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Brain Gain Programme: Engaging the Diaspora and Affecting R & D Prof. Dr. Myqerem Tafaj – National Coordinator Bernard Zeneli – Programme Manager Rezarta Godo - Programme Associate Brain Gain Programme
Introduction The programme was set-up to institutionally deal with the policy formation and programme activities that would adverse brain drain phenomenon. It was built on existing experience and lessons learnt approach It is a nationally executed project funded by UNDP (40%) and Government of Albania (60%). It addresses the Diaspora that is returning as well as returning graduates from well known MA or PH.D. programmes. It has started since April 2006 and will go until June 2010. It plays both advisory and implementation roles and serves as the link between the institutions and individuals that would like to return to Albania
Brain Gain and Academic Reform Start of the Programme coincided with the approval of the new law on higher education - it favors returning individuals with foreign degrees to apply for leadership positions in universities and strengthens international requirements for local Ph.Ds. The Brain Gain element is also central in the new law of the Albanian Academy of Sciences - creates opportunities for Albanians involved in science activities abroad to be members of the Academy.
Brain Gain Programme Objectives Strengthening initiatives and creating favorable conditions to prevent the Brain Drain phenomenon. Framing the right policies that trigger effective engagement of the Diaspora of scientific and academic backgrounds in the development of the country – 10 government decisions and by-laws have been amended thus far. The process has been difficult in terms of implementation. Building an electronic database that helps in identifying individuals that could become key players in this process, supporting further development in: Universities Private and the Business Sector Public Administration Brain Gain Programme
Programme Partners Council of Ministers The Ministry of Science and Education 1 UN Pilot + International Organization of Migration Student Organizations Diaspora Organizations Brain Gain Programme
Supporting Universities and Science Beyond the concept of salary supplements Replacing old concepts with new ones in developing ground-braking initiatives and strategies on new forms of university management models in Albania. 71 individuals currently supported. Identifying highly accomplished individuals with reputable academic titles who can contribute effectively in cultivating the field of science in Albania - support for the Council of Higher Education and Alb- Science Institute Fostering partnerships in scientific research and short-term modules of teaching - 20 visiting professors supported. Brain Gain Programme
Support for the Public Administration Capacity-building for implementing new methods of public management – a2 laws have been changed and 10 new decrees have been issues amending old ones. Identifying individuals who are employed in international administrations and tie their expertize with developments in Albania. Virtual returns to Albania - under discussion Pilot Project: capacity-building in the Information- Technology sector through the support to the National Agency for Information Society - currently 11 individuals supported with incentive packages Brain Gain Programme
Supporting Business Development Drafting and implementing a long-term strategy on job-generation in Albania, in accordance with: Strategic Economic Development Skill-sets necessary to compete advantageously in the market economy Map of Albanian Students Abroad (geographical positioning) of all of the students who study abroad Cooperating with Diaspora organizations as well as with the MDG-F Spanish Funds Brain Gain Programme
Brain Gain Incentive Packages During the 2006-7 academic year the incentive and support scheme was applied at the University of Durr ë s, Aleksand ë r Moisiu, while in 2007 it was piloted at the National Agency for the Information Society as part of the Public Administration. Two newly set-up institutions were chosen in order to have higher impact. Based on the accrued experience, we built up the scheme that will present shortly. The Brain Gain support scheme is intended for individuals who have completed and earned their Masters and/or Ph.D.s with very good results and who have work experience abroad. (graded above average) abroad. This scheme aims at improving the teaching quality and raising university teaching standards at all levels and in scientific research as well.
Incentive Packages This scheme is strongly tied to the job position, and is applicable (valid) only in cases where employed individuals come from abroad, having earned reputable scientific titles. It aims to allow the institutions to grow in the process of capacity building by letting them apply for the incentive packages for the individuals that they have themselves hired. The process aims to increase awareness of the benefits that the brain gain process has in an academic or public administration institution.
Benefiting Institutions Public Universities Department Chairs Master Programs Ph.D. Programs Private Universities Scientific Research Institutions Public Administration Private Business Companies Hard-hit migration areas and poor regions of Albania
Key Positions to be Sustained Department Chairs within research units across Universities, as per the latest framed instructions Lecture positions at the Master level in regional universities Lecture positions in Master programs (Ph.D. highest level) with a modular and resolute (concentrated) teaching model Research group leaders within new scientific research institutions 100 - 400 positions to be supported (currently 71)
Brain Gain Package Benefits For Individuals Allocation Grant - 3000 - 7000 euro to cover expenses related to their return and adjustment back in the country Facilitated mortgage loans to purchase homes Accelerated process in recognizing diplomas and titles Qualifying for participation in the scientific research schemes and Excellence scheme Support for conference presentations and trainings Assistance in the hiring process For Institutions Opportunity to participate in scientific research schemes Higher teaching quality / standards Fueling academic competitiveness Promoting incubator scientific research
Financial Mechanism of the Brain Gain Scheme in Universities The Government through decree 1100 of July 2008 is funding fwith 540,000 euro to the incentive package scheme in support of: 30 Department chairs 40 Lecture positions in local universities 10 visiting lectures for Master programs 20 scientific group leaders This scheme calls for highly coordinated teamwork between the Ministry of Science and Education and the Ministry of Finance This scheme is tailored to universities that organize open/transparent competitions for the above positions, rendering eligible all Diaspora and students who study abroad. UNDP is funding the scheme for the Public Administration and Poor Areas with 300,000 euro.
Application Phases/deadlines for Incentive Packages Identifying capacity gaps in cooperation with the Brain Gain Programme (May 2008) Launching international competitions and assembling research commissions in cooperation with the Brain Gain Programme (May- June 2008) Mass advertisement and calls for applications (June - August 2008) Application deadline and request for additional / supplementary funds (September 2008) Job start (October 2008) Applications considered by the steering committee (November 2008 - March 2009) The process restarts in June 2009
The Role of the Brain Gain Programme Facilitating and rapidly hunting for the most suitable candidates / incumbents (matching candidates to the corresponding jobs); Promoting educational reforms applied by Universities; Coordinator between Universities and the intellectual Diaspora, via networking and already established links; Monitoring benefiting individuals through periodic reporting and assessing the added values that they bring prior to qualifying for the incentive packages Building and framing models of competition for positions in higher education.
What is Brain Gain currently engaged in (up to date)? Formulating a policy in educating the public administration on the input that students who study abroad can offer, through: Creating sustainable employment structures Offering training programs tailored to public administration / management in cooperation with the DAP Promoting incentive packages at Universities and at the DAP level Extensive studies in the context of this programme Brain Gain Programme
How we can further cooperate? Reporting and corroborating positive experiences and their impact on development at large Enriching a merit-oriented database, supporting and promoting members of several professional and scientific networks Helping in information sharing and dissemination www.braingain.gov.al Bernard Zeneli - Brain Gain Programme
Conclusion Approximately 15000 Albanians are studying in Italy only. Taking into account how many capacities are being built abroad and how much they can contribute to the country, it follows that the Brain Gain program ought to become quite competitive. We invite you to cooperate with us in the process of creating opportunities and engaging the best of the young graduates! Thank You!
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