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The skinny on direct-hire university opportunities
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11452
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:33 am    Post subject: The skinny on direct-hire university opportunities Reply with quote

Note: For the benefit of both male and female forum posters/readers, my comments focus solely on university foundation year teaching opportunities and not those jobs which exclude women.

Why go direct hire with a university instead of working through a contracting company? For starters, the salary is higher (no middle man taking a percentage of your earnings) and the benefits are richer (e.g., paid session breaks, holidays, and longer time off during the summer; a furniture allowance in conjunction with a housing allowance; non-shared accommodation, if employer-provided; compensation for additional days worked; access to more staff/faculty resources; and so on contingent upon the contract). And generally, you don't get jerked around if you're a direct hire.

Some key points:

- Although you'll see advice within this forum stating "only go direct hire" and "avoid contracting companies," that's easier said than done because not everyone meets the qualifications for these opportunities. But in a nutshell, a TESOL-related masters degree + a year or two of relevant experience satisfies the requirements for a direct-hire spot at a Saudi university. Obviously, qualifications can vary based on the employer or teaching situation and there may be age restrictions. Also, some unis may hire holders of related BA degrees; however, these teachers usually have additional teaching credentials (other than an EFL teaching qualification) as well as extensive experience teaching English in a public school or adult education situation in their home country.

- If you have the above quals but are working at a particular university via a contracting company, I suggest you contact the uni's recruitment unit or HR department to inquire about signing on as a direct hire. (This scenario is if you're working alongside colleagues who are direct hires.)

- Postings for direct-hire jobs typically can be found on:

    - the university's website (under links or headings such as "careers," "jobs," "employment," "opportunities," "vacancies," or "openings"). Alternately, a basic Internet search using something like, 'Saudi Wasta University English jobs' may yield results, although you'd probably have to weed out third-party recruiter ads. A list of private and government universities can be found on wikipedia as saudi universities colleges.

    - sites such as TESOL Arabia's job fair webpage (in late Feb/March), TESOL.org, IATEFL.org, chronicle.com, and higheredjobs.com. Direct-hire positions aren't always advertised on the Cafe's job board, but it's still worth it to check. Again, you'd have to determine if the ad was placed by a recruiter or the university.
- Timing is critical since the majority of recruiting and hiring for the upcoming academic year is around early to late spring. If possible, plan to attend the annual March/April job fairs at the TESOL Arabia, TESOL International (US), and IATEFL (UK) conferences where short-listed candidates receive face-to-face interviews. (I was interviewed by several universities at TESOL Arabia's job fair a couple of years ago and subsequently, accepted one of the offers.)

- Whether face-to-face or via Skype or phone, interviews are generally conducted by members of faculty, staff, or administration as opposed to a contracted recruiting agency.

Other posters will certainly have something to add or comment on.
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Deeman15



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why go direct hire with a university instead of working through a contracting company? For starters, the salary is higher (no middle man taking a percentage of your earnings?


I personally know of one uni which offered less salary for direct hires than the recruiting companies were offering to teach at the same university. Perhaps was an exception but I thought it was odd.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11452
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that was King Saud Uni. I agree that's odd. Perhaps their strategy is to dissuade applicants from going direct hire. Who knows.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15333

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Direct hire at KFUPM was the best EFL deal I ever had. Not necessarily in terms of the filthy lucre but in terms of a relaxed and sensible working environment..

You will not get rich but it is okay, and sustainable long-term which many jobs in KSA are not.


Last edited by scot47 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Muhammed Abbas Khan



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:14 pm    Post subject: Education Allowance for Dependant(s) of Direct Hire Employee Reply with quote

Dear All,

Does direct hire by a Saudi University mean that:

(A) an educational allowance for dependants is offered?

or

(B) dependants can be enrolled in a Saudi public school?

From browsing the forum I understand that the ELI in Jeddah does not offer an education allowance. Information relating to the preparatory year program at KSU or Prince Sultan University, both situated in Riyadh, would be greatly appreciated.
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the princess bride



Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great info, thanks!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11452
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muhammed Abbas Khan wrote:
Does direct hire by a Saudi University mean that:

(A) an educational allowance for dependants is offered? or
(B) dependants can be enrolled in a Saudi public school?

From browsing the forum I understand that the ELI in Jeddah does not offer an education allowance.

In response to your first question, benefits depend on the employer and can vary in regard to what's being offered and at what level. In other words, there's no standard "direct-hire" benefit package common to all employers since obviously, some offer richer benefits than others. Moreover, direct hire doesn't mean entitlement to the same benefits or privileges Saudi nationals receive---you're essentially an expat (a foreigner) contracted to work with a Saudi employer. Anyway, benefits are usually indicated in the job ad and/or on the employer's website.

As for your second question, I have no clue about Saudi public school admission requirements. I suggest you post those types of questions on one of the popular expat Saudi forums; those sites have members of every nationality and focus more on life and work in the Kingdom. Do an internet search using 'expat forum Saudi.'

and wrote:
Information relating to the preparatory year program at KSU or Prince Sultan University, both situated in Riyadh, would be greatly appreciated.

Do a search within this forum---both King Saud Uni and Prince Sultan Uni have been mentioned, though, not as much for PSU. You might also check their individual websites for info. The Internet is your friend.
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Muhammed Abbas Khan



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Nomad Soul for your response. A friend of mine is teaching for a government university and his children are able to attend the Saudi public schools. He is however, out near Al-Ahsa. Also, I apologise if I was not clear in my question regarding information about KSU and PSU. I was in fact referring to the education allowance, if any offered by these establishments. Another friend of mine who teaches in Jamitul Imaaam Muhammad ibn Saud located in Riyadh was also able to get a concession whereby his children were enrolled in Saudi public schools. Unfortunately, I have lost contact with him.

So to summarise, I know of individuals in government universities whose children are in Saudi public schools as part of the benefits package offered by their employer. However, it is not information that is widely available. Perhaps the vast majority of expats are averse to sending their children to Saudi public schools.

Anyway, for those other rare few who have children in KSA public schools, please do share.

Regards,

Abbas
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15333

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The usual deal at Government Universities is SR25,000 Education Allowance. Not per child but total, whether you have 1 child or 10.

Enrolment in Saudi Public Schools for foreigner's children is not usually possible.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11452
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muhammed Abbas Khan wrote:
Perhaps the vast majority of expats are averse to sending their children to Saudi public schools.

Not to derail this thread by going off topic, but even if enrollment in a Saudi public school were feasible, why would any expat parent (from the US, UK, Canada, Oz...) want to subject their children to an educational system that the Saudi government itself deems as ineffective and outdated? (See Education system ‘yet to see signs of improvement’, http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130321157796 for the current state of Saudi schools in general.) Just some food for thought.

Anyway, if your education allowance isn't adequate, consider homeschooling your children to ensure they're able to continue their education through to university level in their home country. That's what quite a few of my British and American friends do.
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EYEBALL



Joined: 17 Apr 2013
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having worked with some direct hires who were employed by KSU PYP, don't go direct hire. They were under the thumb of the uni, and almost all I know of quit. For example, if they were going on vacation, they had to put up 2 months salary to ensure they would return. Does that sound like a normal job requirement? Other uni's might not be so bad, but KSU is not a good place to go direct hire!
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear EYEBALL,


"For example, if they were going on vacation, they had to put up 2 months salary to ensure they would return."

Actually, it was pretty standard for most government institutions when I was there. Either two-months salary or you had to get someone to "sign" for you (guarantee your return.) That was only for the Eids, though, not for the summer holidays. I always got a Saudi to sign for me Very Happy.

It came about, of course, because of "absconders" (i.e. runners). If they took off on an Eid holiday, guess who suffered: all the teachers who remained, who would have to "take up the slack" of their classes.

Regards,
John
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DLIguy



Joined: 29 Jun 2013
Posts: 167
Location: Being led around by the nose...by you-know-who!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hence, the term, "IPA Slackers", John? Laughing
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear DLIguy,

Ubfortunately, you always get a few whackos - the ones who simply can't adjust to Saudi or have "personal problems" that being there interferes with (i.e hard-core alkies.) The policy never caused anyone any inconvenience that I know of - either a colleague not going out of country on an Eid break would sign or a Saudi colleague would. I don't know of anyone who wanted to exit the Kingdom during one of the Eid breaks who was unable to leave because of it.

And considering that those of us who honored our contracts would get stuck with taking over any runner's hours (though if it pushed you into overtime, you'd get paid for it), I thought the precaution was justified.

I recall one bozo who jumped, and then had the audacity to e-mail asking for any "back pay" and "would we send him any belongings he left behind."

Regards,
John
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DLIguy



Joined: 29 Jun 2013
Posts: 167
Location: Being led around by the nose...by you-know-who!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Bozo" be da word! Personally, I never saw the reason to run...'cept the time I "worked" for the Emirati military and they cheated us out of our severence. Even then, tho, I completed my contract.
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