Joseph A. Kechichian, Senior Writer
Beirut: Lebanon, which frequently boasts of its unique education capabilities ranked 100th with a low score of 16.9 [or simply a D] in the Intelligence Capital Index.
The first Arab country on the list, the UAE, closed in at the 49th spot, followed by Qatar (60), Saudi Arabia (62), Kuwait (63), Bahrain (65), Oman (76), Jordan (80), Tunisia (85), Morocco (94), Egypt (98), and Algeria (103).
Kai L. Chan, a distinguished fellow at the French-led INSEAD global business school, published the unique Intelligence Capital Index for 128 countries that aimed to gauge the ability of countries to capitalise on the knowledge economy by assessing their environments for education, creativity and talent attraction.
The first five countries in the INSEAD roster were the US, UK, Germany, Australia and Singapore. Israel came in at 25, Turkey at 54 and Iran at 82.
Most of issues that motivated rankings were related to education creativity and talent attraction, and while Lebanon certainly enjoyed the talent, most of its gifted innovators succeeded abroad instead of thriving in their native land.
The INSEAD barometer focused on each country’s stock of “smarts” and aimed to measure which ones were the most likely to “expand the frontier of knowledge and/or introduce the technology and innovations of the knowledge economy”.
Rather than relying on average scholastic performance in the form of standardised test results, which are all too often used by various studies, Chan adjusted for the quality of education as its measured the progression of cognitive skills through the human life cycle, examined top performers, and included migration of talent for human capital acquisition.
In other words, he assessed the impact that brain drain benefited those countries that valued raw talent, and contrasted it with those societies that did not place value on human capital but shrugged at such losses.
Industrialised countries with liberal socioeconomic policies gained while countries like Lebanon lost out as much of its raw talent migrated to friendlier shores.
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