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退还学费之威胁无法阻止安省高科技学生赴美就职
Tuition threat will not curb students from leaving Ontario

随着从安省大学毕业的优秀毕业生蜂拥硅谷以赴高薪优职,安省高科技公司饱受人才流失之苦。当那些安省高科技公司无法吸引顶尖人才,眼巴巴地望着安省大学辛辛苦苦培养出来的人才大批流向美国之际,悲哀,委屈之情难以言表。

Ontario high tech firms are suffering from brain drain, as top graduates from Ontario universities are flocking to Silicon Valley for better career opportunities – from higher salaries to better perks. Ontario’s high tech firms, which are finding it harder and harder to attract the best and the brightest, believe that they have been victimized by the exodus of talent being churned out by Ontario’s universities. 


一群高科技公司高管表示,由于省府又向新的安省学费补贴计划投入$13亿元纳税人资金,出国工作的毕业生应为其行为后果负责。他们为此成立了一个游说小组,要求那些通过安省学费补贴完成学业便立即南下赴美工作的毕业生们退还学费补贴。

A group of CEOs of high tech firms say that there should be consequences for grads leaving the country, especially as the government is investing $1.3 billion from taxpayers in the new Ontario students grant. They formed a lobby group, demanding students who immediately leave for jobs in the US after taking advantage of Ontario subsidized tuition to reimburse their tuition grants.


他们认为诸如安省学费补贴计划等学生补助计划不应该基于家庭收入而定,而是应该向奖学金项目标准看齐。比如如果学生保持一定的成绩水平,并且在毕业后留在加国工作五年,他们就无须退还学费补贴。

They suggested student grants shouldn’t be based on family income, such as in the Ontario Student Grant program, but on benchmarks, much like a scholarship program. If the student maintains certain grades and stays in Canada for five years after graduation, for example, the tuition money would not have to be reimbursed. 

 
该游说小组领导表示:“我们必须通过安省的大幅学费补贴计划奖惩并重,以留住计算机工程等关键学科的毕业生。” 该组织并未详细举例说明该如何收回学费补贴,但认为当局有必要就此问题制定公共政策以求解决措施。

“We must look at Ontario’s heavily subsidized tuition as not just a carrot but also a stick, in critical subjects such as computer engineering,” the group leader said.  The group has not provided specific examples of how money could be repaid, but it believes there needs to be a public-policy solution to the problem.


但是,这种走人之前先还钱的要求显然是低下,浅薄且短视之举,且不可能有效扭转人才流失的局面。这也让我回想起在1980年代末中国政府也曾出台过类似政策。随着中国大量大学毕业生蜂拥前往美国读研深造且无意返国,情急中的中国政府也曾出此下策。

Such pay-me-back-before-you-leave demand is sleazy and short sighted.  It is unlikely to be effective in reversing the brain drain. It reminds me a similar policy introduced by the Chinese government in the late 1980’s, when masses of university grads flocked to the US to pursue post graduate studies and not to return to China. 


当时这种人才大量外流的现象随着1989年政府镇压学运而进一步加剧。中国政府决定采取措施限制海外留学,要求所有申请海外留学的大学毕业生必须至少先在中国工作单位工作三到五年,对于不足五年的每一年则需支付高达10,000元人民币的补偿金。

The brain drain that was only fueled by the government crackdown on students’ protest in 1989, prompted the Chinese government’s restrictive measures on overseas studies, which requested that any university graduate who applied for overseas studies had to work for a minimum of three to five years in a Chinese public organization or pay up to 10,000 RMB for each year short of five years. 


虽然该政策在当时曾令许多学生心生恐惧,但却丝毫未能动摇大量学生逃离中国,一个其政府动用武力而镇压学生抗议的国家之决心。最终,许多有海外关系的学生宁愿借钱支付补偿金也要奔赴出国路,导致这一偿还补偿金的政策以彻底失败告终。

But this policy, while intimidating to many students back then, failed to stop the massive flow of students who were determined to flee a country whose government used military power to crackdown on students’ protests. As a result, students, many of whom had overseas ties, borrowed funds to pay off to buy their way out of the country, killing the policy altogether. 

 
同样,即使安省政府要求学生退还学费补贴,他们也还会毅然决然地赴美就职。作为领导高科技的硅谷以其全球一流的科技公司向世人尽显其无穷之魅力,令那些华才横溢的高科技毕业生们流连忘返,为其献身。而同时,加国科技行业却劣迹斑斑,与美国高科技业相比差距甚远。北电网络和黑莓等加国科技巨头的相继陨落,只会加速安省学生们赴美的步伐,让他们无法拒绝谷歌、苹果或Facebook提供的工作聘书。

Likewise, Ontario students will leave for US companies regardless of the tuition reimbursement demand. Silicon Valley, the mecca of the tech industry, exerts enormous attraction and is luring top talent from across the world. Meanwhile, the Canadian tech industry has a history of abysmal failures and lags far behind its US counterparts. The collapse of once elite Canadian tech giants such as Nortel Networks and BlackBerry have only fueled the students’ desire to leave, making them unable to turn down job offers from Google, Apple or Facebook.


退还学费政策显然不是解决人才外流的根本之机。就像中国二十年前实施的类似政策未能挽留大量去意已定的中国学生一样,区区数千元学费补贴根本就拦不住安省学生南下的步伐。无论当局是否实施退还学费政策,安省学生们都不会拒绝美国硅谷之召唤。

The tuition reimbursement policy just does not get to the root of the problem, and several thousands of tuition grants won’t stop Ontario students from leaving, just like similar Chinese policies that failed to reverse the massive outflow of determined Chinese students two decades earlier. Opportunities in the US will lure them away, despite the tuition threat. 
 
 

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