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Akita International University

 
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wailing_imam



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 503
Location: Malaya

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:33 pm    Post subject: Akita International University Reply with quote

Hi,

Does anyone know anything about this place?

I have an MA, Dip TESOL and loads of experience and would like to experience Japan for a few years. Are they likely to offer educational allowance for children? What kind of salary and teaching load can one expect at a Japanese uni?
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 348

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have a job offer? If so, you can communicate directly with the university person in charge of hiring you. Given the questions you have, you probably don't...

Just to let you know, it's a tough market although not an impossible one. I've heard and seen online (see for yourself at http://jrecin.jst.go.jp/ and occasionally at www.tesol.org) that there are jobs at universities in Japan, but namely 3 kinds:

1) Teaching at a university but being employed by a dispatch agency such as INTERAC. This kind of work will put you in a university setting teaching university kids ESL, but will not provide a salary that's enough to support a family.

2) Teaching at a university as a part-time instructor. This would be working as an adjunct. In this situation, you might be scrambling to get other work or work at more than one university.

3) Terminal 3 or 4 year full time contracts. These type of jobs end after 3 to 4 years and then you must look for work again.

* Occasionally I see a tenured position job come up - but my feeling is that publications (3 or so), Japanese language ability, and connections - do a lot to increase your chances for these jobs.

Be aware of a slowing Japanese economy, aging population, unchanging ESL salaries for several years in Japan, and many qualified applicants. I'm not trying to scare you away - but I took about 4 years to find a solo-teaching job at a high school I liked in Japan without compromising on my career and becoming an assistant language teacher, or language school teacher. These are all fine kinds of employment particularly if you are young, but I was researching a lateral move from working in a high school in NYC to working in a high school in Japan.

My trick in doing this was to accept the fact that I would get a huge wage cut, but find a way to do it so I would increase my overall standard of living. I did so by finding working in a smaller city where costs are cheaper and commute to work is a 10 minute drive or a 30 minute walk.

And then, I needed to wade out another 3 years working there to finally secure tenure.

I think you will find something, but it may take research and time. I am no expert on universities, but this is information I've read here on the forums, or from people I've talked to in Japan.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 462
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Their reputation is not good.
Look up the Black List on Debito`s website.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Akita International University Reply with quote

wailing_imam wrote:
Hi,

Does anyone know anything about this place?

I have an MA, Dip TESOL and loads of experience and would like to experience Japan for a few years. Are they likely to offer educational allowance for children? What kind of salary and teaching load can one expect at a Japanese uni?


STAY AWAY!

I refer you to The Chronical of Higher Education website forum for more details.

Sounds like a nightmare in hell - and that's just what many private universities in Japan are. Many of them are terrible places to work and treat their staff more like salarymen than academics.

Looking for a university teaching position in Japan, careful what you wish for.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 401
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Akita International University Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
I refer you to The Chronical of Higher Education website forum for more details.
Yes, there is a very negative thread on the CHE forums here. However, you'll notice that the first 20 pages of posts were from 2006-2009, and almost all of the posts since then were still discussing events from that period, without much recent information about the university.
Quote:
Sounds like a nightmare in hell - and that's just what many private universities in Japan are. Many of them are terrible places to work and treat their staff more like salarymen than academics.
Actually, AIU isn't a private university, it's public. It was originally a branch campus of Minnesota State Univ, but that closed about 10 years ago, and Akita prefecture bought it.

Most of the negative comments I have heard were from content-area professors (i.e., PhD holders who were teaching subjects like physics, history, etc.) about differences between US and Japanese university systems for professors (e.g., sabbatical). I've heard complaints from EFL instructors there, but mostly those who were let go in the mass cleaning they did a couple years after the change from Minn State to AIU (most of those were baggage that had stayed on from the Minn St. days).

I don't have any first hand experience working there, but I do know a few people who used to each EFL there (both when it was Minn St. and as AIU). Those who taught there more recently (in the last 4 years or so) had generally positive things to say. I can't answer the OP's questions about teaching load. Salary is good, at least for professors (I know someone who was in a tenure-track position at a US university, and their salary went up by 50% when they went to AIU). I don't think most Japanese universities offer an educational allowance for children. That said, AIU is in a very rural area, and the university might have some kind of arrangement because there are a number of foreign faculty hired from abroad, some of whom would have families. As far as I know, EFL instructor positions are all fixed-term.
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