Tertiary institutes feel the brain drain

The colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan have been losing a significant number of faculty members, including experienced lecturers, in recent years with the majority of them resigning voluntarily.

Gedu College of Business Studies’ Dean of academic affairs, Jamyang Tenzin, said that eight faculty members and support staff have left the college last year.

He said that when a huge number of employees leave the system at once, it increases the workload and exerts an additional burden on the ones staying behind.

Some faculty members initially availed themselves extraordinary leave (EOL) and later resigned.

“To fill the vacant position and keep the system undisturbed, the college has been recruiting faculty on a fixed-term basis,” he added. “Getting the best has always been a challenge as of now.”

College of Natural Resources in Lobesa, Punakha saw nine faculty members leave so far. As per the record, two of the employees had left for Belgium and seven for Australia.

President of Language and Culture Studies in Taktse, Lungtaen Gyatso said that the trend is alarming and worrying. He said that it has a huge implication for the education system of the country.

The college lost eight faculty members and four support staff last year.

“Many of the faculty members are exploring better opportunities outside,” he said, adding that it is easy to get the candidates to fill up the vacant seats but meeting the required quality and experience is always a question and challenge.

He added that, unlike other service sectors where vacant seats can be replaced by anyone, the teaching profession demands prior experience and knowledge of the field for effective service delivery.

Samtse College of Education President Rinchen Dorji (PhD) said that faculty members leaving for better opportunities is an issue of the time.

He said that lecturers with qualifications like PhD continue to look for scholarships abroad.

Four faculty members from the Paro College of Education left last year of which one voluntarily resigned for better opportunities in Australia and three for other reasons.

Three faculty members from Jigme Namgyel Engineering College left last year. Its president, Tshewang Lhendup (PhD) said that as of now it does not have huge implications as the college is to discontinue offering some programmes.

For now, he said the college could manage but if the trend continues it will obviously hit them hard. It is learnt that about seven faculty members are currently exploring opportunities abroad.

Four lecturers and support staff from Sherubtse College left last year. Of four lecturers, two resigned for personal reasons while another two upon completion of their contract period.

Of 45 lecturers, five left from Norbuling Rigter College last year.

President Tandin Dorji (PhD) said that all left the system to avail better opportunities in Australia.

Meanwhile, only one faculty member teaching Dzongkha resigned from the College of Science and Technology in Phuntsholing.

According to some colleges, a shortage of teaching faculty would lead to poor service delivery which will hamper the quality of education in the country.

Relevant sources said that better working opportunities abroad, lack of required facilities and lack of good opportunities at home are some of the reasons attributed towards it.

To fill up the vacant slots, some colleges are recruiting fresh candidates on a contract basis or on a fixed term.

RTC officials were not available for comment.

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