FOREIGN FACULTY HIRING PROGRAM IN PAKISTAN: PROBLEMS & PROSPECTS
University of Tampere (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Worldwide, study of hiring foreign faculty members has become a central research topic in the field of higher education. Many developed and developing countries for instance, Japan, Korea, Finland and Pakistan have adopted new policies and programs related to hiring both foreign and expatriates as faculty members, researchers and academic staff. This paper aims to address such reforms, with reference to Pakistan, and to describe the re-orientation and transformation of higher education within the country that is currently reshaping the structure of higher education system. The main objective of this paper is to disseminate the empirical results on the study of Foreign Faculty Hiring Program (FFHP) of Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Pakistan, which reflects earlier case study research of European Master Program in Higher Education (HEEM) conducted in 2008 at the University of Tampere, Finland. The three-fold objectives that unfold the main findings of this study are: (1) the prime interest of foreign faculty members in joining FFHP; (2) their expectations, experiences and problems while working in the domestic environment; (3) their role in reversing the ‘brain-drain’ and suggestions for the improvement of higher education in general and FFHP in particular.
In-depth information about the case study was acquired utilizing multiple modes of data collection and analysis - through mixed methods approach - based on ‘Web-self administered questionnaire’, ‘documentation review’, and ‘content analysis’. The Web-SAQ, consisting of 30 questions and six themes, was sent to foreign faculty members who joined the FFHP during 2004 to 2008. Out of 145 recipients, 43 respondents filled the web-based questionnaire making an average of 30% response rate (88% male N=38 and 12% female N=5). The mean age of the participants, representing 12 countries and 5 continents, was 53.20 years. This research yielded a range of facts and opinions from different vantage points. Furthermore, the analysis of empirical data revealed various issues of concern that helped to understand the experiences, challenges, problems and perceptions of the foreign faculty members working in 21 public universities/degree awarding institutions of Pakistan.
Data from this research confirms that, in addition to other motivational factors, ‘exercising research’ in Pakistan was the main reason for the majority of the foreign faculty members making their decision in joining the FFHP. However, with respect to their perception regarding working in the domestic environment, foreign faculty members see themselves as ‘outsiders’ and were unhappy/unsatisfied with their interaction related to the local faculty, university administration and the HEC management. Nevertheless, the overall satisfaction level of foreign faculty members towards FFHP was high and almost all respondents positively stated that FFHP can play an ‘important’ role in reversing the ‘brain-drain’. In a nutshell, this study has explored the strengths and weaknesses of FFHP from the participants’ perspective. Based on the findings, the researcher has made some recommendations and well grounded suggestions for further study, which may be of interest to foreign/expatriate professors, national/international scholars, researchers and educationists; higher education students; policy makers and institutional stakeholders.
Keywords: higher education, reforms, foreign faculty hiring, faculty development, brain-gain.