Housing and High Wages Will Stop Russian ‘Brain Drain’ – Russian Official

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – New housing incentives and high wages will help prevent young Russian scientists from leaving the country, a Russian official said Wednesday during a meeting of young scientists in Siberia.

“I think that we should create better conditions so that our young scientists are motivated to build their career here in the country. And by saying this, I mean good housing conditions and respectable wages,” said Viktor Tolokonsky, special representative of the Russian President in Siberia during the All-Russian Forum of Young Scientists in Tomsk, called U-NOVUS.

“If we confine ourselves to solely academic goals, like international university rakings, we will face a brain drain,” he added.

According to Tolokonsky, loan assistance programs alone will not solve the housing problem as the measure must be combined with mass construction of rental housing. Tolokonsky specified that Tomsk alone needs about 2,500 rental apartments, and Novosibirsk 5,000.

To implement this program, heads of universities should fundamentally change their approach to the issue. The envoy says that universities should also attract foreign students.

“The political influence of the country is largely determined by its students,” he said. “That’s why Russia should strengthen its sphere of influence by attracting more students from various countries.”

U-NOVUS is a new federal forum for young scientists. Young scientists from 60 Russia’s regions are to present over 130 projects during the event being held this week in Tomsk.