

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