Lifting the Veil: Why do Academics Choose to Expatriate to the Middle East?

By Kay Sanderson.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper focuses on the relatively unexplored subject of academic expatriation and builds on the limited body of literature in this area. It investigates the determining factors which encourage academics to relocate to a new country. The research draws on the experiences of twenty-five academics from twelve nationalities, spanning five continents, who have chosen to take up new academic positions in the Middle East, specifically in the United Arab Emirates. The theoretical framework of communities of practice highlights many personal challenges that may be faced making the move. Semi-structured interviews enabled me to explore further, from the perspective of the academic, the reasons behind their move and how they overcame these challenges. The findings demonstrate that career and money are often not the prime motivators for academics to decide to relocate. It was lifestyle and family factors which motivated the move into a new community. This study provides valuable information which will be useful to academics considering relocating to overseas branch campuses or university department managers involved in the recruitment of international faculty.

Keywords: Expatriate Academics, International Relocation, Middle East, United Arab Emirates

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.149-160. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 233.130KB).

Dr. Kay Sanderson

Senior Lecturer, Media Department, Education Department, Middlesex Univeristy (UK), Dubai Campus, Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


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