UCC has partnerships with 30+ institutions all over the world. CIE is eager to provide assistance with communication with partner organizations.
Where Might I Teach?
With the right contacts, you could probably arrange to teach in one of hundreds of different countries. The most promising destinations will be at one of the 30+ institutions with which UCC has partnerships or other agreements. In each case, you will be primarily responsible for making contacts and gaining an invitation from a host institution. The Centre for International Education (CIE), in a supporting role, is eager to provide assistance with identifying appropriate host institutions, providing names or leads for direct contacts at overseas institutions, and assisting with communication with partner institutions.
UCC Policies and Overseas Teaching
If you are a full time faculty member and seek a temporary teaching appointment overseas, you must gain approval from the Vice-Chancellor through your Head of Department and Dean of Faculty. Obviously, arrangements to cover your teaching assignments would need to be made by your Unit Head and Dean.
The ideal time for UCC faculty to teach abroad is in conjunction with a sabbatical leave. A teaching appointment is not incompatible with research, renewal, or teaching enhancement goals for sabbatical projects. With a sabbatical, coverage of the faculty member’s teaching assignments at UCC is already taken care of, and that critical piece is therefore not an issue.
Leave of Absence
Some faculty members choose to take a leave of absence (leave without pay) for a semester or year in order to pursue a temporary teaching appointment abroad. One concern is that since the faculty member would not be paid by UCC for the particular time on leave, the faculty member must find an overseas teaching appointment that will pay well enough so in-country living expenses are covered (along with any costs associated with maintaining a home and possessions in Cape Coast).
Though the benefits of teaching exchanges are numerous for students, colleagues, and the involved faculty members, they are perhaps the most difficult to arrange. Your Unit Head and Dean will need to be involved at every step along the way.
If you are envisioning an actual faculty-for-faculty exchange, it is important that your corresponding faculty member from the host institution reciprocate with an appropriate teaching assignment at UCC. Basically, you and faculty member at an overseas institution are switching jobs for a semester. Your exchange partner would teach the equivalent of your normal load in your home unit, and you would fulfill corresponding teaching responsibilities in your partner's home unit. Depending on the curriculum and courses of each home unit (your unit at UCC and your exchange partner's unit) the exchange may be clean and simple or a complicated swap may be worked out.
The most difficult element to manage with teaching exchanges is the salary disparity between UCC and most partner sites. UCC faculty, for example, earn salaries that in real terms are much less than those of faculty at partner institutions in the USA, Japan or other developed countries. Thus, the exchange must address this disparity in order to be successful. There is no simple solution to this issue, and CIE has no budget to supplement teaching salaries. Thus, the involvement of Unit Heads and Deans is critical - particularly if additional funds are needed for you to negotiate a successful exchange.
Your Unit Head and Dean must agree that the corresponding faculty have suitable qualifications, English language proficiency, and other appropriate skills to teach UCC courses. Therefore, your exchange partner's CV should be reviewed and approved by your Unit Head and Dean early in negotiations for an exchange.
How Do I Proceed?
Because each overseas teaching assignment is unique, arrangements for such opportunities roughly follow a similar pattern:
- Identification of an appropriate host institution. Start with UCC’s partner institutions to search for a university that is located in an interesting city, region, or nation. Search the partner institutions’ websites and catalogs for curricula into which your expertise would be welcome and one with which your background would be compatible. The Center for International Education can provide you with supplemental material and information on the partner institutions, and may be able to identify those in the UCC community with some familiarity with particular institutions.
- Establishment of contacts/relationships with faculty/staff at overseas institution(s). Ideally, you will already have or will be able to develop a relationship with a faculty member or contact at an overseas institution that might develop into an invitation from that contact’s institution for you to teach there. The most productive relationships develop naturally, from a professional and/or personal connection.
- Involvement of Unit Heads/Deans. Since you will be absent from UCC and from a regular teaching assignment, approval of your Unit Head and Dean will be critical at every step.
- Involvement of UCC's Centre for International Education. The involvement of CIE might be as minimal as recording your overseas contact information to as much as direct facilitation of your teaching assignment with an overseas partner, depending on your needs and interests.
Currently, there is no funding available through the Center for International Education to support salary for overseas teaching assignments by UCC faculty.
The CIE staff can assist with research materials, curricular information, academic catalogs, contact names, and additional information about UCC’s international partners.
Other Funding Sources
The gold standard for overseas teaching (and research) appointments remains the Fulbright Scholar Program. Hundreds of grants are awarded each year for semester or year-long lectureships around the world. The application system is competitive and all UCC applicants must have an invitation from a host university. Further information is available online.
For those interested in teaching abroad here at UCC, CIE is happy to assist in connecting faculty through teacher exchange programmes. For more information please contact your home institution to find out about current exchange programmes. If your home institution does not have a current teacher exchange programme, please contact us for more information.
We advise that all faculty both international and domestic look over this Faculty exchange checklist before leaving.