Cardiff's staff set to sail seas in luxury

February 2, 2007

Cardiff University is preparing for a queue of academics eager to bag what could be the cushiest job in higher education.

A yet to be determined number of lucky lecturers will be chosen to join all-expenses paid round-the-world cruise on a luxury liner that will act as a "floating campus" on its semester-long maiden voyage from September.

The select few will spend 16 weeks cruising around eight countries and five continents, with stops for study excursions at locations in South America, the South Pacific, Australia and Japan.

Although they are likely to clock up slightly more teaching hours than they would in Cardiff, they will be free of administration and routine research duties.

They will join other academics and about 600 students from Australia, the US, Morocco, Japan, China, Mexico and Ghana on The Scholar Ship - a venture backed by Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Cardiff is the first European university to join a consortium providing "academic stewards" on the ship. The stewards will design and teach academic programmes to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The university is still waiting to hear how many places will be available for its academics.

Most students will pay $10,000 (£5,000) to join the cruise, but at least 50 scholarships worth $5,000 will be awarded on academic merit.

Sandra Elliott, director of Cardiff's international development division, said academics with expertise in disciplines such as international business, environmental studies, marine biology, arts and culture, humanities and sociology would be sought to take up teaching places on the ship.

"I have kept a low profile on it so far because I know that once the word gets around all the academics in the university are going to e-mail me," she said.

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