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South-south cooperation in higher education

Migration of Indian university lecturers to Ethiopia

Project within the research programme "Afrikas Asiatische Optionen" (AFRASO),
financed by the BMBF
for the period March 2013 to February 2017
Researcher: Dr Sophia Thubauville

For several years now, Ethiopia has been experiencing a boom in universities. Most of its 31 universities have not been in existence for more than a decade and can only offer a minimal curriculum with the help of foreign academics. Currently, most academics are recruited from India with the help of commercial recruitement agencies. 

Through case studies at Ethiopian universities, Indian recruitment agencies and the web, the project will contribute qualitative findings to the research on highly skilled migration with a special emphasis on the direction of the movement, namely from South Asia to Africa.

India and Ethiopia have a long history of relations, especially concerning trade. However, an important area of exchange and cooperation between the two countries, which is essential and formative for the image of Indians in Ethiopia, is the cooperation in education, currently in higher education. While during the period of Haile Selassie no Ethiopian who attended secondary school would have graduated without being taught by Indian teachers, today no university student will complete higher education without having had lecturers from India. Indian university lectureres have been in Ethiopia for more than a decade now, as Ethiopia has expanded its university sector from two to 31 public universities, while still suffering an enormous brain drain. Even though working conditions in Ethiopian universities are poorer than at Indian universities, Indian academics are drawn to Ethiopia by an attractive expatriate salary, a high savings potential and job offers for retired academics.

 

Through case studies at Ethiopian universities, Indian recruitment agencies and the web, the project will contribute qualitative findings to the research on highly skilled migration with a special focus on the direction of the movement, namely from South Asia to Africa.