By further analyzing on the putative brain drain issue on St. Maarten, which is considered a huge problem over the last tens of years, in fact it is not the brain drain which is the major issue.
The “Brain Drain” definition
Brain drain is the emigration of a (large) part of the better-educated people in the labor force, from a country to a country where it is more attractive for them to work. The brain drain is very negative for the development of a country, because one just needs highly skilled people.
Lack of reverse migration instead of brain drain
In fact, on St. Maarten the real issue is the lack of remigration of their own young people, whom have travelled abroad to pick up on higher education (typically in The Netherlands). The real issue is that those people are not coming back to the island and thus the import of fresh educated human capital is simply not there.
The brains of students moving to The Netherlands to pick up higher education, are not loaded yet.
Those brains have to be filled with knowledge, analyzing capabilities and ways to apply this knowledge to execution.
Typical solutions are not sustainable
The typical solution to this from the islands perspective is to “import” educated and seasoned human capital from abroad, typically from the other islands or from The Netherlands. But the post-graduates, originating from the island are usually not part of that “import”.
How do we get the post-graduates seasoned with practical experience and how do we boost the social economic arena on St. Maarten?
A-typical initiative to overcome
That can be done in one go: UPG is the initiative to get social, economic and environmental projects from the island to have (post-graduate) students to work on them under senior and experienced supervision. The result is better practical experience, applied knowledge and returning major value for bettering the island’s economy.
This will stimulate the reverse migration and that by itself will further stimulate the prosperity on the island.