Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Research Student: Rumana Hossain

Photo of Rumana Hossain

Impact of Studying Abroad on Returnee Professionals at the Higher Education Institution in a Developing Country

Submission Date: October 2018

This study is an attempt to delve into the returnee professionals’ experience in Higher Educational context who have spent year(s) studying abroad.

Much investigation has been carried out on the learning experiences of students while they were studying abroad and also on their psychological adaptation on return. Unfortunately, very few attempts have been made to investigate what use the returnees made of their acquired knowledge and whether they could contribute to national development or fulfill the expectation with which they were sent abroad by the funding bodies. Ghimire and Maharajan’s (2014) study on a group of Nepalese returnee professionals states that most of the participants were driven by personal motivation to use their knowledge and skills to engage in new and useful developments for themselves ignoring the broader national development. This indicates towards an existing ambiguity between the senders and the individuals’ perspective regarding the objective of studying in Western countries specially from a developing third-world country.

This study would try to unpack these ambiguities existing between the funders and receivers through an in depth qualitative research: a subjective reality to permit better interpretation of the views of the professionals in question. Also, in the process of triangulation the stakeholders’ (Vice-chancellors, education secretary, concerned people from the British Council and American Centre) views regarding these returnee professionals would also be recorded.

Background

Personally, I am a very enthusiastic, well organized, sincere and hardworking person with a pleasing character. I did my Undergraduate and first MA in English Literature from Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. After that, I started my teaching career in the first and topmost private university (North South University) as a teaching assistant and later became faculty part-time. Later, I worked as a full timer at another private university. By that time, I had already developed interest in language teaching and did another MA in English Language Teaching from the University of Dhaka. I became fortunate enough to join my own institution Jahangirnagar University, a top ranking public university in Bangladesh in 2007.

In my teaching career, I have had four publications including a book and two more papers are awaiting publication. I have also successfully completed a faculty research project funded by my university in my home country. In order to take my researches to national and international platforms and reach a wider set of audience, I have presented a number of papers in both national and international conferences including Asia TEFL, BELTA (Bangladesh English language Teachers Association) International Conferences, and NELTA (Nepal English Language Teachers Association) Conference. As an MA TESOL student at the University of Leeds I presented at the PGT Conference organized by the University of Hull. After that while being a prospective PhD student I presented in the ESSL Annual Conference and the School of Education 10th PGR Conference 2015. I also worked as a committee member for the later conference. I am a life member of BELTA  (Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association)and Asia TEFL and also have been an active member of all the conference organizing committees of my department for five years.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

I have always been ambitious and interested in developing myself as a leader in my area.

Being a member of the editorial board of the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Harvest published each year from the Department of English, Jahangirnagar University has given me the chance to come across research papers and articles of different academicians and researchers of home and abroad. Over time all these factors have developed in me deeper understanding of language teaching pedagogy and an escalating urge to excel as a researcher.

As a teacher of a public university teacher in Bangladesh for the last five years, I am in the process of building a successful career in teaching and research. It is expected of a public university teacher to acquire educational and research expertise to ensure smooth professional development as an Educator.

In fact, my MA TESOL degree from the University of Leeds was the stepping-stone for me to do a PhD.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

I am truly passionate about teaching. In fact, my best times are the ones that I spent in class with my students. The idea of my PhD study comes out of my professional experience and my encounter with fellow ELT practitioners. I have been in the field of language teaching for the past fourteen years where I watch my students turning into my colleagues. I noticed that the increasing demand for competent users of English in this era of globalization has also made my colleagues interested in getting education from Western developed countries like their predecessors. Equally has grown the demand for English Language Teaching (ELT) and related studies like Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

To date, several teachers have studied abroad and joined different public and private universities in the country, but I doubt anybody has ever asked them their stories on their return. How are they? How did they integrate after coming back? What are their achievements and have they faced any barriers in acquiring their desired goals? These are questions, which made me passionate about this area of research as I felt this is also like researching my future.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

After completion of my degree, I want to resume my present profession at my university and concentrate further on research and publication. In the coming years, I envisage myself as a leading educator and researcher in academia.

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