“No we were not waiting”: the participants of the SPIEF talking about “brain drain”

Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “URALCHEM”:

At our enterprises and in General in our industry, we such problems do not see. I read about that “leak brain”, but I would disagree. Maybe the problem is in the framework of the country and for ambitious young people who come to our best universities and know that the education that they can get is not the limit. I too was once a student and can imagine how students think, whose eyes are sparkling. They want to make breakthroughs in their industries and be the best of the best. I think this applies to a few percent of very gifted and ambitious students who want to improve their level. If people understand that they are willing to work 15-16 hours, ready for some degree of self-sacrifice for the sake of science and career, then Yes, you should leave. And if someone thinks it is good there where we are not, then this principle does not work.

Should Russia engage in “import” brains? I think so, Yes. For example, we invite the Germans. They have their own science, its technology. We want not so much to replace our specialists as to compare their knowledge with our and choose the advantages of both.

Alexei Ulyukayev, Minister of economic development of Russia:

“There is of course [the problem of brain drain]. There are three types of migration — relatively speaking, European when people come who are on welfare [social security] sit down. The second type is typical for Canada, Australia. This high-quality labour migration. And the third type is the migration of our labor, but of poor quality. People migrate in order to take a bad workplace with low wages. And so it carries a lot of social and other consequences. We need a shift to migration of labor, but quality”.

Igor Chaika, owner (son of the Prosecutor General of Russia):

Team of my friends, partners, associates, colleagues — the guys are quite young, the average age from 25 to 38 years old. I had never heard that any of my friends or colleagues, or partners, or high-level personnel talked about what they think or consider for themselves to realize their potential somewhere abroad. But of course I know about [this problem] you know. Moreover, I was recently in China one of Asia’s largest exhibitions of imported food. Saw stands for foreign partners is the European Union and the United States. And I’ve seen at events they really go (looking) guys, including from Russia. Everyone has personal motives, someone not satisfied with everyday things, someone to fulfill your potential can not.

I believe that (to leave) very hard. If anyone has the illusion that someone out there is very welcome and greeted with open arms, it is cheating. There’s the same harsh reality, the same harsh reality, as you have to fight, to move, to cling to, to bite. This is the deception that you can go and then you’ll have life with a rainbow and flowers.

Whether has sense to “import” brains? 100 percent, I think you need to care about her, not to leave. As for expats, I do not think that this experience is always successful. All depends on the direction.

Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia:

The problem is very serious. And we see, unfortunately, that there are no state statistics on the subject. As the ruble weakened, the opportunity for spillover [of the brain] is very simple and easy. Competition in the world is very high, our personnel are in reality significantly more expensive than the conditions that employers provide for the recruitment, especially in those industries where we are the absolute leaders. For example, our orchestra artists in demand around the world, the same applies to ballet performers, and many sectors in the humanitarian sphere.

It is necessary to develop the economy and raise wages, need access to the funds. Today the economy is not developing due to the unavailability of financial resources.

But come to us [professionals], we have a high demand. Come to us absolutely all the first men in different areas of culture: the leaders of the largest theatres, Philharmonics. We humans love to learn. But the reverse process, of course, more for the same work you can get comparable money, this is a normal incentive for departure.”

Anatoly Chubais, head of RUSNANO

What we see in our real work? This phenomenon [the brain drain] — we somehow see among our friends, relatives. At the same time, I can say that in our real projects, and we have 68, no due to this problem, something failed, something failed. We see the opposite situation. I can give examples, when we have within our projects in Russia people returning from the US and Silicon valley.

The reason for the departure can be only one. Innovative economy is designed so that no one useless force. You ask in Silicon valley people: why you work here and not on the East coast? They will say, there is bad, there is horrible climate and nasty atmosphere. It is impossible to force and persuade, this thing is on the level of feelings. They are bad. And if they are bad, it’s not a problem of specific individuals, and the problem of the country because now there is no more important competition in the world than competition for brains.

Andrei Fursenko, assistant to the President of Russia:

Mobility problem exists worldwide, but for Russia it is greatly exaggerated. We have today’s statistics movement of personnel is more to Russia than from Russia, including the educated people. Of course, these are people who come from the CIS, but it is people with higher education degrees and so on. Question about the departure of hundreds of thousands is not lawful, it was lawful in the 90-ies, and now the situation is not so.

There is a wish to leave, primarily in the IT industry. A very popular profession. But I talked to companies, even those who leave, they leave, not at all. Their logic is this: they go to work, leave and the right to return.

Alexei Kudrin, head of the Center for strategic research:

We need to create more comfortable conditions for the creative class, which now creates a new growth, a new technology that makes the country competitive. And this class today is itself not a very comfortable feeling in our country.

You can create “oases”, it is done. But important the overall atmosphere, quality of institutions, determining the quality of life, from education for children and medicine to personal safety, travel, moral comfort, in terms of communication, openness, ability to talk on many subjects. If Russia will be able to go back to the creation of such conditions and to achieve this progress, many will be back.

Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “URALCHEM”:

At our enterprises and in General in our industry, we such problems do not see. I read about that “leak brain”, but I would disagree. Maybe the problem is in the framework of the country and for ambitious young people who come to our best universities and know that the education that they can get is not the limit. I too was once a student and can imagine how students think, whose eyes are sparkling. They want to make breakthroughs in their industries and be the best of the best. I think this applies to a few percent of very gifted and ambitious students who want to improve their level. If people understand that they are willing to work 15-16 hours, ready for some degree of self-sacrifice for the sake of science and career, then Yes, you should leave. And if someone thinks it is good there where we are not, then this principle does not work.

Should Russia engage in “import” brains? I think so, Yes. For example, we invite the Germans. They have their own science, its technology. We want not so much to replace our specialists as to compare their knowledge with our and choose the advantages of both.