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  • Приветствую Вас, Гость · RSS 21.02.2024, 14:10

    Главная » Статьи » Разное

    How Much Is a Professor Worth?

    Published: April 2, 2012

    LONDON — How much is a professor worth? It might help to know what professors are actually paid and how that figure compares with other salaries — and with the salaries of academics in other countries. But as Philip Altbach and his colleagues at the Center for International Higher Education discovered, such questions are a lot easier to ask than to answer.

    In a new book, “Paying the Professoriate,” to be published this month, Mr. Altbach and his co-editors examine academic salaries, contracts and benefits in publicly funded universities in 28 countries. They depict a world increasingly divided “into two categories — brain drain and brain gain,” as countries with more resources siphon off academic talent from poorer countries. (In Mexico some universities are fighting back, offering faculty members a marriage bonus — for first marriages — and “two hard-cider bottles and a frozen turkey at Christmas.”) They also show a profession that in many countries is subject to a widening gap between professors at top research universities and those who work at colleges devoted mainly to teaching, “who are lower in the academic pecking order and who now constitute the large majority of the academic work force.”

    All currencies were converted into U.S. dollars using a purchasing power parity index based on the cost of a set of items in the United States. But they also compared salaries in each country with that country’s average per capita gross domestic product, giving a sense of how academics were paid in comparison to pay for compatriots in other jobs. Finally each of the 28 country teams was asked whether the average academic salary for that country was “sufficient to support a middle-class standard of living.”

    In terms of purchasing power, newly hired academics in China ($259 per month, as calculated by this particular study’s index) were the worst off, paid less than colleagues in Armenia ($405) or Ethiopia ($864). Academics in Canada, where the entry level salaries averaged $5,733, and full professors were paid an average of $9,485, had more cause for celebration than in the United States, where newly hired faculty members averaged $4,950 and full professors $7,358 — a figure that put the United States behind Italy ($9,118), South Africa ($9,330), Saudi Arabia ($8,524), Britain ($8,369), Malaysia ($7,864), Australia ($7,499), and India ($7,433).

    “Just finding the data proved difficult,” Mr. Altbach said in an interview. “Many countries track school teachers’ salaries, but not academic pay. And among academics, salary remains such a taboo subject.” A preliminary report in 2003 recruited researchers from a dozen countries but “we found two problems.”

    “None of us were economists, so we didn’t really know how to make sense of the data. And the data we got was pretty bad,” Mr. Altbach said.

    However that first effort caught the interest of Maria Yudkevitch and Gregory Androushchak at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow.“Leaving aside social science, the Soviets had a really excellent university system — which has largely been destroyed,” Mr. Altbach said.

    “We wanted to get an international perspective,” said Mr. Androushchak, one of the book’s co-editors. Although Soviet science had put the first man in space, and Russians continue to be awarded Nobel prizes — and to launch rockets — the country’s academic institutions consistently fare poorly in international rankings. “We wanted to know what developed countries paid their academics, as well as developing countries and the other BRICS,” he said, referring to the emerging economies, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

    “Paying the Professoriate” brings together government statistics from countries where the information is available with survey data from those where it is not. Private universities were excluded, since most do not publish salary data.

    “One of the most surprising findings was in Ethiopia,” said Mr. Androushchak. Although an average monthly salary of $1,207 put Ethiopian academics fourth from the bottom of the countries surveyed, “the figure relative to G.D.P. is extraordinarily high” — or 23 times the country average, compared to the United States, Germany, or Australia, where academics average roughly twice the per capita G.D.P. “This shows that in Ethiopia academics are very highly valued.”

    Russia was the only country whose academics were actually paid less than the average per capita G.D.P. — only 60 percent.

    “The Russian government wants to know why they can’t keep their scientists,” said Alex Usher, president of Higher Education Strategy Associates, a Canadian research group. “This research suggests it’s because they don’t pay them enough. It’s not rocket science, but you’d be amazed at how many governments don’t get this.”

    Russia is not the only country whose academics earn considerably less than other professions requiring a comparable education. In Kazakhstan, faculty members “tend to earn half the salaries of peers with similar qualifications,” while the authors warn that “Japan, Germany, Israel and the United States will find it harder to attract young talent in the future, unless salaries at the lower end of the hierarchy improve.”

    In Germany, where academics are considered civil servants, teaching has become “less attractive than working in industry — where salaries are higher — or in public administration,” said Barbara Kehm, a professor of social science at the University of Kassel and co-author of the chapter on Germany. “We are right in the middle of changing pay scales,” she said. Under the new system basic pay has been reduced by 20 percent to 30 percent, but teachers are then eligible for bonuses based on performance.

    “It’s very chaotic,” said Ms. Kehm, adding that the up-or-out six-year tenure system, which forces most junior faculty members to move on after six years, and the requirement that university departments not promote from within, make the German academic career path an obstacle course.

    Despite talk of a global market in education, Kris Olds, who teaches geography at the University of Wisconsin, said that “in the public sector everywhere nowadays, people realize the likelihood of getting salary increases is pretty low. So they try to ‘bargain in’ as high as they can.”

    Moonlighting is another common survival strategy, he said. “I taught in China in the 1990s, and all of the professors in Shanghai were consulting on the side. It was the only way they could support their families.”

    Russian academics, according to Mr. Androushchak, almost always have to supplement their university salaries by doing extra teaching at private, for-profit institutions or business schools. “The possibility of teaching in these programs is often considered to compensate somewhat for low-paying activities at the basic rate,” he writes.

    Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors, said that even high average salary figures can be misleading. “The hidden truth about faculty salaries around the world is that some faculty are paid handsomely and possess relative wealth, while other faculty — in many countries — hover at the poverty line. Often enough, both groups can be found in the same country,” Mr. Nelson said.

    One trend mentioned in the book, but not analyzed in depth, is the use of part-time teaching faculty. Once rare in Western Europe, contingent faculty — paid by the hour or by the course and hired without benefits — have become increasingly common. As in other areas, the United States seems to be the model.

    “I have a colleague who was teaching nine courses in one semester,” said Maria Maisto of New Faculty Majority, a campaigning organization. Her members, she said, are paid an average of $2,500 for a three-credit course. “That’s without an office, and without being paid for prep time or grading time. Ultimately it’s the students who suffer,” Ms. Maisto said.

    “In Latin America, 70 percent of professors are part-time,” Mr. Altbach said. “In the U.S., only half of new positions are full time. All over the world, professors are supposed to be the shock troops of the global knowledge economy. But they’re not being paid like it.”

    См. также: Женщины в науке

    Источник: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/02/world/europe/02iht-educlede02.html
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