Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Brain Drain from Sri Lankan Universities


A- A+
Alt. Display

Research Articles

Brain Drain from Sri Lankan Universities


Chandra Gunawardena ,

The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, LK
X close

Rasika Nawaratne

Department of Secondary and Tertiary Education, Faculty of Education, The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, LK
X close


The phenomenon of Sri Lankan university academics migrating after their postgraduate education appears to have increased over the years. Migration of academics who are among the brightest in the academic profession has a severe adverse impact on the quality of higher education. There are strong reasons for the ‘Brain Drain’, such as incomes and living standards in rich countries being substantially higher and research facilities and opportunities being better in developed countries. This article attempts to analyse the distribution of migrant academics and the funding used by them from 1990 to 2012, and to identify the reasons which motivate academics to resign from their substantive positions. The survey revealed that the majority of these academics had paid back their bonds. They were experienced in their specialised areas, had benefitted from postgraduate education and international research in eminent universities and clearly represented a category of academics that can definitely make a contribution to the Sri Lankan university system. They pointed out, however, that the decision to migrate was not merely an outcome of attractive prospects overseas, but also due to frustrations and difficulties encountered in changing even minor procedures, a lack of collegiality and teamwork and a lack of readiness to adapt and change in the country and the university system.
How to Cite: Gunawardena, C. and Nawaratne, R., 2017. Brain Drain from Sri Lankan Universities. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 40(2), pp.103–118. DOI:
Published on 24 Nov 2017.
Peer Reviewed


  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus