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ERIC Number: EJ769241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0258-2236
Newly Qualified South African Teachers: Staying or Leaving?
Bertram, Carol; Wedekind, Volker; Muthukrishna, Nithi
Perspectives in Education, v25 n2 p77-89 Jun 2007
The international recruitment by countries of the North of teachers from less developed countries has become a controversial aspect of the problem of "brain drain". As a political and economic issue, the argument is that it reduces human capital within the education system and leads to the movement of highly skilled teachers from countries that can least afford to lose them. In South Africa the issue of teacher mobility is more complex because opinion is divided on the extent of the problem, what the trends are, and how best to assess what is going on. There is also no reliable data on how many teachers the country loses to international recruitment. This article presents a study that explored the career plans of a sample of final year students who graduated at the end of 2004 and 2005. The study drew from two large-scale survey questionnaires of final year student teachers from eleven higher education institutions (HEI) in 2004 and fourteen HEIs in 2005. The study found that 27.4% of the 2004 sample and 23.4% of the 2005 sample had indicated that they were definitely going to teach abroad or were considering teaching abroad. Age, race and teaching phase are significant variables in the decision to teach abroad. For the 2004 sample, white and Indian teachers, primary teachers and teachers from particular institutions are more likely to choose to teach abroad. For the 2005 sample, white, BEd Foundation phase students who are younger than 27 years are the most likely to choose to teach abroad. However, it appears that the majority of teachers are planning to return to South Africa, perhaps signifying a "brain circulation", rather than a "brain drain".
Perspectives in Education. Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-4732; Fax: +27-12-420-3003; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa