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CCQ: Community College of Qatar or Crazy College of Qatar?
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WantToKnow



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: CCQ: Community College of Qatar or Crazy College of Qatar? Reply with quote

1. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Accreditation-a-key-concern-for-HCC-campus-in-3035400.php

Accreditation a key concern for HCC campus in Qatar
By Jeannie Kever, Houston Chronicle
Updated 08:49 p.m., Saturday, February 4, 2012
Houston and Texas

The idea that students at Community College of Qatar would earn American college credits was central to the deal that sent Houston Community College halfway around the world.

Officials from HCC and Qatar boasted after the contract was signed in May 2010 that students in Qatar would earn HCC degrees, allowing them to transfer to universities in Qatar, the United States or elsewhere.
But the issue almost immediately became a point of contention as Qatari officials resisted the perception that their new college was a satellite of a U.S. educational institution.

Belle Wheelan, president of the commission on colleges for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, said the Qatar programs are not accredited by SACS or another U.S. accrediting agency, required for easier transfer to other American-accredited universities.

Transfers approved

International locations of U.S. institutions are generally accredited as branch campuses and must meet the same standards as the home institution, she said.

Qatari officials decided in November to seek independent accreditation, and HCC officials said they will assist in the effort.

In the meantime, HCC spokesman Dan Arguijo said a handful of Qatari students could qualify for HCC diplomas by submitting transcripts for review.

An agreement signed with Qatar University last month allows students to transfer to the four-year university, easing some of the tension. But it remains to be seen whether students will be accepted at any of the U.S. higher education institutions in Doha.

Deputy Chancellor Art Tyler said HCC always wanted the new college to earn its own accreditation.

"Initially, I think there was some misunderstanding about how that process would be vetted," he said.

Despite his sanguine tone, internal documents show he and Chancellor Mary Spangler were clearly worried about the dispute, especially as stories about student protests over accreditation made the Qatari press.

Tyler met with Education Minister Saad Bin Ibrahim Al-Mahmoud last winter, later providing Spangler with the details:
"The Minister was emphatic that CCQ must be a separate independent agency with no hint that it is a HCC satellite," he wrote in an email. "The Minister was somewhat confused by the issues regarding SACS (accreditation) but insistent that CCQ would not offer any accredited classes. I responded by telling him that from the start ... we (together) had promised the students that they would receive HCC credit. He said 'the students are secondary' and this was not something CCQ now wanted."

'A grave concern'

Six weeks later, Spangler sought advice from Mark Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M-Qatar.

"It is a grave concern that I am trying to get some management over," she wrote in mid-March. "If I'm not successful, I will be forced to withdraw, because I won't risk HCC's accreditation. That is our bottom line."
Wheelan said SACS' concerns have not raised questions about HCC's accreditation in Houston.

MOD edit


2. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/HCC-in-Qatar-A-long-distance-challengeHCC-had-3039161.php

Faulty planning may be to blame for HCC Qatar campus's problems
By Jeannie Kever, Houston Chronicle
Updated 09:01 p.m., Saturday, February 4, 2012

Male students register for classes at the HCC campus in Qatar. The government decided that, despite a signed contract, women would be taught separately.

As top officials at Houston Community College were collecting awards and publishing papers about their international ventures last year, their effort in Qatar was struggling with disagreements over accreditation, high faculty turnover and growing worries that the dean hired by the Qataris to lead the effort was working against them.

The problems, detailed in emails and internal documents obtained through a public records request, raise questions about whether HCC was prepared for the ambitious foreign undertaking.

The dean chosen by the Qatari government was replaced in November by a veteran HCC employee, Butch Herrod, as part of an administrative overhaul. Enrollment has reached 750 students, less than two years after HCC signed an agreement with the Qatari government to create that nation's first community college.

But students have not received HCC credits for their classes there - a cornerstone of the promises made when the partnership was announced - and for now it appears unlikely their coursework will transfer to the six U.S. universities with operations in Qatar. After months of student protests, a deal signed last month will allow graduates of the new community college to enroll inQatar University.

Things were so bad last spring an HCC administrator in Qatar wrote HCC Chancellor Mary Spangler that Community College of Qatar, or CCQ, had become known as "the Crazy College of Qatar."

From the beginning, Spangler said the Qatar contract was a way to earn money as state funding dropped and property tax revenues remained flat. HCC records indicate the college has collected $640,034 from the deal; it projects a profit of $4.6 million by 2015, slightly more than expected.
Deputy Chancellor Art Tyler said in a recent interview that things now are running smoothly, and that misunderstandings are unavoidable in any international operation.

"The world is not exactly flat," he said. "It may have gotten smaller over the years, thanks to technology, but when you're dealing with people, with communities, you can't know everything."

Women taught separately

Among the things HCC didn't know until just before classes began in September 2010: The Qatari government decided male and female students would be educated separately, contrary to the five-year, $45 million contract, which called for coeducational classes.
Former employees say that was just one of the surprises when they arrived in Qatar, ranging from delays in getting textbooks to worries over their exit visas.

"Things did not go smoothly at all," said Randi Perlman, hired to teach English to Arabic-speaking students. "There were a lot of issues that came up … that I think didn't need to happen."

Overseas campuses

With more than 70,000 students, HCC is one of the nation's largest community college systems, offering lower division academic classes and workforce training.

Over the past decade, it has become increasingly involved in international ventures, as well, with projects in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Qatar.
Tyler said Qatar, located on the Persian Gulf, is a natural match for a Houston institution: energy industry ties, Qatar Airlines' nonstop flights and the presence of the Qatar Consulate here. Six U.S. universities have campuses there, including Texas A&M.

The Methodist Hospital System has an office in the United Arab Emirates and is helping to build an ambulatory care center in the capital city of Doha.

Visa requirement

The first wave of HCC faculty and staff discovered after being hired - in some cases, after arriving in Doha - that their visas required them to get permission before leaving the country.

"That seemed to me to be a human-rights violation," said Jan McNeil, a veteran English teacher who had previously worked in Singapore. HCC offered interviews with three employees who worked in Qatar last year, all of whom said the visas posed no problem.

(Page 2 of 2)
David Ross, chairman of the English as a second language and English departments in Qatar, said the system worked but acknowledged the six-day window to use the visas made timing tricky and the lack of multiple exit visas - standard for U.S. employees of American universities and companies there - provoked anxiety.

Internal emails also detail delays in preparing apartments for the expatriate employees, paying tuition at schools for their children and complaints about spotty Internet service.

"That whole piece of helping faculty and staff feel at home ... was a challenge," Tyler said.

'A matter of learning'

Perlman, who now teaches at Texas A&M in College Station, attributed many of the challenges to poor planning, including hiring administrators - many of whom transferred from Houston - without experience working in a foreign country. "You need people on the ground there, to help you get things done," said Perlman. "They didn't have that."

Mark Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M's Qatar campus and a member of an interim board appointed last fall to govern CCQ, said missteps are to be expected.

"Watching HCC help get the community college established, some of the bumps are similar to what I've seen the other branch campuses (in Qatar) experience," he said. "It's a matter of learning how to do things in a different part of the world."

Little control at top

But former employees and internal documents suggest HCC's biggest problem came from a contract that authorized the Qatari government to hire the school's chief academic official, giving HCC little control over decisions at the top.

Judith Hansen was hired by Qatar's Supreme Education Council and served as dean until late last year.

Tyler declined to discuss the circumstances that led to Hansen's departure in November.

Hansen, who had been forced out of the president's job at Southwestern Oregon Community College in 2008 following three no-confidence votes by faculty and staff groups, did not respond to requests for comment.

But she was at the center of disputes over accreditation and whether CCQ could change HCC's curriculum or claim it as its own. She insisted on independence in an email to Tyler last winter: "The request for no assistance with (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation means there is no need for HCC to be concerned about CCQ organizational chart," she wrote.

'Crazy College of Qatar'

Not so fast, Spangler said after Tyler passed on the message.
"We will not accept this response," the HCC chancellor wrote to Tyler. "She is not calling the shots."

Cheryl Sterling, an HCC administrator now in Qatar, wrote Tyler and Spangler last spring after Tyler acknowledged no HCC credit would be awarded for the spring 2011 semester. "If students do not receive HCC credits this Spring, we will have a major crisis (all out war)," she wrote. "The Dean has held several forums assuring them of credits. ... we are known as CCQ, the Crazy College of Qatar."

At about the same time, faculty members issued a "no confidence" vote against Hansen.

John Moretta, a faculty member now in Qatar, was in contact with Spangler before the vote. "She avoids me because she knows ... that I know what she is doing is in direct contravention of so many HCC policies," he wrote of Hansen. "Should we proceed with the faculty-senate vote of no confidence? ... Please advise."

Spangler replied the same day. "The short answer is yes, and we didn't have this conversation," she told him.

[email protected]


3. http://insidehccs.com/

Finally the truth about Qatar is coming out in the media

Here is a link to a story in the Chronicle about HCC and Qatar. Here is an update to that story and true to form Vice Chancellor Tyler was caught telling stories "Deputy Chancellor Art Tyler said in a recent interview that things now are running smoothly,". Over a year ago I wrote that HCC was not doing as well they kept telling those idiots on the HCC Board. Here is where Chancellor Mary Spangler states that the college in Qatar will have accreditation "The Community College of Qatar will use HCC curriculum and be covered by HCC's accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools."

Some like HCC Trustee Schechter probably knew but chose to keep it quiet. HCC has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tyler's and Spangler's little venture to Qatar. The article is not quite true as to where the blame lies. HCC sent some incompetent people to head the little venture and lied to the people that were chosen to teach there. Vice Chancellor Art Taylor and Chancellor Mary Spangler tried to keep the problems that were festering from the Board and as recently as a couple of months ago made a trip to Qatar to see if the problem could be resolved (I was told that Vice Chancellor Tyler took his friend the Chief of police, HCC. Why would the chief need to go? He didn't just abuse of taxpayers' monies.). There is still a contract that was signed by the Chancellor and approved by HCC Board that may come back to bite HCC taxpayers. Here is the Contract. On page 5 of the contract with Qatar HCC seems to be promising accreditation from SACS. While HCC may have collected some money we have no idea as to whether HCC made any money as they can not account for all their costs. HCC paid nearly $150,000 in travel and room and board for themselves, friends, and family over to Qatar to celebrate the contract. One family alone accounted for nearly $50,000. Here is the data.

The Sunday Paper has a much better article and details of what occurred at Qatar, not all quite factual but much better than they have done in the past. Here are some concerns that were raised here nearly two years ago. For the record at that time I was sharing my information with the Chronicle in hope that they would do some thing to help the employees over there. It still bothers me that the Jewish Community allowed the creation of a college where Jews are prohibited from teaching.

What this means that in all probability the end of the tyrant Queen Mary is at hand, but like all tyrants she will leave with gold in her coffers. I would prefer the fate that awaited Marie Antoinette.

That is not the only venture that HCC has lost money in, there is a long list of others. MOUs (memorandum of understanding) they like to call them.

I am glad that the Chronicle is finally doing it job of reporting news but for those of you that have kept up with Inside HCCS that is old news.

The real reason that HCC needs to pass Bonds, my opinion based on what I have found at HCCS, is that they have raided the treasury and need to do something before they find themselves facing a tribunal. That is my opinion. The HCCS Foundation also needs a through investigation, rumors are that they used money when they were trying to annex Spring Branch and I would not be surprised if they do the same for the Bonds. The stories I am told is that the people that run the Foundation are too close to the Chancellor.

My friend and HCC Trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores was raked through the coals and humiliated by the other trustees (they are no where near her peers as they lack ethics and morals) because she dared raised the issue about Qatar. Yolanda you are finally being vindicated, may those others rot in hell for eternity.
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helenl



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the small point about exit permits, that's the law in Qatar. Multiple exit permits are available but only at the permission of the sponsor. If the sponsor refuses to allow them, the employee must apply for permission to exit the country every time they wish to leave.
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yellofello



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

helenl wrote:
On the small point about exit permits, that's the law in Qatar. Multiple exit permits are available but only at the permission of the sponsor. If the sponsor refuses to allow them, the employee must apply for permission to exit the country every time they wish to leave.


This is a downer!! Nobody told me about this. In my current place, we can leave when we want.
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WantToKnow



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: 3 day orientation & orientation manual for new hires at Reply with quote

no orientation manual for some groups of teachers at CCQ; however,
below now posted on Houston Community College website, which is http://sites.hccs.edu/qatar/

http://sites.hccs.edu/qatar/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/ccqorientation01102012.pdf

http://sites.hccs.edu/international/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Qatarday1_2_-Orientation_Aug16_17_-11.pdf

http://sites.hccs.edu/international/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Qatar_day-3-orientation_August18_11.pdf
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WantToKnow



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:50 am    Post subject: 6 Feb 2012 Chronicle of Higher Education short CCQ blurb Reply with quote

http://chronicle.com/blogs/global/houston-community-college-struggles-with-project-in-qatar/32114

Houston Community College Struggles With Project in Qatar
February 6, 2012, 11:20 am

Houston Community College’s effort to build and help operate a community college in Qatar has been racked by misunderstandings with Qatari officials and other problems, reports the Houston Chronicle. According to e-mails and internal documents obtained by the newspaper, the Community College of Qatar, which opened for classes in 2010, is teaching female and male students separately, contrary to the contract the Houston institution signed; has faced accreditation issues with students unable to receive Houston Community College credit for courses as originally promised; and has been problematic for visiting American faculty members, who have complained of visa issues and other logistical problems of working in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

In November a dean chosen by the Qatari government was replaced by a Houston Community College official. The Houston college’s deputy chancellor said that the problems have been fixed and that they were part of the usual challenges of working abroad.

This entry was posted in International, Middle East.
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WantToKnow



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Feb 9, 20102 posting on http://www.insidehccs.com/ Reply with quote

Of course HCC's take on it is always put a spin to it, What one does not not know can not hurt, here is HCC on Qatar. The media and blogs are having a field day with the "Crazy College of Qatar". Here is the articulation agreement that the CCQ (Crazy College of Qatar) signed with Qatar University. Take the news from over there for what it is, completely controlled by the government. At least here our media is controlled by the dollar and HCC spends more money on advertising than they do in providing programs that excel.

My take on this is that Art and Mary are at their best when they are explaining their failures which are often but normally hidden. If one had followed their comments through this episode one would not have come away with what HCC is now stating. I maintain that HCC has lost money in Art and Mary's little venture to the Middle East.

Other serious allegations have been brought by other employees who found themselves quickly transferred when they pointed out improper movement of money within various accounts. People at Main know that if they want to keep their jobs they have to keep their tongues from wagging. There are exceptions if one knows too much and one has it documented they may get mad at you but they will transfer you to a better paying position to keep one from talking and going to the police.
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yellofello



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Students want Community College dean fired Tuesday,

DOHA: The nine-month old Community College of Qatar (CCQ) functioning under the Supreme Education Council (SEC) has run into a controversy with a group of students reportedly lodging a complaint with the higher authorities seeking dismissal of the American Dean of the college. CCQ opened in September last year through a partnership agreement between the SEC and the Houston Community College (HCC) in the US. Dr Judith Hansen who formerly worked with HCC was appointed as first Dean of the College.A group of students as well as some members of the CCQ staff have come out openly against the Dean alleging that she is neither qualified nor capable of running the college, according to reports appearing in a section of the local Arabic media.

A local Arabic daily reported yesterday that a group of 74 students of the college had lodged a written complaint with the Minister of Education and Higher Education and SEC secretary general H E Dr Saad bin Ibrahim Al Mahmoud seeking dismissal of the Dean.Copies of the letter were forwarded to CCQ chairman Dr Ibrahim Saleh Al Nuaimi and Dr Mary Spangler, Chancellor of Houston Community College, the paper said.

The students have alleged that the Dean had failed to properly manage the college. Citing some reports and postings appearing on the Internet, they argued that Hansen had been sacked by several institutions that she had worked in the past for her inefficiency and poor performance. The papers have also published some of the Internet clippings saying that they had been attached with the letter submitted by the students. When contacted by The Peninsula for comments yesterday, Hansen said she would soon come out with a reply to the allegations after consultations with the SEC. The Minister or other senior SEC officials have not so far responded to the allegations raised by the students nor taken any decision on their demand, according to the reports. Some SEC insiders however believe that the criticism is part of a media campaign against the CCQ. The critics argue that the college lacks the basic facilities and qualified staff.Some of the existing staff at the College have already tendered their resignation, according to unconfirmed reports.

There are also rumours that the HCC has withdrawn accreditation of the CCQ but this has not been confirmed either the HCC or the SEC. CCQ is a new educational initiative which is part of the educational reform process in Qatar. The college offers two year programmes (four semesters) leading to the “Associate’s Degree.” This degree allows the graduates either to enter the workforce directly or transfer to a university as a third year student to complete their Bachelor’s Degree. The college also gives training certificates in some fields that are in high demand in the labour market.“During the initial phases of establishment the college will be under the umbrella of the Supreme Education Council, who has chosen a Dean to manage and lead the CCQ.Partner college, Houston Community College, will provide accredited certificate and degree programs and courses and credentialed faculty and staff in the first years of CCQ,” says the SEC website.The Peninsula



They are interviewing at TESOL 2012 in Philly. Make sure you are an informed candiate. My friend's friend contacted me and told me why he'd left. It will take time to get the show on the road so he recommended waiting a few years to see where the road goes.
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WantToKnow



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Feb. 10, 2012 posting about CCQ (http://www.insidehccs.com/) Reply with quote

http://www.insidehccs.com/

The Saga of the Crazy College of Qatar Continues

All those years of English as a Second Language Courses that the students were required to take, down the drain. What are they going to do with the ESOL professors? Seems the University of Qatar will require that every course be in Arabic. What can one say when the Board of HCC is so busy greasing their hands or enjoying trips with Taxpayers monies that they let the Administration run amok. Here is the article where Arabic will be required. I want to thank the person who sent me the article. Here is Dave's Cafe take on it. In case one does not recall from previous posting, CCQ professors were required to give their passports to the HCC Gestapo. The toppling of corrupt tyrants takes time, but the time seems to be close at hand. The wining and dining of Carroll has commenced may he be able to ignore the call of the temptress.

I have obtained the address of the DOE and will be doing a Freedom of Information request to verify or disprove the allegations posted on yesterday. So if it is true the administration might as well admit it as the truth and high tail it out of Houston before they and the College get tarred and feathered. If true, one can put the blame on two people, Michael Williams and Richard Schechter. They may or may not have benefited personally but for sure their friends did very well.
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veiledsentiments



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:39 am    Post subject: Re: Feb. 10, 2012 posting about CCQ (http://www.insidehccs.c Reply with quote

WantToKnow wrote:
Seems the University of Qatar will require that every course be in Arabic.

Now there is an absolutely inaccurate statement based on a combination of ignorance and a lack of research. There are still some majors that will continue to be taught in English, such as science.

VS
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yellofello



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Feb. 10, 2012 posting about CCQ (http://www.insidehccs.c Reply with quote

WantToKnow wrote:
http://www.insidehccs.com/

The Saga of the Crazy College of Qatar Continues

All those years of English as a Second Language Courses that the students were required to take, down the drain. What are they going to do with the ESOL professors? Seems the University of Qatar will require that every course be in Arabic..


Are you referring to QU or HCCQ aka CCQ? I think CCQ is the place they are calling the crazy college and since it's only been in operation for year and a half there will be a lot of growing pains, so I am putting my application on hold for the moment until things are clearer about where they are going.

QU is having other troubles so it seems like both institutions are definitely not on a job-seeker's priority list. Nevertheless, both are advertising at TESOL Philly this year. Strange on the part of QU which now has too many teachers. Not so strange on the part of CCQ/HCCQ which can't keep teachers long enough. All job seekers - try Dubai.
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veiledsentiments



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Feb. 10, 2012 posting about CCQ (http://www.insidehccs.c Reply with quote

yellofello wrote:
QU is having other troubles so it seems like both institutions are definitely not on a job-seeker's priority list. Nevertheless, both are advertising at TESOL Philly this year. Strange on the part of QU which now has too many teachers.

This detail has already been explained on the other thread. No one knows how the QU situation will come out. Since you are in the UAE, you should be aware of what happened at UAEU where they cut the Foundations faculty because of major re-organization... then the next academic year had to hire a bunch of teachers because the higher-ups changed things again.

I can just imagine the situation at QU. All current teachers have been told that their contract will be honored. How many teachers will be needed to teach ESP courses in the majors removed from Foundations. There will certainly be many needed in the Business Department. Will many teachers bail out because of the fear of the threat of no renewals? No one - including QU - knows if they will need to hire teachers for next year.

Any applicant to either place needs to ask the right questions before jumping into a new job with QCC or QU.

VS
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WantToKnow



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Supreme Education Council (SEC) said NO to CCQ Reply with quote

Despite requests, the Supreme Education Council has refused to allow employees of CCQ to have multiple exit visas, instead requiring that permission be obtained from them to leave Qatar each and every time
a CCQ employee would like to leave. This restriction was not revealed
to some CCQ employees before arriving in Qatar, some of whom would
not have gone to Qatar had this fact been known.
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veiledsentiments



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exit visas have always been required in Qatar, haven't they? This isn't the first batch of teachers, so it would seem very odd that new teachers didn't bother to talk with current or ex-teachers?

VS
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millie18



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exit permits have always been required. Some organizations issue their employees with multiple exit visas - but they are in the minority. Government sponsored organizations are less likely to (or all?) of the US universities located in Education City - Georgetown employees for one have multiple exit visas issued.
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WantToKnow



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: info challenges Reply with quote

have been told that there are gag orders on ccq employees. also, new employees do not have contact info for current or former employees of ccq or other places. where would they get this info? this job discussion board is one of the best sources of info, but not many postings have been made by ccq employees. have also been told that ccq employees have been told that
if any info leaks that is traceable to them, this will result in their being fired, very possibly on the spot. have also been told that this is not a transparent place of work where people share info freely and openly. also, emails and other communications are read, so people are afraid to share info. it's not a simple matter of contacting colleagues whose contact info is easy to get to explore what it's like to work there and to have open dialogues.
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