Coming home: reversing Israel’s brain drain

December 19, 2012 12:30

Israel’s best and brightest academics are migrating at an alarming rate; a concerted effort must be made to make them stay.

4 minute read.

Students at Tel Aviv University

Students at Tel Aviv University 370. (photo credit:Danielle Ziri)

It’s no secret that Israel has more PhD’s per capita than any other country, Jews have won a highly disproportionate number of Nobel Prizes over the years and that Israel is a high-tech powerhouse. But a less familiar and increasing phenomenon in Israel is “brain drain,” the emigration of Israeli academics in all fields to European countries and the United States. Israel’s brain drain is particularly alarming because the rate at which professors migrate from Israel is four to six times higher than the migration from other developed countries.

Last May, Holocaust survivor and Jewish philanthropist Marcel Adams donated $1 million in scholarships to young Israeli scientists who returned to Israel following their studies at renowned institutions of higher education abroad. Adams, 92, made his gift to counter this “brain drain” that has resulted in an estimated one-quarter of Israeli scientists leaving Israel to work in the Diaspora.


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