Swetha Suresh

Will they return?

"Will They Return? The Willingness of Potential Faculty to Return to India and the Key Factors Affecting Their Decisions" authored by researchers from Rutgers University and Tata Institute for Social Science sheds light on the different factors which concern potential faculty/scientists wanting to return to India.

Tight visa regulations and a stagnant job market abroad coupled with awareness for burgeoning opportunities in India have increased their choice of moving back to India. In fact, the paper shows that out of 1,000 Indians surveyed only 8% wanted to firmly stay back in the US with 70% remaining undecided. This is good news for India which needs 1 million new faculty members by 2020.

Institutions like IITs and IIMs were the most preferred destinations in academia for their high quality research and teaching while private universities are almost never considered. Despite increase in academic salaries, corporate jobs are much preferred over academia for their high financial rewards. ‘’The key to attracting folks back will be creating attractive higher education environments" says author Finegold.

The next steps for the Indian government and institutions looking to recruit would be to communicate present research opportunities, reduce bureaucracy and make the job package financially rewarding by providing housing, transport etc. As most of the potential faculty use newspapers and personal networks to get information; using alumni and networking sites such as LinkedIn might yield results say the authors.

Whether reimport of people from abroad presents a good solution to finding our next generation faculty or whether these recommendations are implemented and yield results remain to be seen. Meanwhile, comment away!


The research paper can be found at http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/papers/download/050411_willtheyreturn.pdf

And a commentary on the same can be found at  http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/india/article.cfm;jsessionid=a8302e47...

- Swetha Suresh

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