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In our country working in a state university is regarded as a priviledge. Even when we consider the degrees offered, people accept the state university degrees more. Usually first preference is given for that. And when we consider the payment for academics, the academic freedom allowed, facilities etc. are better in state universities.

I have been working at a state university as a lecturer on contract basis, an opportunity which I got I think also because one of my supervisors (A) specially recommended me, by thinking to help based on my hard work while working with him.

I've applied to get permanent there too, but later I found that there were some internal politics, and even though the dean has listened to my supervisor's recommendations, the head didn't like it and she purposely tried to create trouble for me. I actually got in to some unjustifiable and unreasonable situations created by her and some of her friends, I couldn't understand what was happening at the beginning. So I explained the situation to my supervisor, and he had checked through some of other seniors working there and found that there is some biased situations happening.

As they were troubling me and trying to sabotage my work, I gave resignation and soon afterward, I got an opportunity at a private university.

Now (after about a month) I’ve got an opportunity to go to another state university. After resigning from the previous place, I actually put applications to every advertisement I saw, and my supervisor was put as my referee. Actually two of my supervisors as referees. So at this state university, the department head is a friend of both of them and when she was asking they both had recommended me for the post and had put in good words on my behalf.

With respect to the salary I will be getting almost same amount as the private uni I'm at now. But at the interview I found that this state university has several centers located in far way regions as well. They asked if necessary will I be able to go. It will be about for 1 week but I have several issues with respect to my family such that I’m unable to travel to outstation areas like that.

During the interview, I replied ok (because I couldn't think properly and it's usually embarrassing to say no, negatively at an interview), but after coming home I told my supervisor (A), that I have a reluctancy because of this travelling issue. However, his friend has also called him and told him that “Hasini did the interview well. She might have gotten afraid about the travelling issue, but tell her not to worry as, so far I also haven’t travelled, I’ve been here for about 10 years. But such a necessity never came”.

But when I inquired from several others, some people had come across situations where they had to travel.

I’m also looking to go to a state uni, but as the private uni I’m currently at is not very bad I would like to go if the place is really matching with my capacities and interests. There is a high competition to go to the state uni’s, I know that and also I got the opportunity because my supervisors also spoke. I don't know whether I'll get such opportunities always.

But on the other hand it’s only a month since I started at the private uni (so they will also get upset when I say I want to leave), and I didn’t think the state uni will call me for an interview this fast, because they usually take time, and this particular place, I just put the application by thinking that: based on the situations I’ll decide. I didn’t think that all of a sudden my supervisors will speak by hearing about my application from their friend.

Actually A specially, as he knows what happened at the previous place, which was also recommended by him, as I told you, I think he feels sad that I got in to trouble without a reason there and wants to help me.

If I choose to stay in the private uni, with the hope of going to a different state uni in the future, I have to explain the supervisors in a strong way,

  1. Because they have already spoken here on behalf of me and they think I really like this state uni and that's why I applied

  2. As everyone thinks it’s a higher priviledge to work at a state uni and there is a high competition, they will be getting surprised when I try to refuse this chance I got. So I will have to explain and overcome this barrier, and keep the supervisors in a good mood too as they are going to be my referees in the future too.

But still there is no point in going to the state uni if I can't travel if they ask me to by any chance... I'm worried about that. But I don't know how to say it and also am I making the right decision by refusing?

Please advise me.

Thank you very very much!!!!

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    That's a very long question :-) May I ask why you can't travel? Nov 8, 2023 at 17:30
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    Hi @WolfgangBangerth thank you for the comment. I have some family issues, which make it difficult to travel. Need to take care of parents, no one to take care of some things at home, etc. Because of this, I did my studies also at places where I can travel to at least by taking 1 to 2 hours of travelling even.
    – Hasini
    Nov 8, 2023 at 17:33
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    Have you asked your parents about this opportunity, and whether they have any thoughts about how they can be better taken care of, just in case you need to be gone for a week here and there? They might not want you to pass up a job you really want? If you need to be gone for a week, would there be any way for you to find someone else to take care of your parents for a brief period of time? I imagine there might be other family members, significant others, etc, who you might be able to recruit to do so?
    – Parrever
    Nov 8, 2023 at 19:17
  • Thank you for the comment @Parever like I said it's not just taking care of them is the issue. There are several. And also this is going to create a risk to my safety as well, because some of such areas have terrorist problems, racial issues. From parents side, they are worried about my safety. And I didn't think exactly I want to go to this particular state uni itself. I just applied by thinking I'll go and see their conditions and agree if I'm really ok. I didn't expect that the supervisors will have a lot of words put in like that.
    – Hasini
    Nov 8, 2023 at 23:35

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