I went to Scotland to study, my girlfriend acquired her first degree in Scotland, my sister was educated in two universities in Scotland, a high percentage of my friends attended universities in Scotland and I would estimate that approximately one third of my school year did likewise. Universities in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen are filled with Northern Irish students and naturally many do not return to these shores when their studies are completed.
Sir Reg Empey has been spearheading a campaign, not to reverse the trend, but rather to attract graduates from Scotland to Northern Ireland to work. To this end four top companies lined up alongside the Minister for Education and Learning at Glasgow University’s Summer Graduate Fair at the SECC. The intention is to establish a presence at various graduate fairs throughout Britain.
This is a welcome initiative and I hope it is a successful one. The brain drain is a marked phenomenon, but it is healthy for talented people from Northern Ireland to move throughout the UK and play a full role in the success of the country. To offset this movement we simultaneously must seek to attract talented people from the rest of the United Kingdom, to contribute to this region of their country.