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Better prospect, paychecks, posh life abroad escalating Nepali brain drain



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By Sampada Anuranjanee Khatiwada

Kathmandu, Jan. 14: Most of the teenagers in Nepal dream of going abroad to pursue higher education after completing high school study (grade 12).
Not only teenagers, their parents also, regardless of their economic condition, tend to send their wards overseas for higher education for quality education, higher scope of opportunities and so forth.
Maya Pathak, 18, a student of a Basundhara based college, said, “I have aimed to fly either to the United States or to Australia after I finish my intermediate education.”
Being asked the reason behind going abroad, she said, “I believe foreign land has a lot to offer when it comes to quality education, if compared to Nepal.”
“Foreign universities provide quality education, various work prospects, posh lifestyle, handsome paychecks and many more. So what are the odds?” said Pathak.
Like Pathak, almost every students view abroad, especially the States, Canada, Australia and European countries as the land where their ‘dreams’ could be fulfilled.
The office of No Objection Certification (NOC) Management Section, Kaisher Mahal issues at least 200 no objection letters daily for students who are flying overseas. The office has issued over 154,506 NOCs during the last three fiscal years.
Though Nepali students, who fly to the foreign land for their studies in thousands, more than half of them do not return to their homeland after completing studies, thereby giving the nation brain drain problem.
Diwash Dhungana, 24, living in Texas, United States, said, “Even though I graduated in engineering in May, 2019, I do not have any plan of moving back to Nepal.”
“My family and I have spent a huge amount of money on my undergrad studies here in States,” said Dhungana. “There’s no way I could earn, at least, the amount spent in my education if I go back to Nepal.”
“One can earn ten times more money in the States than in Nepal with the same amount of competency, education and effort,” he said. “This is the major reason behind students not returning to Nepal after completing their education.”
Manju Pandey, 40, a doctor at St. Cloud Hospital, Minnesota, said, “I came to the U.S. 15 years ago to pursue an M.D. degree, since then I have been stuck to this land.”
“Each and every profession here in the States offers a wide range of opportunities and recognition,” she said. “Unlike Nepal, workplaces here are more satisfying both professionally and economically.”
“I agree that the brain drain has affected Nepal big time, but everyone has their own responsibilities towards their family or to themselves, which comes in their first priority,” said Pandey.
She said that the brain drain issue would be solved if the government could offer better employment opportunities and a sound and stable environment for students to work after they complete their studies.
Rajan Shrestha, on the other hand, who is an aspiring entrepreneur in the Ccpital city said, “I came back to Nepal after completing my post graduate studies in Australia.”
Shrestha said that despite Australia was paying him better and higher, his zeal to do something for his own country pulled him back to his home land.
“I agree that foreign lands provide better opportunities than Nepal,” he said. “But the government solely isn’t blame-worthy for it.”
Every citizen owes some responsibilities towards their nation. Likewise, students can fly abroad for their studies, but they should come back home to serve their nation, he said.
“If Nepalis living abroad work with same enthusiasm as they do overseas, Nepal would definitely be a better place to live in for everyone,” Shrestha said. 

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