Why Foreign Faculty Joining Indian Universities?

Indian population is one of the youngest populations of the world. Now the focus has shifted of not just Government but also of public in general from providing basic education to provide them quality higher education to their children. Higher education is base of development in any economy. Indian education institutions are now emphasising of getting good faculty, for this, now Indian institutions are looking beyond boundaries, they are hiring foreign academics in various capacities like, visiting faculty, part –time faculty, full-time faculty and some international academics are even taking assignments as deans, directors, mentors or as academic consultants to Indian higher educational institutions.

The trend is growing leaps and bounds in last few years of foreign academics joining Indian institutions. Most of foreign faculty joining Indian educational institutions is of Indian origin but there are many academics of foreign origin also coming to India and working here as faculty and helping Indian students getting a diverse global perspective. A very generic question arise in our minds is why foreign faculty joining Indian Universities leaving their fat pay packets and environment of top ranked universities from developed hemisphere of Earth, where they get all facilities as per international standards, mostly these foreign universities have set benchmarks of education and research.

There are a lot of reasons that pull foreign faculty to Indian universities, some of them being growing opportunities in Indian education institutions; their earnest desire to give back to home country; growing competition in developed education systems; willingness to work in developing country and India provides ample opportunities for being a developing country with distinct view; alma mater calling; culture calling; and many times it’s their personal reasons, like, aging parents, spouse’s workplace, rearing of children in India, and so on.

Opportunities in Indian education:

In India, there is dearth of academics in educational institutions. This shortage is acute if we look at higher education sector more than 30 %, and further aggravates when we aspire for good academics as faculty. The search for good faculty with diverse perspective leads universities to foreign faculty willing to help Indian educational institutions bringing more research oriented outlook by working for them in their Indian campus. Indian institutions also deviate from their normal working structures at-times to attract international faculties. Faculty gets a lot of scope for mentoring and research in Indian universities. They may not be paid as per globally top ranked universities and institutions, but have a lot of scope to satiate their academic thirst.

Higher competition in developed education systems

Nowadays, in developed countries’ education system it is getting difficult to obtain faculty position in top educational institutions for non-local academics. Government of developed countries have even reduced funding to educational institutions has made it tough to become a tenured professor for academics; and has increased competition amongst academics. In developed countries faculty has very hectic schedules of teaching and conferences that leave no space for research and other academic interests.

Give back to home country

There is a good number of foreign academics wants to return favour to their homeland i.e., India. After, getting global exposure and feeling of accomplishment on international platform, they are longing to enhance the level of Indian higher education and research at par with world-class universities. Now that even Indian institutes are also willing to have foreign faculty for visiting, part-time or full-time engagement, this compliments the faculty’s choice well.

Culture calling

India has a varied culture. Many international faculty of Indian origin have deep seated grains of culture that do not allow them to adapt to culture of foreign land. After spending time at foreign land foreign faculty get nostalgic, and found themselves no good fit in foreign culture, starts looking for options of their stature in Indian educational institutions to satiate their desire to be attached to their roots.

Wants to work in developing economy

Faculty of top ranked global universities researching on developing economies or on India in specific, look forward to take teaching assignments in India to get more clear perspective about their topic of research. They feel that India has good prospects of research on developing world. For research on developing country topics, even foreign faculty of foreign origin are choosing Indian institutions to work with. They find most favourable environment for such researches and studies in Indian universities.

Alma mater calling

Foreign academics of Indian origin, after satisfying their desire of being faculty in top global universities feel obliged to their alma mater back in India. They want to return favour by mentoring students of their alma mater or by becoming mentor to their alma mater itself. These international faculties join Indian educational institutions as visiting faculty; part-time faculty; full-time faculty and in some cases as advisors to the Indian institute as well.

Personal reasons

At times foreign faculty of Indian origin return for personal reasons, like their parents require them at the eve of their life; some foreign academics return for the future of their children i.e. they want their children to grow in their home country and culture, inculcate same values and traditions as their own. In some cases, their spouse is in India or spouse has work base in India and parents are also in India which pulls them to look for assignment with Indian educational institutions.

There must be many other reasons for foreign faculty to move with their bag and baggage to India, personal; professional; social; academic; emotional or any or all of them, result of their movement help them satisfy their mental faculties and students of these institutions have different viewpoint and international exposure from faculty. Institutions get international perspective while deciding about the syllabus and research and studies. It is more of a win-win situation for faculty, institution and students as well as economy as added faculty reduces the gap of faculty crunch.

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