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Nottingham-Ningbo thoughts?
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canrun30



Joined: 03 Oct 2012
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:59 am    Post subject: Nottingham-Ningbo thoughts? Reply with quote

Just wondering if anyone can add some thoughts/insights on the work environment at this university. I heard from a lady who worked there that the pay was great, but they worked her to the bone. 65 hours or more a week to get all her work done. She's an old China hand as well, but just couldn't take it anymore and quit last year. Just wondering if anyone has heard any other similar negative (or positive!) stories. Thanks in advance.
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RyznFree



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished a masters degree there and know quite a few people both that work and study at UNNC. My thoughts are...

Good money if you get on the right contract. I had one teacher with a phd from Cambridge teaching a master's level course who got paid less than a language tutor friend of mine who was working on his master's online. The reason? The language tutor signed his contract in the UK and got paid in pounds while the phd signed in China and earned RMB. But yeah, you can earn some serious cash. My friend gets 5000 rmb housing ontop of his UK salara every month which is A LOT in Ningbo, let alone that district.

In general, I noticed quite a few unhappy faces amongst the staff there. Maybe it's a stuffy British thing, but no one really seemed too happy. UNNC is not a bad campus, but it's further out than most Ningbo universities.

About the students, the Chinese students love the school and good students in general.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a lot of friends working there, some are happy, some unhappy, but they all say the money's good. Quite a few have been there over 5 years so says something about the place.

The hours your friend says she was working seem unlikely, I asked around and the general consensus was b******t.

It's the same everywhere not just in China, what are you personally prepared to put up with? One man's dream job is another man's nightmare.
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shamblaram



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I'm also very interested in Nottingham Ningbo and wonder if anyone has any up-to-date info on the place....

re the friend who was an instructor while also working on his masters online- so, you don't need to have FINISHED a masters to get a job there?

Also, what are the basic hours? (I work at a Univ in Vietnam, 40 hours on campus, 20 hours of which are teaching; sound similar?)

And what is the yearly holiday allowance?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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canrun30



Joined: 03 Oct 2012
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I indicated in my OP, I know a long-time TESOL professional who quit there after two years because she was putting in 65-hour weeks. She says the money and students were great, but the mounds and mounds of papers that never seemed to disappear really did her in.

Only one voice, but something to consider.

And, yes...I would like to hear more from others myself.
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canrun30



Joined: 03 Oct 2012
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And let me add, she's a super dedicated (way too dedicated, IMO) TESOL-type, so that's why she put in all the extra hours. They were NOT contracted by any means, so I'm sure most teachers can and do get away with working much less than this. I was just curious if it was the norm, and it sounds like it's not.
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eihpos



Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 196

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also interested in working at Nottingham but I am not sure if I am qualified enough. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has managed to get a job there.

I do not have an MA in TESOL or Linguistics - but I do have one in English Literature. Also, is EAP experience essential?
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Informed & Concerned



Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The working hours issue at the start of the thread is unrealistic. Yes, there are busy times of semester when essay drafts come in but 65 hours a week is ludicrous. It's a busy schedule, but it's not a crazy schedule.

As for qualifications, an MA is not required but more and more tutors here have one so it will become standard pretty soon. Also, EAP experience is essential - EFL is frowned on. Forget the interactive motivating stuff – apparently it has no place in an EAP classroom.

And that really is the biggest issue here at the moment. Things are getting more and more prescriptive. The APR (Annual Performance Review) system was launched with a view of rewarding good teaching - it has now become a system where staff have to commit to making ever greater contributions to the university to get ahead. Observations have moved from being developmental to making sure you are teaching what you are told to teach as you are told to teach it.

If you're going through the interview process for the current recruitment round it would be interesting (although possibly ill-advised) to ask about freedom.

Q: Can you develop material for the classes you teach, tailored to the needs of your specific students?
A: Probably not - or if you do, don't tell anyone or share it with colleagues. Management approved materials only please

Q: Can you use your creativity to show how you can teach in an observed lesson?
A: You could - but you might well fail the observation

Q: Would you get into trouble for not teaching the prescribed teaching grid (lesson outlines)?
A: Absolutely

Q: Are you able to continue your professional development through maintaining your IELTS examiner status (or becoming an examiner)?
A: The quick answer is no - IELTS examining will be banned from January since it doesn’t profit the university to let tutors examine.

Q: Can you leave campus when you have fulfilled all of your timetabled duties at the end of the work week?
A: Currently, if you are leaving campus for the weekend to do IELTS you need to ask for permission and advise your manager of your travel plans - including exact departure and return times

The earlier post saying the money and students were good was right. As to whether it's currently a good place to work, the fact that a lot of current tutors are actively looking for other work raises concerns.
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canrun30



Joined: 03 Oct 2012
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Informed:

羊毛出在羊身上
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xray



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: weekends off campus Reply with quote

Hi Informed and Concerned,

Thanks for the info but can you clarify what you meant re leaving campus to travel at the end of the work week. If it is your weekend is your time not your own. Is everyone required to live on campus and if so is this monitored somehow?

Sorry maybe i misunderstood but it sounds a bit strange.

Also if you are required to live aon campus how is the accomodation and also the holidays ?

Thanks in advance
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Informed & Concerned



Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue with travel is to do with IELTS. At the moment we can still ask for permission to conduct IELTS testing at the weekend (permission will not be given from the start of next year). As part of asking for permission, however, we need to inform our manager of our travel plans (time of departure from campus and arrival back to campus). This is to ensure IELTS testing doesn't impinge on our UNNC duties but it also means that yes, we do have to inform our manager of what we will be doing in our private time. It is as strange as it sounds.

Regarding accommodation, you are not required to live on campus (although the students are) but there is accommodation available on campus if you want it and if there is space. At the moment the staff apartments (which are nice) are at pretty much full capacity. Some people who arrived this academic year got a room in the staff hotel which was exactly that, a hotel room. Most of the rooms in the staff hotel have a living room/kitchen area but all of those were gone.

There are apartments available close to the university and the accommodation allowance means you can get some place decent. The on-campus accommodation is relatively over-priced, compared to what you can get for the same money off campus, but it is convenient.

As a University the holidays are great - for fractional staff. Fractional staff work 35 weeks a year (and as such get the equivalent proportion of the full-time annual salary) but there is a move over to full time staff, which means full time in terms of working the calendar year rather than the academic year. There's still holiday provision of course, but its counted in weeks rather than months.

As I said before, the terms and conditions are generally good. How you are treated ...
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zactherat



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow so the golden era of working at NN is well and truly over. That's good to know.

Overly controlling management = recipe for an absolute nightmare.

Sounds like workaholic teachers could do IELTS on the weekend and earn more than their NN supervisors. This kind of thing causes problems for certain types of managers.
I suspect that NN is bossed by people that go into management primarily to boost their ego, rather than primarily to effect success and improvement. That makes for the worst kind of work environment as a teacher, as the focus shifts frustratingly from "doing a good job" to "being led and following regardlessly".
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xray



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again I&C thanks for the clarifications and updates.

So am i correct in assuming that the new round of hires will only be offered fulltime contracts so considerably less holidays but presumably more money.I notice the salary scales have moved upwards from what was offered last year to this most recent job ad ( Oct )

Do you think there will be moves to force those on the fractional contracts to sign on full time.

Personally I woulld prefer less money and more holidays.

Thanks
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wailing_imam



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 506
Location: Malaya

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am interested in applying here but can't for the next year or so.

I have 10 years exp, currently teaching PRC students EAP in Singapore. Have DipTESOL and am doing my MA at the mo. Have lived in China before (Suzhou and Shanghai).

How often do these people hire?

What is the weekly contact time like?

Do they ask teachers to keep office hours?

How much is the accommodation allowance? What can that get you in Ningbo?

I would be bringing my son, who will be 3 then. Is the air in Ningbo dreadful?
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stuck but surviving



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imam

jobs.ac.uk will have what you need when the top universities have a recruitment round.

Informed and Concerned

Have heard on the rumour mill that several, if not more, NN teachers are considering making the move to XJTLU in Suzhou as the overly controlling management and banning of IELTS examining have made them fed up with the conditions there, even with good pay and good students. So are many now seeing XJTLU as a better option?

Also heard something about the lesson observation process, the observations are for 2 hours? And as you mentioned before, you can be failed on these? Sounds pretty rough, what happens if you fail?

Stuck
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