top of page

SLOVAKIA’S TALENT EXODUS, AND THE €2.8 MILLION PRICE TAG PER PERSON


Reversing Slovakia’s brain drain can happen right now, as long as the strategy expands beyond simply bridging and bonding with the diaspora.

Offering irresistible financial incentives, like tax-breaks for newly established businesses, low interest-loans for first-time home buyers, or family-friendly polices like personal exemption on income-tax for large households, might just be the practical impetuses that inspire Slovak talent to come back home.

Slovakia has for decades been dealing with a brain drain and talent exodus. Almost 10% of Slovaks are living abroad, which is double the rate of other OECD countries. The loss of young and bright talent is where the country takes the biggest hit, with over 30,000 Slovak students studying abroad in 2020.





About a fifth of Slovak university graduates thinks the grass is greener on foreign campuses. The repercussions of this brain drain extends beyond the departure lounge, impacting the nation’s economy and social structure. A sobering estimate indicates that the loss of one university-educated individual translates to a loss of 2.8 million euros over their lifetime.

For a country that faces enduring obstacles reforming its economic model from production to innovation, the cultivation, retention and attraction of talented human capital is essential.


Civil society is also stepping up to the challenge. Founder of the Global Slovak Network, Adrian Vycital stumbled across an untapped resource when he discovered a vast and talented network of Slovaks living abroad during his international business dealings. He immediately rolled up his sleeves and got to work in mapping the country’s brain trust abroad.

Having held its annual summit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 15, the Slovak Global Network aspires to connect Slovak expatriates and ignite knowledge transfer into education and health care among other sectors.




Evidently, bringing Slovaks together to network and nurture their connection to Slovakia is an indispensable part of the bridge-building process. As is bonding with the homeland, according to Global Slovakia, a not-for-profit dedicated with sharing Slovak heritage, history and culture with the 2-million strong Slovak descendants living in the United States.

But bridging and bonding is not enough to inspire VIAI’s goal of bringing 40,000 Slovaks home. What else is needed?

Slovakia needs to incentivize talent to come back home, for example by offering tax breaks for newly formed businesses or low-interest mortgages on first-time property purchases. Real-world solutions and incentives for professionals exist, and each one builds on the other.

Practically speaking, the Slovak diaspora needs to see that the country is interested in having them back. And keeping them home.



But bridging and bonding is not enough to inspire VIAI’s goal of bringing 40,000 Slovaks home. What else is needed?

Slovakia needs to incentivize talent to come back home, for example by offering tax breaks for newly formed businesses or low-interest mortgages on first-time property purchases. Real-world solutions and incentives for professionals exist, and each one builds on the other.

Practically speaking, the Slovak diaspora needs to see that the country is interested in having them back. And keeping them home.

Article by: Dr Zuzana Palovic





4 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page