Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Issues That Bring 'Flying Faculty' Down to Earth

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Issues That Bring 'Flying Faculty' Down to Earth

Article excerpt

The life of so-called "flying faculty" may not sound so bad: jetting off to sunnier climes to deliver a few lectures, while staying in four-star hotels.

But a new study finds that the experience of academics who travel overseas for short periods to teach at branch campuses or partner universities is anything but a holiday.

In fact, international responsibilities can put such strain on work-life balance that lecturers should be given the opportunity to opt out of the trips, according to an article published in the journal Higher Education Research & Development.

Juraifa Jais, of Malaysia's Tenaga National University, interviewed academics with offshore duties at institutions across Southeast Asia for the study, alongside Kosmas Smyrnios and Lynnel Hoare, both of RMIT University in Australia.

They found that, for the majority of respondents, teaching overseas was not optional but a requirement of their role, and that the assignments typically lasted for a week or a fortnight, twice a year.

Long working hours emerged as a key theme, with approximately two-thirds of respondents reporting that incorporating location-specific advance preparation took up a lot of time before and during the trip. …

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