Moldova suffering from massive brain drain

May 5, 1995

Moldova is the latest former Communist state to be affected by a serious loss of key scientists and academics tempted to go abroad by better salaries and research facilities.

A senior Moldovan official has said that 23,000 scientists and academics have left the country since independence, according to the Itas-Tass news agency.

Identified only as the head of the country's science department, the official blamed the "catastrophic" brain drain on low pay and poor working conditions.

The government allocation of cash for science and research covered only a quarter of actual needs, he said.

Poor living and working conditions, and late payment of student grants and lecturers' salaries were among the main complaints of Moldovan students during their strikes and demonstrations this spring.

Student action is due to resume this week, unless the government caves in.

But the students are also seeking the teaching of pan-Romanian and not just Moldovan history in schools and universities, and the designation of the state language as Romanian, not Moldovan.

Last week Valeriu Senik, chairman of the Parliamentary committee for culture, science education and the media, said there were no grounds for renaming the language.

He said that no one disputed the languages were identical.

Valeriu Senik then went on to say: "But Moldovan statehood and independence cannot be based on the idea of pan-Romanianism".

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