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Mongolian University of Film
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gerberbaby



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:42 pm    Post subject: Mongolian University of Film Reply with quote

Sain baitsgaana uu ta nar? Pardon me, this is my first post. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with Mongolia's University of Film (Kino Urlagiin Deed Surguuli).

I contacted them about a listing on this site back in May, for an English teacher for a one-year contract. About 2 months later, in July, they started taking me through the hiring process. I have a Skype interview tomorrow. In the meantime, they gave me a large info packet which promises (direct quote):

● Round trip air transportation to Ulaanbaatar from your location
● Fully furnished apartment
● Apartment and amenities within walking distance of the school
● Transportation provided when necessary (Taxi/Car Service)
● Healthy and hearty lunch provided daily on school days
● Coffee and Snack breaks at KUDS coffee shop
● Additional grocery allowance (nutritious & sustainable)
● Bi-Monthly entertainment at one of the many theater, arts and cultural events of Mongolia
● Net Salary $2,200 per month US
● 38 hour work week (22 teaching hours)
● Total package equivalency over $50,000 per year US.
● Potential Personal Savings of $20,000 per year US.

They also mention that they had a two-year English program, which they have recently expanded to a four-year one. They have a close relationship with a high school, the Russian Joint School, and seem to have a combined faculty, which makes me wonder if I might end up teaching at the other school instead. The packet did not mention health insurance, so I'll be sure to ask tomorrow.

My background: I have a bachelor's in linguistics, but no ESL certificate. I lived in Mongolia for 3 years and speak Mongolian, but I was in the countryside, so I'm not always sure how things go in U.B.

One of my friends taught at another university for only $1200 a month, so he was impressed by the base salary. I don't know anyone affiliated with this school, unfortunately, so I hoped someone here might be familiar with them. Does anyone knows about the reliability or working conditions of the school? Are the terms good for U.B.? Thanks in advance!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11498
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's a genuine offer, given your limited (though not bad) qualifications, I'd say it's a great package.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 971
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is an excellent TEFL salary and benefits package for East Asia...go for it and good luck! Smile Smile Smile
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gerberbaby



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. The offer sounded very good but I wanted to be sure. The interview seemed to go very well, so now I'm just waiting. Since nobody's worked there, if I get the job I guess I'll have to let other people know what the work's like. Also, thanks to everyone who posted information in the various other Mongolia threads that I read through too.
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RustyShackleford



Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 449

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edit.

Last edited by RustyShackleford on Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Odd university. Sounds like something from the Old Soviet era.
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gerberbaby



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:24 pm    Post subject: Contract Review - Mongolian University of Film Reply with quote

I was accepted to the job, and I received a copy of the contract today in email today.

The major points (round-trip ticket, salary, and apartment) are there.

My major concern is that it doesn't give a clear total for the number of work hours; and also it seems to not be paying me more for extra work, but rather deducting for salary for NOT teaching extra. Is this typical?

I'll post the contract below in a minute.


Last edited by gerberbaby on Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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gerberbaby



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First part of the contract:

I. The Contract is as follows

1. This contract regulates the work relationship between the employer and the employee
2. Determines mutual obligations and responsibilities of participants accepted in this contract

II. The teacher's obligations

Teacher is obligated to:
2.1 To respect and follow the legislative laws currently existing in Mongolia
2.2 Follow all the regulations and laws of the Mongolian - Russian joint school
2.3 Do not sign any contracts with other organizations during the contract
2.4 Visa expenses are paid by the employee
2.5 Do not give private lessons
2.6 To inform the school administration in the case of illness
2.7 To guarantee qualified language training according to the educational standards of Mongolia
2.8 To follow all the regulations of living in the teachers house, not to litter, to keep the school property in good condition
2.9 To have a plan for each class and extra classes, written according to the school template
2.10 Not to be late for classes and extra-classes
2.11 To keep the register in order to fill in correctly during the week
2.12 The teacher must have a daily lesson and show the administration each Friday
2.13 To check the students tests within two days since the testing day
2.14 To conduct 5 extra classes a day during the vacation
2.15 Teacher mustn't use any form of physical aggression towards students
2.16 To carry out the following duties:
- To conduct 20 classes of high-level
- To conduct 5 extra - curricular activities per term (competitions, Olympiads, conversational lessons, etc.)
- To render assistance to the administration and teachers in translating and drawing up necessary school documents.
- To assist the administration in the control of student's knowledge
- To participate in the students' preparation for the _______ Olympiads (district, city, state)
- To participate in the school activities for the teachers of _____ (meetings, the decade, demonstration classes, reports, concerts)

***

I'll post the "Employer's obligations" later. I don't like the teaching during vacation, or the lack of a clear time estimate for the "extra" activities
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gerberbaby



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Second part of the contract:

III. Employer's obligations

3.1 To provide a free separate apartment
3.2 To pay wages monthly T 2200 US net per month / 20 teaching hours per week
3.3 Round trip air transportation /international flight / to and from Ulaanbaatar Mongolia

IV. Responsibility of the participants

4.1 Health expenses are to be paid by the employee
4.2 Employer has the right to deduct the following sums from the wages under the following break of conditions:
a) To deduct 2% from the wages for absence of lesson plans
b) To deduct 4% from the wages for being late for classes and extra-classes
c) To deduct 3% from the wages for not filling in the register or incorrect filling in (not to fill in black ink, to write topics of lessons, not writing the correct date, for fixing the date)
d) To deduct 3% from the wages for not conducting extra-classes or extra curricular activities
e) To deduct 3% from the wages for not conducting classes for school administration or school stuff, not participating for the teachers of ____ and other activities held by the school.
f) To deduct 10% from the wages for breaking regulations of the teachers house, damaging or losing school property
g) To deduct 5% from the wages for not informing of his absent at work
h) To deduct 5% from the wages for not informing coming to work due cause. The teacher will pay flat rent of 20 dollars if or she does not come to work without due cause (serious reason)
i) To deduct 4% from not giving the report
j) To deduct 2% from not having a lesson plan
k) To deduct 4% for beginning the lessons not on time and for finishing early
l) Employer has the right to cancel the contract early under non-compliance of accepted obligations.

4.3 Under pre-term cancellation of the contract caused by not keeping the accepted obligations the employee must pay the flat rent of 500 am.dollars for each month lived.

This contract is concluded in 2 copies ________ 2015 year for the period 2015-2016 year and goes into effecct at the time of signing.

The participants' addresses

Principal's seal

Teacher's signature
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gerberbaby



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I take the job I would have to leave in a week, so I'd like people's opinions soon if possible. Please give me your thoughts.

The contract doesn't sound as good as the initial conditions discussed, what with the deductions for NOT doing extra work, and the retroactive charging of rent.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that laundry list of deductions makes you feel uneasy, then don't accept the position.
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kpjf



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of these deductions seem a bit odd. Is this normal in universities in Asia?

E.g.
Quote:
a) To deduct 2% from the wages for absence of lesson plans.

j) To deduct 2% from not having a lesson plan (mentioned again, in case you didn't see it first time?!)

c) To deduct 3% from the wages for not filling in the register or incorrect filling in (not to fill in black ink, to write topics of lessons, not writing the correct date, for fixing the date)




Is it just me or are these deductions really strange? So, technically speaking they could take 3% of your salary if you simply forget to write the date in the register or use black ink to write it?

Quote:
e) To deduct 3% from the wages for not conducting classes for school administration or school stuff, not participating for the teachers of ____ and other activities held by the school.


So, you are teaching your colleagues as well? I would get this and total number of work hours clearly stated before accepting. Some of the deductions seem weird and a bit pedantic. You wouldn't want to be coming out each month with 20% of your salary deducted because you forgot to fill in some report or something.


Quote:
2.4 Visa expenses are paid by the employee


Also, I didn't think it was normal for the employee to pay for the visa. I would have imagined that cost was incurred by the university! How much is it?

If you want my advice, if you talk to your (potential) employer about some finer details/your concerns and aren't entirely satisfied with the responses I'd reject the offer. Those deductions really do seem weird to me and you wouldn't want them to deduct 2% here and 3% there for minor points as using black ink when you should be using blue ink and so forth.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Some of these deductions seem a bit odd. Is this normal in universities in Asia?
....
So, you are teaching your colleagues as well? I would get this and total number of work hours clearly stated before accepting. Some of the deductions seem weird and a bit pedantic. You wouldn't want to be coming out each month with 20% of your salary deducted because you forgot to fill in some report or something.

Frankly, it doesn't matter if imposing these types of conditions is the norm for university employers in Asia or anywhere else in the world. All of those erroneous deductions (i.e., penalties) point to an employer that very likely micromanages. Moreover, I predict there will be deductions taken in error for whatever infractions, in which case, it's the employee's word against administration. And guess which side has the upper hand.
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1750
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer shorter hours. That job is 24 hours a day - in worrying whether you filled in a blank or not, or missed another meeting or not. It's probably an unfortunate response to bad teachers in the past, but I don't like the overall tone of the contract. That said, it's possible that the contract is just a scare tactic to get teachers to have some semblance of responsibility.

Is there anyone teaching there now (or recently) that you could ask?
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gerberbaby



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I emailed their American representative, who had interviewed me, asking about visa fees, pay deductions, total working time, and references from prior foreign teachers. This is his response:

Quote:
You do have some good questions here. I can answer some of them for you off the top.

In some places here there is a lack of detail, which you certainly have noted. Part of the reason for that is that this is uncharted ground, unprecedented in the history of either school. There has never been a foreign instructor at KUDS, and I understand that the same is true of the Mongolian-Russian Joint School. The ESL program at KUDS is doubling in duration. The upshot is that the program is being developed even as it is being delivered. You, and the other American ESL teachers, have the unique opportunity to help shape the future for these students, and the future of the program.

This is why there is not a full hour by hour breakdown at this point. We wanted to be fair, and to set reasonable expectations for all, and used the base of a 38 hour work week to set that expectation. It is a salary, rather than an hourly wage. It is, especially given that the salary is post-tax net, a good one.

The staff at both schools are experienced, knowledgeable and professionals in their field. The students are also among the finest in the country, driven and passionate about learning, especially in the arts. In the info document, you can see a few photos of the classrooms and lecture halls at KUDS and the Mongolian-Russian Joint School. There are computer networks throughout the building, the class rooms are consistent with schools I attended (I don't want to say how long ago Smile ). KUDS is located in a historic building; it was originally built to house the government offices. It was one of the first "skyscrapers" in UB (a skyscraper at that time was 3 stories tall).

I believe the visa that is being processed will be the HG visa, though I do not know that for certain. They are processing a long term work visa for you, and in researching that it would seem that the HG is the appropriate one. The HG visa can be renewed yearly. Mongolian visa restrictions have eased considerably in recent years. However, I will seek clarity on that for you. The visa will be completed prior to your departure, of course, and the visa itself issued at the airport in Ulaanbaatar (this is not an unusual situation, that is their protocol). I have not been told the cost of the visa, so I will find that out for you.

You make a very good point about the deductions. I will seek clarity on that question as well.

And you asked a couple of questions about prior foreign teachers, which I am afraid I cannot answer, as there haven't been any. Smile You are the first in what will be a long list of distinguished teachers. You will set the bar for those to follow.


Apparently, it's not on account of bad teachers in the past. However, I was pretty sure that he told me in the Skype interview that he worked at KUDS before, and and foreign teachers also appear in the promotional video for their affiliated high school, the Russian-Mongolian Joint School (School #3). Don't they count as foreign teachers?
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