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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF THE MIDDLE EAST (Kuwait)
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melizabee



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same experience with my interview in June. In fact they asked me the same questions during my skype interview as they did during my in person interview. I reckon they spent 2000 USD flying me over and putting me up for that. They refused to show me classrooms or curriculum, and I was told by the manager that she was busy with a meeting right afterwards and couldn't continue to talk with me after my short interview. Then I sat awkwardly in a cafe afterwards waiting for the driver to come get me.

Two months later I received an email saying I wasn't chosen for the job. I wouldn't have taken it anyways.

This place appears to think that they can treat people however they want as long as they throw money at them. Sounds very unappealing to me.
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batboot



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick google search turned up this:

Quote:
American University of the Middle East Ė Eqaila
September 20, 2011
I am writing to you in regards to the termination of my position as EPP instructor at the American College of the Middle East (ACM) in Kuwait, in the hope that this letter might provide me and my former students with some answers and closure as to why the faculty believed it was in the universityís best interest to end my contract so abruptly, in the middle of the academic semester. This has undoubtedly had a negative effect upon the students.

While it is true that the employment contract stated that I may be terminated at any given moment within the first 100 days of my employment, as these initial 100 days are a probation period, I still find it quite puzzling that my termination was actualised precisely on the 100th day. The reason that human resources gave me for coming to this decision, was vague and nonspecific, except that it was based on student feedback as well as classroom observation.

The reason why I am confused is due to the fact that classroom observations were conducted several times during my lectures by the American College of the Middle Eastís dean, Dr. Rami. These observations were followed by feedback, also given by Dr. Rami, and while there was criticism, I truly believed that Dr. Rami was not disappointed with my teaching style and technique, disregarding the minor issues which he touched upon. These issues were addressed promptly, and included the fact that he would like me to be more ďactiveĒ in class, in terms of not sitting at my desk as much, and moving around the classroom more.

In terms of student feedback, I am quite confident that my students did not have any complaints against me, as the relationship between myself and my all my students, without exception, was friendly, and the classroom environment was warm and welcoming. My students always gave me the impression that they felt relaxed and at ease in my presence, both inside the classroom, as well as when they interacted with me beyond the classroom. Had there been any cause for contention with regards to my relationship with my students, then I am fully unaware of itís existence.

For the aforementioned reasons, I cannot come to a logical explanation as to why the university decided it was best to terminate my employment. This termination has been exceptionally disheartening due to several reasons. I signed my employment contract with ACM/AUM in November 2010, and was told that I would commence work in early January 2011. A week prior to this date, I was contacted by human resources and told that the commencement date was being postponed, and that they would like me to commence late January, 2011. I was contacted once again by human resources a week prior to this last date, informing me that I was not to commence work until February 2011, which became the actual date that I began work at ACM.

This makes it three months from the date I signed the contract, up to the date where I commenced work. During these three months, I received several employment offers, which I declined due to the fact that I believed ACM would be worth the three month wait, and would be the best choice for me. I had plans and hopes that I believed ACM would live up to, as the faculty, staff, and the university itself, felt like a nurturing work environment, promising the opportunity for further growth and development of facultyís academic interests.

On the other hand, I accepted this position knowing full well ACM and AUMís reputation for being disloyal to their academic faculty, as ACM and AUM are infamous for their facultyís turnover rate. The number of faculty whose employment has been terminated since this institution was established three years ago far exceeds the number of faculty currently holding positions there. You can find many examples of ACM and AUMís turnover reputation online, and one of these examples can be found by following this link :

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=69602 .

Having a high faculty turnover rate will reflect negatively on the institution, and future students will undoubtedly be hesitant to enrol at ACM if faculty are being replaced halfway through an academic semester on a regular basis for no logical or obvious reasons, as is the case with this institution.

In closing, I am extremely disappointed that this has been the outcome of what I had expected, and hoped, would be a positive experience for me as a member of the institutionís faculty. On the contrary, it has been rather traumatic.


MOD EDIT for names
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

batboot wrote:
A quick google search turned up this:

Quote:
American University of the Middle East Ė Eqaila
September 20, 2011
I am writing to you in regards to the termination of my position as EPP instructor at the American College of the Middle East (ACM) in Kuwait, in the hope that this letter might provide me and my former students with some answers and closure as to why the faculty believed it was in the universityís best interest to end my contract so abruptly, in the middle of the academic semester. This has undoubtedly had a negative effect upon the students.

While it is true that the employment contract stated that I may be terminated at any given moment within the first 100 days of my employment, as these initial 100 days are a probation period, I still find it quite puzzling that my termination was actualised precisely on the 100th day. The reason that human resources gave me for coming to this decision, was vague and nonspecific, except that it was based on student feedback as well as classroom observation.

The reason why I am confused is due to the fact that classroom observations were conducted several times during my lectures by the American College of the Middle Eastís dean, Dr. Rami. These observations were followed by feedback, also given by Dr. Rami, and while there was criticism, I truly believed that Dr. Rami was not disappointed with my teaching style and technique, disregarding the minor issues which he touched upon. These issues were addressed promptly, and included the fact that he would like me to be more ďactiveĒ in class, in terms of not sitting at my desk as much, and moving around the classroom more.

In terms of student feedback, I am quite confident that my students did not have any complaints against me, as the relationship between myself and my all my students, without exception, was friendly, and the classroom environment was warm and welcoming. My students always gave me the impression that they felt relaxed and at ease in my presence, both inside the classroom, as well as when they interacted with me beyond the classroom. Had there been any cause for contention with regards to my relationship with my students, then I am fully unaware of itís existence.

For the aforementioned reasons, I cannot come to a logical explanation as to why the university decided it was best to terminate my employment. This termination has been exceptionally disheartening due to several reasons. I signed my employment contract with ACM/AUM in November 2010, and was told that I would commence work in early January 2011. A week prior to this date, I was contacted by human resources and told that the commencement date was being postponed, and that they would like me to commence late January, 2011. I was contacted once again by human resources a week prior to this last date, informing me that I was not to commence work until February 2011, which became the actual date that I began work at ACM.

This makes it three months from the date I signed the contract, up to the date where I commenced work. During these three months, I received several employment offers, which I declined due to the fact that I believed ACM would be worth the three month wait, and would be the best choice for me. I had plans and hopes that I believed ACM would live up to, as the faculty, staff, and the university itself, felt like a nurturing work environment, promising the opportunity for further growth and development of facultyís academic interests.

On the other hand, I accepted this position knowing full well ACM and AUMís reputation for being disloyal to their academic faculty, as ACM and AUM are infamous for their facultyís turnover rate. The number of faculty whose employment has been terminated since this institution was established three years ago far exceeds the number of faculty currently holding positions there. You can find many examples of ACM and AUMís turnover reputation online, and one of these examples can be found by following this link :

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=69602 .

Having a high faculty turnover rate will reflect negatively on the institution, and future students will undoubtedly be hesitant to enrol at ACM if faculty are being replaced halfway through an academic semester on a regular basis for no logical or obvious reasons, as is the case with this institution.

In closing, I am extremely disappointed that this has been the outcome of what I had expected, and hoped, would be a positive experience for me as a member of the institutionís faculty. On the contrary, it has been rather traumatic.


The A.U.M. is a well-known basket case in terms of how it maltreats its faculty. The turnover rate speaks for itself: No other college or university in Kuwait comes even close.

Having said that, let me comment on this part:
"I am quite confident that my students did not have any complaints against me, as the relationship between myself and my all my students, without exception, was friendly, and the classroom environment was warm and welcoming. My students always gave me the impression that they felt relaxed and at ease in my presence, both inside the classroom, as well as when they interacted with me beyond the classroom. Had there been any cause for contention with regards to my relationship with my students, then I am fully unaware of itís existence."

Firstly, the poster should have proofread his/her work. The last sentence has an egregious spelling mistake and a wrongly constructed conditional. It rather undermines the poster's case.

More importantly, having had a seemingly amicable relationship with the students is no guarantee of anything whatsoever. Middle Eastern (Gulf) students rarely if ever confront their faculty. On the contrary: They're perfectly capable of smiling and joking with the person in the classroom and literally five minutes before or after going to the dean, V.P. academic or even the president with the knives out and all guns blazing demanding the person be removed. Heard it, seen it, and experienced it happen countless times.

Moral of the story? Give the A.U/C.M. a very wide berth, but also "know your audience."
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Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know what is required for the 15 minute "presentation?" (part of the in person interview)

They said I could do a demo lesson but would need to bring my Powerpoint slides for a "presentation."

Just a lecture on grammar? Or are the Kuwaiti HR people going to be able to answer CCQs and productive tasks?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15859
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say grammar is about all that you can do... I wouldn't expect them to participate in your fake lesson.

VS
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Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, thanks.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12297
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you could do 15 minutes on writing: explaining simple, compound, and complex sentences.
Or maybe a reading lesson on scanning/skimming or on prefixes and roots as vocabulary builders.

Regards,
John
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valaki wrote:
Does anyone know what is required for the 15 minute "presentation?" (part of the in person interview)

They said I could do a demo lesson but would need to bring my Powerpoint slides for a "presentation."

Just a lecture on grammar? Or are the Kuwaiti HR people going to be able to answer CCQs and productive tasks?


It could possibly involve something about bending over, because you'll be doing a LOT of that if you get hired by these gangsters.

This outfit has by far the worst reputation for what it demands from and how it treats its faculty among all higher education establishments in Kuwait, leaving the A.C.K. and Box Hill behind by some distance.

Not for nothing, but why on earth are you even considering them?!?
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ESLCafeLatte



Joined: 03 Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Location: San Jose, CA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Re: American University of the Middle East - AUM (Kuwait) Reply with quote

[quote="NinaGeo"]

"As I see some comments here are mean but it says more about the people who wrote it rather than about AUM. Some of the comments are totally based on subjective perceptions that is not convincing for anybody at all."


My comment : In response to NinaGeo - I am sure that you are a very sincere person, but to dismiss the dozens of comments that have been submitted here and on the Chronicle of Higher Ed website as "mean" shows a remarkable naivete. It is the same argument that Walmart used in the beginning of a series of successful class action suits. They said it was simply bitter ex-employees. Over time, that proved not to be true, and now that employees who complain are protected by law, they are coming forward by the hundreds.

AUM seems to have a bad reputation, one that has been observed at all levels of its hiring and human resource management. The administration can look at this forthrightly or get offended and ignore the growing weight of the evidence. At a minimum, they should revise and document:

1. The hiring process and how to applicants expect to be treated. I have been flown in for interviews a few times. In each case, there was a clear understanding of what expenses were covered and which ones were my responsibility, someone to meet me or a timely call of greeting and confirmation of the interview, an introduction to all the interview committee and clarification of roles, clear documented data on expectations and hours, information available on the curriculum, often a tour, and a respectful leave-taking.

Much of this appears not to be in place at AUM. These are fairly standard professional protocols. Does AUM have its interview process formalized?

2. Termination -Someone can be sent home without notice after moving thousands of miles? No clear reasons are given, or if it is an issue of teaching style, why would the instructor not be given a chance to make corrections and improvements? AUM would have received at least three professional recommendations before hire and it is curious that after bringing someone all that way, the administration gives them only three months to "prove" themselves. If indeed, all these dismissals were handled professionally, why do the terminated instructors feel so deceived? Are applicants told of the frequency of these firings? Would such a question quench the university's interest in a qualified applicant.

3. Student Evals - Students should have a voice in instructor retention if there are egregious issues, but not simply to rid themselves of a difficult, challenging, demanding instructor, one who requires students to do the work. When the profit motive trumps academic standards, something is truly wrong. I wonder why all of these mistreated faculty do not write to the office at Purdue University that has authorized this collaboration between institutions. It was very interesting to note that the Purdue connection does not appear on Purdue's website.

4. Duties - Asking faculty to do things for "free", that is to come in for events or tasks or meetings beyond their contracted hours, is to diminish the worth of a highly educated instructor pool. It is petty and demeaning, again, rather like Walmart. Beyond that, demanding that faculty "log in" when they arrive and leave is an anathema in academe. Teaching hours and a reasonable commitment to office hours are all that professors and instructors ought to be accountable for. These are posted on office doors, web-sites, and on the syllabus. Students and the administration can reach any employee by cell-phone or email, just like the rest of the world does.

5. Communication needs to be encouraged in an "open-minded" environment. When people fear for their jobs, they will not speak with real candor. What mechanisms are in place for making suggestions, submitting a grievance, taking part in meetings that effect the future of the college? What evidence is there that, if these channels are open, they are free of recriminations and the threat of censure or termination?

Finally, in the interest of disclosure, I will say that I turned down a job based on these issues being present at the institution. Recently, a dear friend has decided not to even interview for a position at AUM because of these posts. One can't move around the world on the chance that everything might turn out all right and it sounds like AUM does little to mitigate that impression.

Perhaps these are all growing pains, but to pretend like they don't exist is done at the institution's peril.
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: American University of the Middle East - AUM (Kuwait) Reply with quote

ESLCafeLatte wrote:
...
Finally, in the interest of disclosure, I will say that I turned down a job based on these issues being present at the institution. Recently, a dear friend has decided not to even interview for a position at AUM because of these posts. One can't move around the world on the chance that everything might turn out all right and it sounds like AUM does little to mitigate that impression.

Perhaps these are all growing pains, but to pretend like they don't exist is done at the institution's peril.













I subscribe wholeheartedly, with no qualms or reservation whatsoever, to each and every word, syllable and letter of what you wrote.

I also turned down a request for an interview with A.U.M., and I made it clear why (same reasons as adverted to by you).

Regrettably, many - most - higher education in Kuwait and the Gulf ARE money-spinning operations, in which faculty is viewed and treated as staff: employees working on a factory floor, whose productivity is measured principally by the amount of time they spend ON the factory floor. With the exception of the A.U.K., G.U.S.T., and K.U., all (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong here) colleges and universities in Kuwait adhere to that cockeyed approach to a greater of lesser degree. I know for a fact that the A.C.K. and Box Hill do; I can't guarantee about the others not mentioned here.
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mikkenzi



Joined: 12 Jul 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Smile

I am very surprised by the information I have found in this thread. I was interviewed by the HR staff at the AUM recently and was offered a contract. I did read all of your posts before actually deciding to go and see for myself. I got an overall good impression. The HR personnel was very polite, smiling and welcoming. They were very patient and explained every single point in the contract for me. They actually spent quite a lot of time with me and were very attentionate. Normally, I will be returning in September to start work. I will post more information then.

Now a little bit about the issues mentioned in this thread:

1. I read somewhere that the hotel reserved was too far from the University. Well, actually, the hotel is in a pretty central place and the street is one of the main streets! It is full of malls and bright restaurants. I think it is a good place where a newcomer does not feel isolated! It would have been pretty depressing to end up in a residential area (nearer the university but harder to reach town for a walk!). I also appreciated the drive to the University - you get to see the environs and all Smile You only needed to gaze out the window. And the person who drove me was really nice and we had a nice conversation about Kuwait, about his work, about family, etc. I think I got the impression of Kuwaiti people as sociable and outgoing!

2. Some people were saying that the HR staff was unfriendly. I do not think that was the case at all! First of all, when you are going to a new country, you should not assume that everyone will be smiling their widest smile at you. Some people are more reserved. In France, we kiss people on the cheeks. In Kuwait, it is better if a woman does not try to handshake with a man. That said, the person I had via Skype was a smiling young lady who did her job with ease. She was fast. Faster than what I was accustomed to but from other people working in other branches in Kuwait (yachting industry) I get it that some HR personnel can really be fast and efficient.

3. Some people complained about the interview. This is how it was for me. It took place in what looked like a conference room or a meeting room. I had prepared an interactive lesson. If you read through the mission statement of the university, you will see that they are student-centred. This means that they want students to be actively engaged in class. (Once again, this is my perception of things!) This also means that any "dry" lecture would not be adequate for this context. Since I have taught very different audiences, I had some difficulties adapting my materials but I think it went well. The interviewers actually participated in my lesson! They replied to my questions, read and explained words that I had them read and we also had a discussion. Then we discussed my presentation, the difficulties I had, the things I expected from my new university. I found out that it was quite easy to be open and sincere with them.

4. I have seen people complain about the annual leave and the free time, about the office hours etc. You have to understand that universities in the Middle East may be different from what you have in Europe or the USA. I do have colleagues teaching in Oman and in Lebanon and they have nearly the same office hours and annual leaves. I do not mind sitting in my office because there is much one can do after class and outside of office hours! There is class prep, there is research, there is lesson plan writing, there is grading. In fact, after spending over 4 years at a European university where I kept taking work home all the time, I think I prefer staying at my office and doing the work there.

Now, I cannot say anything about the students. I haven't started yet. But I think that one should not go there with a preconceived idea about how they should or should not be. They may be different from EU and US students and they may also have different expectations, and behave differently. I have had Chinese students who keep smiling all the time while they do not understand anything! And when you ask them if they understand they keep saying "Yes, yes" and smile as if everything were perfectly clear. So, you see, people are different and you have to adapt to them! After all, we are educators and education is a service Smile

I'm really sorry if some of you had a bad experience over there! I have yet to see what teaching is like at the AUM but I will keep you posted about my side of things, which I hope will be bright and positive AND very busy!

Greetings to all from sunny Nice (France)! Smile
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alnorman



Joined: 14 Aug 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:42 am    Post subject: AUM is junk Reply with quote

American University of the Middle East is a fraudulent organization with a single purpose to make as much profit as possible before Purdue University stops its affiliation with it.

The way AUM manages to get away with daily fraud is by using an ingenious tactics invented by its founder. Mr. Othman. It says that

Knowledge and skills are only 25%

the rest, 75%, is "character" and "integrity"

What they mean by "character" is actually a complete lack of "integrity". It simply means "do what we tell you", "say what we tell you"


This picture is actually from AUM. If you follow the link you can see it yourself.

http://i42.tinypic.com/2804fwy.jpg

This 75% "character" policy allows AUM administration to give any student any grade - knowledge is only 25%! It can also fire any employee at any time - "Her character is not good" is a good enough reason.

This deeply deceitful philosophy ingrained into AUM allows the administration to pass failing students, fire anybody at will and do such disgusting things that they would not fit into even the lowest definition of any academic standard.
Since AUM gets money from Kuwaiti government for each student it "educates per Purdue standards," it only cares to create on paper a trail of "verifiable" education. It is ONLY ON PAPER - no real learning happens there.

All paper trail is created by faculty. Administration tells them what reports to create. Syllabus are created per Purdue guidelines and must be approved by AUM administration. All looks good on paper. But nobody actually follows the syllabus. Students are so ignorant and so lazy that if they retain 1/20 of what is in the syllabus that would be a miracle.


As you can imagine, it is very very hard for AUM to retain any faculty from Europe or North American. Most leave this place in disgust. They money AUM pays is good until you consider what you need to do for it - to sell out, to through your integrity out the window and work very hard and very long hours to cover up academic fraud.

For this reason, most faculty that work at AUM are the ones for whom the pay is 4-5 times more than at home - for such money they are willing to give whatever the grade administration wants to give to students and do whatever they are told (All grades must be approved by the deans!) and basically and shamelessly sell out. Most AUM faculty are from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Palestine. They have several white-faced human resources people who have no experience in academia and are simply there to cover up AUM dirty deeds.


AUM is a junk university ingeniously wrapped into a shiny wrapper of excellence. AUM core is rotten. AUM is FRAUDulent university, where 5% of learning happens and 95% of FRAUD.
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mikkenzi



Joined: 12 Jul 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From an insider's perspective, I do not agree with you.

If what you say about the AUM was true when you were there, I have to tell you that it has now changed tremendously!

First of all, about the character thing... You have been to the AUM, right? If yes, you will know that what students need most of all is to build their character! They need to learn how to study, how to attend classes on time, how to behave, how to be professional and respectful. From that moment on, learning happens. If we manage to actually mould their character, they can be as good as of even better than European students. There are many good students at the AUM, hard-working and devoted. And there are always some that are less so but this is our combat - change for the better!

It is not an easy thing to do. In fact, to work at the AUM you do need to be strong and determined, and to want to commit to something that is bigger than your own sense of self-satisfaction at failing students. I, personally, do NOT want to fail students. I want to raise them up, bring them up, show them that they can be better. There are some who will fail... Let's hope they will learn from their errors. Also, the university has a genuine probation policy for students and they are very strict about attendance and disruptive behaviour.

It is a growing, expanding university and as such, it needs some form of control! Our staff is from all over the world! We have more nationalities than are represented at the European Commission! How do you think that such a thing is monitored and controlled? I have worked for the European instritutions before and I can tell you many things about procedures. When you have such a large network of people you HAVE to follow a procedure. Files are processed, approved, rejected or resent back for consideration. This is how it works. This is normal.

As for the salaries, my personal experience is different. I was doing quite well where I was. The change of salary was not dramatic for me. I actually gave up a lot when I signed up for this - not only had I a stable lectureship position but I also had a stable freelancing practice that essentially earned me a salary close to the one I have at the AUM. So, at least in my case, the salary part is not true at all!

The Human Capital people are caring and open. I have never seen a more kind and smiling staff than at the AUM! The welcoming they arranged for the newcomers was perfect.

Having said all of this, you will think that I am too positive to be true. Well, there are still things to be improved. That is normal. You mention the syllabus etc. The syllabus can be modified by the instructors and has to be approved. The syllaby may not be perfect in the sense that they come from Purdue and that is the US... here, we are in the Middle East. People function differently here, hence there may be difficulties in following the syllabus. But it is up to the instructor to implement it as efficiently and as successfully as possible! You must find a way to teach the content. I am following the syllabus closely and every week, I know where I stand. Even with missed classes and such like. I cannot say anything about other instructors. But personally, I am satisfied that I am doing my job and my best, and I do not allow you to generalise about these things as if all of us at the AUM were all the same low-lives crawling on their knees for money. Some of us have come here because they want to actually work on something promising. The young people of Kuwait need us. That's all...
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15859
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whenever I see such completely opposite posts about the same place, I always assume that reality is somewhere in the middle. If you add the two posts together and divide by 2, it sounds like the average private university in the Gulf. All tend to have a mixed international faculty and too many borderline students that the management doesn't want to lose because they are paying tuition.

From her previous posts, I believe that mikkenzi is teaching in the content area, not the TEFL department. (Yes?) That usually has major effect on one's experience since the absolute bottom students don't make it to content and you don't have the extreme pressure from management to perform miracles to keep students.

But I am confused by the term "Human Capital people" - what does that refer to? Do you refer to HR?

From your posts you have only been in Kuwait and at AUM for a couple months. That means that you are still in the "honeymoon stage" (and didn't you also just get married? double honeymoon... Cool). I would look closely at the negative posts and you may avoid being surprised when issues come up in the future. Hopefully most of it won't affect you - everyone's tolerance to conditions varies.

VS
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mikkenzi



Joined: 12 Jul 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Veiled : )
It is true, I am a positive person and do tend to focus on the good rather than the bad.
I do not teach the so called EPP students. I actually teach those who are in their first/second semester at the university and have started taking courses from their majors. I teach them the so called ENL100 which is a writing/reading/speaking & some grammar course, basically intending to teach them Academic English. That is a difficult task, having in mind the general level of English but it can definitely happen.
I do not know to what extent the experience differs as I have not attended EPP classes. The people who teach them are doing a very good job indeed!
There may be universities who are more academically challenging but you have to see this from a local perspective - these institutions are young. The country has never really had a stable university education system. I used to teach at an old university and I definitely prefer this young, developing one. At least, things get done and people are thinking in terms of improvement!
Human Capital is what you'd call Human Resources. I suppose the change in the terms has a somewhat positive effect on the general experience Smile At least, from a resource we actually became "capital".
I am in Kuwait since September and have already seen and experienced both the good and the bad. I think I can balance them but not being alone here definitely helps! The slow administrative procedures can drive you mad but then, I come from France... a country notorious with its slow administration. To tell you the truth, when I go to work every morning, I think of the university as some sort of safe haven - away from the madness of the traffic, away from the laziness and the ennui that prevails in this country. AUM is really trying to be a model. I do not know if we can measure its success from now on... rather, I think this should be done in the long run.
I guess my point is, instead of seeing it all in negative terms, one can focus on the advantages and on the experience. Frankly, the teaching experience I am getting here is very, very different from what I knew before. Sometimes it can be annoying, and sometimes it is fun. Why focus on the annoying? You can always attempt to fix that... do your best... I do not like spreading negativism, especially when I know that I am doing this job because I want to accomplish something.
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