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Curious about UGRU at UAE University
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tefllifer



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abunice,
I think you'd best avoid UGRU - and possibly the Middle East in general.
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Abunice



Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Amman

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 3:50 pm    Post subject: reply to Tefllifer Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice, but may be kind of hard to follow, given roots in this area...I have had very decent jobs in this region, but in the private sector.
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tefllifer



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:18 pm    Post subject: curious about UGRU Reply with quote

Abunice,
So long as you know - 'eyes open, mouth shut' until they know who you are and what you are and where you are coming from - you'll be OK.
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Malfrazy



Joined: 04 Apr 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:44 am    Post subject: UAEU UGRU Reply with quote

Ugru have appointed an engineer to run their education program and whilst one would defer to his knowledge of engineering it seems he finds it difficult to defer to persons with knowledge of education.
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Abunice



Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Amman

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you elaborate, Malfrazy, within the constraints of your current work situation? Gnocchiman said that the administration always treated him professionally. You seem to suggest that may not always be true. Or perhaps he dealt with different parts of the administration.
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Abunice



Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Amman

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After I posted my last message, I remembered a posting titled "UAEU, a fantastic organisation to work for" in the Job Information Forum. From the sounds of that posting, copied below, it seems that only a tiny minority might agree with your point of view, Malfrazy. Or is something else going on? By the way, I'm assuming that the Dr. is the engineer you mentioned since he's the first one mentioned...Are the people below his only support team?


Dave, I would like to remain anonymous for obvious reasons

Date: 19th Feb 2004


There are many teachers in Al-Ain and the vast majority of us believe that this university is an excellent place to teach. The management often go unthanked for their hard work in making UGRU such a wonderful place for us all. Hats off to Dr. Khanbashi, Razak, Ann and Mike (whose head is still intact). We are grateful for what you do for us!
Posted: February 19, 2004
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tefllifer



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abunice,
There are a lot of jobs worldwide which are worse than UGRU - so people might find UGRU relatively professional - professional in my book means that the right people with appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience are in significant positions - but that's not necessarily the case at UGRU - it also means that efficient systems are in place - and they are not - people still can be arbitarily fired at UAEU with no prior warning, for things unrelated to teaching - and, as for the teaching and curriculum, it is often the case that the Engineering Dr and people who have never done x,y,z before are deemed to know more about whatever than guys who have been doing it for years.
Like I said before, UGRU fails your list of criteria - people get caried away into thinking it's Ok due to holidays and salary, etc.
Whatever
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Abunice



Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Amman

PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:40 am    Post subject: reply to tefllifer Reply with quote

Sometimes reality sucks, especially in the teaching profession. Crying or Very sad
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Gnocchiman



Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 68
Location: Limbo

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abunice wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes reality sucks, especially in the teaching profession.


Abunice, I agree with Tefllifer, you probably wouldn't be happy at UGRU.
You appear to only hear what you want to hear and the negative seems to draw you in. There are a lot of people at UGRU who would gladly feed you the negative. However, there are also a lot of people here who would be more than happy to share the positive. I've noted over the years that views like mine are often discounted on this forum because they don't paint the doom and gloom picture that people want to read about. So be it. Just to set the record straight, I don't walk around wearing rose colored glasses loving everything I see here. I don't. I have simply been in this profession long enough to know and appreciate a good organization when I see it.
I'm sure Tefllifer's past experience at University of Utopia was much better than his/her experience at UGRU-you know, the place where he/she did research for "the Book" -
Quote:
- professional in my book means that the right people with appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience are in significant positions - but that's not necessarily the case at UGRU - it also means that efficient systems are in place - and they are not - people still can be arbitarily fired at UAEU with no prior warning, for things unrelated to teaching -
Teachers all over the world in pretty much every institution make these complaints all the time. It really gets boring after a while. And again, just how many people have been fired over the last 5 years in the English department at UGRU?-would someone please get this into perspective???? (by the way, people in all professions rarely get fired over job performance-it's pretty much always something to do with "office politics" If you dont' believe me, then quit your unjust ME job and go back home and get a job there-teaching or otherwise-then write back and tell us about "firing" practices. You'll be very surprised at the similarities).
Quote:
people get caried away into thinking it's Ok due to holidays and salary, etc.
Whatever
yeah, "whatever"-such a low opinion of one's colleagues. Very sad, indeed.

Last edited by Gnocchiman on Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Abunice



Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Amman

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afraid your characterization is a bit unfair, Gnocchiman. It's not that I'm drawn to the negative and that I hear only what I want to hear. I just don't want a whitewash when I'm considering a job. I've been whitewashed before and I regretted it.

People have different work experiences and a job seeker should listen to different points of view, warts and all. Then decide how good the good is, how bad the bad is + how well we think we can cope with the bad. I think it's extremely stupid to make a jobs decision based on one sided views.

I believe that talking about both positives and negatives, rather than whitewashing, brings some balance to a posting. Here are the pros, here are the cons, now you decide. Better to make an informed decision beforehand than to be shocked afterwards. What is seen as negative by some may not be viewed in the same light as others. I can deal with bureaucratic delays, for example, but others can't. A smaller negative for me, a bigger negative for others. At the same time, being disrespected at work is a huge negative for me, but may not be as big for others.

Finally, your posts concentrate on the English Department and one issue you seem to have is that readers don't recognize that few teachers get fired from the English Department.

Personally, I think how many English teachers got fired provides less valuable insight than what % of UGRU / UAEU instructors left (got fired + resigned), how long they stayed and why they left.

Meanwhile, I continue to fish for balanced information about different work environments in the region...
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tefllifer



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Gnocchiman I do NOT have a low opinion of my ex-colleagues - see other posts in my name.
Everyone does what they have to do dependent on their family, personal and financial circs.
Most people probably try to make the system work for them and find their own coping strategies, and try to help their students in any way they can - but that doesn't mean the system is great - or that the system works.
From what I hear, despite the efforts of teachers to try and make the system work - there is still the situation where the objectives, the tests, the books, the students, the teachers, and modern methodoligies just don't seem to jell together - now why IS that - could it possibly have something to do with the various and very different angles and opinions and visions of the people in charge of academic issues?
BTW, 'whatever' is used in a sort of surrender way - kind of so be it - kind of I've run out of words and that's the way i see it - it's not a negative use ...
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Gnocchiman



Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 68
Location: Limbo

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
BTW, 'whatever' is used in a sort of surrender way - kind of so be it - kind of I've run out of words and that's the way i see it - it's not a negative use.
Point taken. Sorryfor taking it the wrong way.

As far as the system not working, I simply disagree (but I guess we knew that Smile ). The improvements I've seen over the years have been huge and though we aren't quite there yet, I have all the confidence in the world that we will be very very soon. The overall objective is to have an accredited University, which we know doesn't happen over night. And I truly think we are seeing all the things you mentioned jelling together. It's been a fantastic career experience for me personally to work with the administration, colleagues and students at UGRU to make this program and its curriculum better. I see the system working because it refuses to remain unchanged and it actually listens to and values my input (as well as yours and our colleagues'). And, strange as it may seem, I don't think those in charge of the academic issues have really different ideas than the rest of us. Their angles might be a bit different, but that's what makes working overseas so fun! Laughing I actually like the "Engineer".
The last thing I'd like to say is that I think it's great that we have a forum like this to discuss our different opinions about our program. For those who are looking for a job, the arguments that we've posted are invaluable.
Well, that's all I have to say on this subject! Or, as Tefllifer would say "Whatever" Smile


Last edited by Gnocchiman on Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gnocchiman



Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 68
Location: Limbo

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abunice,I'm sorry, I didn't see your posting before responding to Tefllifer

You're right, I was a bit too harsh. Please accept my apologies. I hope you got the information you needed and best of luck in your job search!


Last edited by Gnocchiman on Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Albulbul



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:55 am    Post subject: ugru Reply with quote

"The University of Utopia" ! Wow ! How do I get a job there with tenure ?

Seriously it sems to me that many people have unrealistic expectations of what they will get in a job in the Middle East.

UGRU is as good as it gets. You want a really bad job, then try one of those secondary schools or private language schools
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tefllifer



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gnocchiman,
Yes, I agree, it is good that UGRU is still working on trying to get the programme straightened out and that change is happening. However, when i was there, there was too much change, sort of daily - like the unit you had sweated all night trying to make palatable for your students turned out to be cancelled the next day - I hope you are beyond that point now as that was really frustrating. Also I hope the students needs and level is being met better than before - some of the stuff was so out of their realm of experience - and i hope the exams are more in line with the skills and texts and contexts taught. Lots of time and effort have gone into TRYING, I just hope that there are some posittive results soon. I am pleased you don't feel as tho you are in a reinvention of the wheel cycle as some do.
There's a lot of good points about UGRU - and one nice thing is that even if the system and all things suck, you can make an island in your class and deal with things in your own way and provided your students like you, feel like they are progressing, trust you and you can relate your approach to the book and the exam, you should be OK.
In many ways, UGRU is too big and the students language learning backgrounds are too disparate to deal with - hopefully now the CEPA test is weeding some out and giving you better incoming students - that should help - but, as we know, govt policies can change overnight and that can really mess up the system.
However, working at UGRU 'a fantastic experience' ????!!!! But I'll agree on the word 'challenging' or was it 'challenge'!
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