Sunday, 28 November 2010

Teacher recruitment, HCT-style!

Many UAEU teachers from the UGRU were forcibly removed to HCT Fujeirah this year. Nearly all of them are unhappy working there. This is the unfortunate story of how they came to be there.


One day in the last week of the previous semester, a swarm of besuited HCT managers descended on UGRU. They did their best to sell HCT with pictures and charts, and to allay our fears and concerns, for every UGRU teacher had heard the bad rumours about the HCT management ‘Goon Squad’.

They were full of smiles and good-will, and we all began to wonder - “hey, perhaps this place ain’t so bad after all?!” They did a very good job selling HCT, but most of us knew that it was all a big act, just like the Nazis pretended that Theresienstadt wasn't such a bad place and that all the nasty things said about it were all lies and spiteful rumours.

At the end of the meeting I put up my hand and asked one of the HCT Fujeirah guys whether he had been told that, when it was announced by the UAEU Provost in mid-May that 22 UGRU teachers where to be transferred to HCT Fujeirah, volunteers had been called for.

The point was this: out of a contingent of 160 teachers, it could be expected there would be no problem in finding 22 people willing to transfer. However, only THREE had volunteered!.

I honestly think the UAEU Provost, Rory Hume, had been taken aback by this lack of enthusiasm for HCT. By asking for volunteers, Hume must have expected at least a couple of dozen. But when it didn't happen, the order came to make the Stasi-like selection and press-gang the other 19, regardless of their particular individual circumstances. It was, truly, a heart-breaking situation, and a shocking action that took place.

This selection process was utterly arbitrary, unfair and callous, to say the least. In effect, every one of those 19 had a gun pointed to his/her head and was told, "If you don't sign the paper agreeing to the transfer, you will be dismissed on the spot!" What a situation to be placed in!

There was one particular teacher who had previously escaped from HCT and joined UGRU on good faith. However, she was promptly told that she had been ‘volunteered’ to return to HCT. She refused and resigned on the spot.


Anyway, getting back to the question, I asked the little HCT chap whether HCT management felt any embarrassment that from 160 UGRU teachers, ONLY three had volunteered for the transfer, while the other 19 had to be cajoled and threatened with dismissal if they didn't go.

The HCT Goon went red in the face at my question, and for several seconds he didn't quite know how to respond. But then, with his normal crocodile smile slowly returning to his face, he replied quite simply, and with some malice in his eyes towards me: "No, we at HCT are not embarrassed by that."

That's what truly happened.


Khalife Exile said...

Nothing on Earth could embarass the management goons who work for HCT, for their boss is quite unethical and beyond embarassment. And it all trickles down on to the unfortunate Chairs and Supervisors, who have to dance to Kamali's desert tune or face the sack.

That's what truly happens!

Anonymous said...

Heh, Godwin's Law!

HCTears said...

The latest rankings from reveal that The Claw has slipped to 14th position, just one behind King Tubby.
The current leader is SiJo, aka Osimon bin Jones, from ADMC, who has stormed into 9th position on further evidence of his lack of management skills.
Well done Simon, boyo!!

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to believe this blog is written by HCT management

Raja Karma said...

Well, I don't think it's written exclusively by the incredibly appropriately-named 'Goon Squad', but I have heard that their contributions are not unknown, AND increasing (eh, SO?!).

Anonymous said...

I have applied for HCT business faculty and after about a month I have received an email that I may be selected for an interview. How long should I wait for the interview? what was your experience with recruitment at HCT? Please respond without your hatred to HCT. Thanks Joe

Anonymous said...

Experience with HCT recruitment: All warm, fuzzy. They'll say anything to get you here. Once you get the retina scan and they put that 30K AED in your hands for the housing - you're treated like dirt.

If you're desperate, there is a severe shortage of business faculty, though. I know of one campus in particular where half the business faculty are leaving next month, with several being recent hires who gave notice of not finishing their first contract. Americans in particular have a higher attrition and dissatisfaction rate...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response. Do you have any info about their engineering management or chemical engineering program? are there enough faculty?
How long should I expect to wait for an interview after I am on the talent pool? If you live in UAE or work for HCT please email me at so I can get your contact info and have a phone conv.

Anonymous said...

No offense Anonymous but no one I know would be stupid enough to email you about any conversation when you posted on a board complaining about their employer, someone who would be is someone you don't want to be talking to anyway.

Also i'd remove your email address if that is anything personally identifiable as these boards are monitored by management and if you want a job the worst way to go about it is to pop your head up on a blog like this. It would be close to an instant "screened out" on your application no matter how desperate they are for people.

Anonymous said...

"...Americans in particular have a higher attrition and dissatisfaction rate..."

Amen. In addition to our low tolerance for douchebaggery, we also have more pleasant weather and a stronger economy to return to than do the Brits and Hosers who stay on for contract after contract. Their colonial backgrounds also may make the cultural apologist role an easier one to assume.

I taught business at HCT last year. Gave notice before the end of my first semester that I was leaving at the end of the second semester - there was no amount of money or better housing that was going to keep me here for three years - and yes, they threw it all at me when they were begging me to reconsider. The Abu Dhabi campuses aren't the only ones with management issues, either.

Anonymous said...

"The Abu Dhabi campuses aren't the only ones with management issues, either."


Dithering Dave, formerly of ADW is now making a mess in Fujeirah. Farid Ohan, the director of Sharjah colleges is a dictatorial megalomaniac who's referred to, even in upper management circles as "Dr. Evil". His sycophantic deputy director Jed Ryan, is a slithering snake, universally hated throughout the system. Phil Corcos, deputy director of DMC is a Jed Ryan wannabe and almost as bad. And on and on... That's not to mention the host of meaningless deans at each of the colleges who's roles it seems are to be nothing more than bullies to faculty and staff.

HCT continues to lose faculty at an alarming rate, with more and more new hires now leaving shortly after they arrive.

No amount of money is worth the mental abuse one suffers working there.

Increasingly, only unemployable westerners, Indians and Arabs with spurious degrees are starting to make up the "quality" faculty at HCT.

The students are really starting to notice and comment. But, what can they do? And, anyway, it's a free ride. So, they just put up with it.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if they are expanding their engineering programs? there was an ad that says... "Due to expansion in our Engineering Programs the HCT invites applications ..."
are they really expanding or its just a way to get their depleted pool in shape?
Any idea?

Anonymous said...

Let's stop wasting bandwidth and all agree that HCT never was any good, is not any good and can never be any good. EFL'rs can then resume their regular interests in asian teen porn and property rental.

Anonymous said...

HCT was once quite good, about 10 years ago. It's just that the place has been on a continual spiral down for some time, only speeding up it's trajectory at the arrival of the current VC in 2005.

By the way, this is not just about EFL teachers. I for one am a content person at HCT, not an English teacher. The mistreatment of employees extends into every corner of TK's despotic empire, and in many ways is more serious when it comes to abuse of the divisional content faculty members.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by abuse? is working 8 hrs a day 5 days a week an abuse? I dont think so, in corporate world you may need to work 12 hours a day, like I work right now, and you can't complain. Nowhere will pamper you if they are serious about being profitable.

Anonymous said...

who works 8 hours a day anymore? add on the additional duties, covers, forced PDs, meetings, marking, makeup assessments and extra admin created by all of it and you come out to about 10-12 hours a day, if you actually care about doing your job right that is.... all this just to avoid getting bullied by some amoral twat in management.

Khalifa Exile said...

Oh dear, we do seem to have got our knickers in twist, haven't we!? I just don't know where to begin to try and sort out all this mess, but let me try...

Firstly, who said that working eight hours a day was abuse? Nobody, but some dick seems to have understood that. No, the 'abuse' is far greater, deeper and even more systematic than the work hours issue. Take a look at the other posts on this blog (and the other one) for those matters.

In fact, no HCT teacher really resents working eight hours a day, but we DO hate having to sit there at our pods whan we have little to do, just to satisfy King Tubby's absurd policy of presentism. I often like to shoot off home early so that I can spend some time with the kids, and then I can do my prep and marking at home in the evening when things are QUIET (away from the noise and the creepy colleagues of the college faculty room). But if you get caught, or do it too often, you face a reprimand, which is so ridiculous - treating professionals like 3rd world labourers, and WORSE than the treatment (sorry, pandering) given to the students!

As for the comparison between the 'corporate world' (whatever that is) and education, why bother? There is no reason to compare the two, like apples and oranges, and teachers get much worse remuneration for their less demanding lot in life. My brother, who had no college or university education, earns twice as much as me, and works twice as hard too. Good luck to him, as that's what he wants.

We teachers need to stand together to get what we want - and deserve!

Anonymous said...

'Third world labourers'?


Is that just a tad over the top do you think?

It's a shame that at times such ludicrous nonsense tends to overshadow some genuine grievances.

Suede Oasis said...

I would agree, Anon (above), but then I might disagree too. The truth is, though, that the degree of contempt shown by HCT's goon squad management towards their teachers is comparable to that displayed by many Emiratis to the Asian laborers who have built their country.

Whether you're building a 65-storey hotel or an education system, I feel that we all deserve a lot more respect and consideration, don't you?!

Brass Tax said...

Read all about it!

Yes, as was predicted on these very pages a short while back, it has indeed ALL ended in tears!

HCT and UAEU could not get it together, which is hardly surprising, given the poor caliber of both their management teams.

Just pity the unfortunate teachers who had to undergo such unnecessary upheaval in their lives.