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University of Buraimi (UOB): A university or a business?

 
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a.anas



Joined: 24 Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Sudan

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:53 pm    Post subject: University of Buraimi (UOB): A university or a business? Reply with quote

UOB: A university or a business?
Farhat (MOD edit), M.A
I have been working for UOB since September 10th 2013. I arrived at Muscat airport on September 9th, 2013 at 4 a.m. I was expecting to find someone waiting for me at the airport lounge, but, to my surprise, no one was there to meet me. I had to call the people in charge to ask whether I should fend for myself and take a taxi to Al Buraimi. They told me to just wait a little as their bus was coming to pick me up. The bus arrived at 10 and we left the airport only at 11, which means that I had to wait with my luggage for 7 hours! That was the kick off of my UOB distasteful saga!
My second nasty surprise was that the HR guys, though they had promised to, didn’t help me at all with accommodation. I had to hunt for a flat myself, renting a flat miles away from the campus. The third bad surprise was that the VCR didn’t condescend to greet me or any of my colleagues when we set foot on the campus. . In fact, I saw his face only twice since I arrived. I have never talked to him or shaken hands with him. No wonder, he never walks around or cares to meet teachers. He just keeps aloof in his ivory tower. I just wonder what on earth he is doing here!
The most absolutely shocking thing at UOB is the level of the students. No more than 20% of the students at UOB deserve that name. They barely understand or speak a word of English. The remaining 80% I’d call them 8th graders or nursery school kids. I often feel as though I am teaching deaf people music or training semi blind people to be Olympic shots!
By way of illustration, out of the 22 students I had in spring term only ten passed including the 5 students whose grades were reluctantly inflated by me upon the CFR director’s request— a customary practice at UOB.. This means that only 5 students deserved to pass, that is 20%. A colleague of mine, (MOD edit), failed twenty-seven out of the 33 students she had. She was intimidated into inflating their grades so that 50% of them passed!
What I find particularly grotesque and hypocritical is the stark contrast there is between the dismal level of students of which the UOB people are well aware and the big fanfare they are making about quality assurance, seminars and committees, the sole purpose of which is to get accreditation from the relevant authorities! Professional promotion and quality of teaching are the least of their concerns. What matters is money! As long as money is flowing abundantly in their bank account the hell with deservedness or knowledge! This is, unfortunately, the underlying principle at UOB. After all, a business is run to make profit. What corroborates my assumption is that the statute of UOB (so I heard from a reliable source) states that it is a company, not an academic institution! This implies that everything is geared towards profit. Indeed, the administrative staff as well as academics have to ensure that most students pass (regardless of their being nincompoops or geniuses) so that they keep on studying at UOB and so that new students keep registering. I recently heard from a colleague of mine who goes with the system very smoothly that we are being paid to pass all or most students, so let’s do it— a mindset that suits the money-oriented UOB shareholders!
Another hassle I had and still have at UOB is the medical insurance. Such is their inefficiency that It takes usually more than four months to get reimbursed for medical expenses. At present, only 10 days before my leaving the country, I have three files pending amounting to roughly 300 OR. I keep going to the HR people who keep telling me the cheques are coming next week, next week… and nothing happens. I am really sick of it.
UOB is definitely a business but one that is run inefficiently and unethically.
I feel so sorry to have worked here and wish I had never contributed in the pathetic tragicomedy that is called UOB.
Farhat (MOD edit for names), M.A
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SirAristede



Joined: 26 May 2014
Posts: 83
Location: Salmiya, Al 'Āşimah, Kuwait

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another one of the horror stories of working in a Gulf "institution". Undoubtedly, this will serve as a warning to others considering employment with this "institution". However, I question the wisdom of posting names (especially the name of a colleague, who no doubt wouldn't agree with the posting of her name). Certainly, a moderator will be by shortly to edit out the names.
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Sleepwalker



Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 366
Location: Reading the screen

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dreadful experience - let's hope the OAAA see beyond the paper trails in many institutes
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The veterans know that when it comes to the ME, the first and foremost rule is 'it's not about teaching anyone anything'. Sure, you will have classes in which maybe 20% of your students are serious and want to learn, but the first and foremost rule always applies there.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 828
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CVN-76 wrote:
The veterans know that when it comes to the ME, the first and foremost rule is 'it's not about teaching anyone anything'. Sure, you will have classes in which maybe 20% of your students are serious and want to learn, but the first and foremost rule always applies there.


In general I agree but just recently I've been training ATC's and pilots and find them to be highly motivated without exception and willing to do the work that I set including the daily homework. I guess the difference is that they KNOW they will get a good job afterwards!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't that always the situation... none of us work hard when we can't see any reason why. Most of us are intrinsically lazy if we can get away with it. LOL No one has made it clear to most Gulf students why they need English... since the reality is that most of them do not.

Such fun to teach when the students want to learn. Cool

VS
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a.anas



Joined: 24 Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Sudan

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, teaching is a calling and work is "love made visible" Khalil Jibran
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12682
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear a.anas,

While it's your calling, in many classrooms in the Middle East, a lot of the students aren't answering.

horse/water/no drink Very Happy

Regards,
John
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:

In general I agree but just recently I've been training ATC's and pilots and find them to be highly motivated without exception and willing to do the work that I set including the daily homework. I guess the difference is that they KNOW they will get a good job afterwards!


You have a good gig in Muscat if you have classes in which every student is motivated, has a good attitude, will do the work, and wants to learn. Your Omani students, as a whole, will actually DO homework? Wow. That's not a good gig. That's a GREAT gig. I hope it lasts for you.
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