Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

William Hoffa


In many Central and Eastern European countries, a poor economic climate at home forces young people to make their careers in the West. Hungary is no exception. After spending time both studying and working in Hungary, the author chose to investigate the phenomenon known as “brain drain”: the large-scale emigration of young, educated individuals from Hungary as they seek higher salaries and more promising career prospects in neighboring Western European countries. This paper offers a comprehensive report on the economics of the brain drain problem, and on the opinions of young Hungarians who are currently seeking employment abroad; it also explores some of the potential factors that could convince this demographic to return to their home country.

To investigate this topic, the author distributed surveys to three groups of Hungarians. The first survey was sent to young Hungarians, aged 16 to 26. The second survey was sent to parents who recognize the effect the issue may have on their children. The third survey was sent to educators in a Hungarian secondary school. Respondents in all three groups were asked about their involvement in the “brain drain” trend. They were also asked to provide any knowledge of job placement organizations or other initiatives to reverse the drain. A total of 62 responses to the survey were received and analyzed. The resulting paper is an account of the current “brain drain” problem in Hungary, including a brief background on Hungary, a full analysis of survey results, and an investigation into potential solutions to the problem


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Growth and Development | Labor Economics | Place and Environment | Work, Economy and Organizations