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Persaud: Region losing top talent

luigimarshall, [email protected]

Persaud: Region losing top talent

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THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING CARIBBEAN has the highest rates of tertiary education in the world.
That’s according to Professor Avinash Persaud, who was speaking Monday at a lecture series hosted by the Economic Affairs Division in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
Persaud noted that 50 per cent of university graduates go abroad for work, and that 70 per cent of the graduates in the English-speaking Caribbean opted for the same route.
Noting that tertiary migration was not necessarily bad, Persaud said the loss of such talent was compounded by the fact that education was primarily funded by poor taxpayers.
Elaborating on the point during the question and answer segment, Persaud said he felt rather than paying for a university education and having people leave after graduation, Government should give the students the money and allow them to study wherever they wanted.
According to him, Government would be able to determine the subject areas people were pursuing abroad, so as to eliminate them from the programmes offered at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and focus on specific areas that would add to the development of the region.
He also queried whether universal access to education was being delivered in the right way, or whether it needed to be more focused.
Persaud observed that the educational system was turning out a disproportionate number of doctors, lawyers, accountants and even economists who entered protected professions at home and were not a force for entrepreneurial change.
He said the UWI was no longer what it once was and noted the lack of research being done there. Responding to that criticism, UWI lecturer
Dr Don Marshall suggested the private sector had to be more innovative by investing more in research. (YB)