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Brain Drain Essay Ielts Exam

This listening lesson has two different types of questions: list selection and sentence completion. This will also test your ability to know when to move from one question to the next. Make sure you use this lesson to also learn useful vocabulary because the brain drain is a common topic in writing task 2.

Questions 1-3

Which three reasons are given for the brain drain? Choose the correct letters A-G.

  • A) money
  • B) promotion opportunities
  • C) working with other professionals
  • D) quality of life
  • E) state-of-the-art equipment
  • F) political advancement
  • G) unemployment

Question 4

What problem does the brain drain cause developing countries? Choose one letter.

  • A) resentment
  • B) loss of facilities
  • C) conflict between remaining professionals
  • D) loss of reputation
  • E) loss of money
  • F) loss of materials

Question 5

Complete the sentence using no more than one word and/or a number.

In 2000, …….. million people, who were living outside their country of origin for more than one year, were employed.

  1. A
  2. D
  3. E (answers to questions 1-3 can be given in any order)
  4. E
  5. 65
Brain drain is the migration of skilled human resources for trade, education, health care and other sectors.Trained health professionals are needed in every part of the world. However, better standards of living draw many of them to more developed countries. Others decide to make the move because of better remuneration or for access to advanced modern technology.  For some the stable political conditions in the developed countries attract talent from less developed areas. The majority of migration is from developing to developed countries. This is of growing concern worldwide because of its impact on the health care systems in developing countries. These countries have invested in the education and training of young health professionals. This translates into a loss of considerable resources when these people migrate, with the benefit accruing to the recipient states who have not forked out to educate them. The intellectuals of any country are some of the most expensive resources because of their training in terms of material cost and time, and most importantly, because of lost opportunity. In 2000 almost 175 million people, or 2.9% of the world’s population, were living outside their country of birth for more than a year. Of these, about 65 million were economically active.This form of migration has in the past involved many health professionals: nurses and physicians have sought employment abroad for many reasons including high unemployment in their home country. (read more about this)


Brain drain is a global phenomenon that refers to flow of human resource in bulk from one country to another. With the beginning of globalization, ideas, opinions, skill in the form of labor started being exchanged between nations. India has been undergoing large amount of this outflow of its human capital and talent in the past few decades. The human capital in terms of skill, ideas, labor and intelligence is being transferred to countries abroad from India since ages. Today, Indians constitute majority of large organizations like NASA, California Laboratory etc. There are many Indians at high posts in global firms and companies. Indians constitute most of the highest brains in the world. There are many reasons for which we have been seeing this trend. Brain drain is thus a phenomenon which can be a loss to our country if not regulated.

Many factors account for the drain of the human resource. One of the most important factors is the work culture and professional atmosphere abroad. Many social evils like discrimination, workspace assaults, gender based reservation and social bias make the atmosphere unfriendly for work. Moreover, Corruption makes the work spaces unfriendly for many. There have been cases where undeserving people are preferred over more deserving and talented people for incentives, perks and bonuses. Also, the lifestyle and the social life seem to be better to many young professionals. The professional and social life, both seem to be rewarding. Growth opportunities are vast. Talent and capability is often rewarded with huge bonuses. Studies say that Indians are one of the most hard-working, dedicated and sincere. This accounts for one of the reasons there is a huge demand for them in the foreign work culture. Many scientific, technological or business ideas and inventions have had an Indian origin and have been accredited abroad.

Though this brain drain might have benefitted individuals, it has also made communities suffer racial discrimination in some countries. The countries abroad even miss a cultural richness and a sense of belongingness that is attached to ones’ native country. As a result, people working and settled abroad often miss out on social gatherings and festivals celebrated in their home country. They even lack a sentiment that is attached to our native country.

Today, the Government and private firms are aiming towards a better and friendlier atmosphere to create better conditions for their employees. Discrimination and bias at work places are tried to eliminate by making laws and implementing them. Incentives are given to stop youngsters from going abroad in search of work. Today, people from countries like the USA, the UK etc. come to India for higher studies and then work. Thus, we see a reversal in the trend of brain drain gradually. Thus, if a balance is maintained between nations and a healthy interaction is created, we shall definitely reap the benefits of this aspect of globalization.

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