Retired British academics who still feel they have something to give to higher education can now look overseas for fresh challenges.
A scheme devised by the Association of Commonwealth Universities could be an alternative to the scrap heap for lecturers and administrators who feel rejected by the system.
The Retired Academics Database aims to turn the experience of academics who have given up working in Britain and other parts of the developed world to good use in developing countries.
Many countries in Africa and Asia have been trying to expand higher education, but the effects of the brain drain and HIV/Aids have seriously weakened their infrastructures. At the same time, many countries in the developed world have an increasing number of academics reaching retirement age who are often keen to continue teaching.
Lecturers prepared to undertake short-term contracts at overseas universities, mainly in Africa, Asia and Caribbean, can register their details with the database. Teaching details will be stored ready to be searched by ACU staff, who will pass on details if they match what the university is looking for.
Placements would range from three months up two years, and pay would be tied to local salary rates, with return airfares for academics and their spouses.
Piers Pennington, head of the ACU's academic recruitment unit, ACU Advertising, said: "The scheme has the potential to make a difference in universities that urgently need to fill key posts."
In the UK up to March, 1,800 members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme retired - almost 1,400 of them aged under 65. But academics with at least two years' teaching experience are also eligible.
Details at www.acu.ac.uk/adverts/rad