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American University - any good?

 
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desert date



Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 62
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: American University - any good? Reply with quote

VS seems to have a positive opinion of this university. I've got a relative in Yemen who's thinking of doing her BA at the one in Cairo or Beirut. Her English is very good - she got 7.5 for her IELTS last year - and she's thinking of majoring in English. What are the academic standards like; how would her degree be viewed in Anglophone and other Arab countries?
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If she has the money or can be sponsored a degree in English from a reputable university in the British Isles, North America or Australia has greater currency in Oman at least.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16005
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might depend somewhat on her passport. If she is a Westerner, her degree at AUC would be considered equal to any other American university in either the US or the Middle East. (I can't speak for other Anglophone countries) As usual, if she doesn't have that Western passport, things can be a bit different. The place providing the degree doesn't completely overcome the native vs non-native speaker dilemma.

By 'majoring in English' do you mean in English literature or in EFL? Both universities offer MA in TEFL programs that are accepted wherever any US MA is accepted.

The suggestion that AUC is not reputable is completely uninformed. It is a fully accredited university and maintains standards in both language and academics. Oman finds an AUC degree completely acceptable, and often preferable - especially for Westerners. The fact that my US degree had come from an Arabic speaking country was considered a plus.

I am not as familiar with AUB, but it would certainly be acceptable in the Middle East and I believe that it has the same accreditation as AUC. The main difference between the two places over the last 20 or so years has been that AUC has maintained a large percentage of Western faculty which with the sporadic violence of Beirut, AUB has not been able to do.

You may also want to look at AUS.

VS
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There you have it. As many opinions as people. Your decision Desert Date. 'Hadth Saeed' with the deliberations.
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Sheikh N Bake



Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 1307
Location: Dis ting of ours

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well...the following sentence is not an opinion, it is a fact: The American University of Beirut used to be most prestigious university in the entire Arab World. The 1980s civil war diminshed its reputation because professors kept getting themselves kidnapped. Subsequently I didn't hear of any great surge in applications from Ivy League professors saying "Gosh-o! Let's go work in Beirut!" I suppose AUB has regained a bit of its lost glory but with all the competition nowadays does not have the Middle Eastern cachet it used to. AUC, meanwhile, is having severe teething problems with its new campus out in the desert. I personally certainly wouldn't go there now unless I knew for certain that the new campus is actually viable. Seems to me, Amer Univ of Sharjah is probably the best Arab-owned institution in the ME at the moment.
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007



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 2684
Location: UK/Veteran of the Magic Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheikh N Bake wrote:
Seems to me, Amer Univ of Sharjah is probably the best Arab-owned institution in the ME at the moment.

Do you think they teach 'critical thinking' in this American based university?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AUC ended up with many of the people who left AUB, including the wife of the AUB president who was killed in his office... lovely woman.

Not a surprise that the new campus is having teething problems. It is a huge place and rather out in the middle of nowhere. They certainly needed more space, but it is why they have had more teaching openings than they have had historically. A number of the English teachers (ELI & WP) decided to retire. All of us ex-AUC people loved the old campus downtown.

VS
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Sheikh N Bake



Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 1307
Location: Dis ting of ours

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you go there for u/g college or only for the master's, VS? If it was for your bachelor's, we certainly had an undergraduate environment about as distant from each other as you can get--but equally appealing, depending on your needs. I went to Shippensburg U, a 7,000-student state college in the lovely Cumberland Valley of PA, and what a beautiful 200-acre, leafy campus on rolling green pastures, with 1870s Georgian buildings on top of the hill, then you walk a little farther and you come to the 1950s buildings, then keep going down the pastures and arrive at the 1960s structures, now interspersed with the inevitable New Millenium buildings...and the view extends for probably 15 miles to the mountains...students so friendly that most of them smile and say hi to you even if they don't know you from Adam...OK, I'm way off topic here, and it's all your fault, dredging up college memory lane Very Happy ...and every time I hear late '70s music, I WANT TO GO BACK!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a Fellowship to do my MA at AUC. My undergrad degree was from a small college - at that time known as a "teacher's college" - that had maybe 2000 students in a small town in the prairies.

And you know what... both experiences were good. When you live in Cairo, you find that it really has a small town atmosphere.

But... we digress... and I thank the Sheikh for PMing some articles about the problems of the first year on the new AUC campus. Big problems, of course, but I suspect that the majority of them will be under control by the next academic year.

I am certainly glad that I wasn't there to experience it in real time. More evidence that one should never believe anything that a contractor tells you. ("oh yes... everything will be perfect by June... no broblem" notice that he didn't mention the year)

VS
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Sheikh N Bake



Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 1307
Location: Dis ting of ours

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to mention George Mason's desert campus fiasco, the grandiose campus for 10,000 students that never got built because they still only have 100 students....and besides, engineering studies now show there is no way they'd get the water and other utilities out there anyway. Pity the architects didn't realize that when they charged millions of dollars jsut to draw up the plans.
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