Sep 4, 2012

Professor jobs thrive in China

By Jing Yan

Professor jobs thrive in China, as Chinese universities highly value the professors from US, UK, France and many other leading European academies in order to increase their competitive edge. Newly enrolled college students in China this year have reached around 6.8mn, but the number of 4-year universities is only 841.

Professor jobs thrive in China
Attribution Some rights reserved by DearEdward
old architecture of Nanjing University

Chinese speaking is not a must-have

The English skills of Chinese students are picking up gradually thanks to a great many of English TEFL teachers who have come to teach English in China. In the past, foreign teachers were only hired in top universities in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, now they are also hired by kindergardens, high schools and colleges in two and third tier east coast cities. So now it is time for Chinese universities to start hiring foreign professors who don't speak much Chinese.

Moreover, foreign textbooks are starting to be adopted by newly formed local universities. South University of Science and Technology of China, located in Shenzhen, starts to use foreign textbooks for physics and chemistry. And these classes are taught in English.

More opportunities in science

To get professor jobs in China, you will need a master's degree or Ph.D. Job opportunities are rising in science subject areas including pharmacy science, chemistry, aquaculture, medical and life sciences, engineering, civil engineering, design and general research and development. Information technology, mathematics, computer sciences and other areas of science are also hiring.

University like SUST, learns from practices of Hong Kong universities which hire a higher proportion of foreign professors. Édouard Brézin, French theoretical physicist, professor at Université Paris 6, working at the laboratory for theoretical physics (LPT) of the école normale supérieure, and Marc Rosso, a leading mathematics scientist, are now teaching at SUST.


A lower salary level

From Glassdoor, foreign professors who have worked in Chinese universities, revealed that the salary level for an professor position is ranging from 430k to 470k in RMB, and 300k to 330k for assistant professor. Overall, employees are satisfied as the cost of living is very low comparing to home countries.

The academic atmosphere is good, but one complained about micro management issue, another said that "the opportunity for young professors becomes less and less". However, there are likely more opportunities for both young and experienced professors now, considering a large base of unexploited vacancies. Compensation packages often include housing, family assistance, and funding opportunities.

What is a good candidate

First, academic success. Candidates who have higher academic achievements and expertise, more published thesis on prestigious research journals, as well as books, or patent ownership, are highly sought after. Second, seasoned management or entrepreneurial experience are also well-liked.