Monday, 27 June 2016

"HCT is a disaster ... a very dark and sad institution"

Suede is very happy to present the latest correspondence from an extremely disgruntled former HCT employee. Any further comment from me would be superfluous, so just read and ... Enjoy!

Dear Suede 

Would you please post my story on your website. I had an awful experience, which fortunately ended in May 2016, at the Abu Dhabi HCT for Women.  

I was recruited to teach on the MBA program, only to arrive and find out that ... there was no MBA program! It had been suspended in 2015! So I had no role, no office, no desk, and no courses to teach. What I did face, though, was confusion and pure hate from other staff.    

From my perspective, HCT is a disaster, and a  very dark and sad institution.      


HCT is originally a vocational school – two years certification for the UAE high school system's weakest graduates who are not academic and have limited abilities.  Its administration, structure and educational learning model is based on some past Australian institutional example from the 1970s.  It seems that it worked well in the UAE for a period of time and produced graduates that the labor market accepted. However, after three decades, HCT grew to 17 different campuses all over the UAE and currently grants bachelor and master degrees among other certifications which totally different than what it is originally designed for. 
Due to these vast changes beyond its mandate, HCT is currently a seriously disfunctional institution for both vocational or higher educational colleges (BA, MA, .etc). Its graduates are very weak and the UAE labor market is generally avoiding hiring them. In the last two years, the central accreditation committee (CAC) of the Ministry of Higher education, who is in charge of evaluating all higher educational institutions in the UAE, hassuspended all the HCT master degrees’ programs and gave HCT a one-year final warning to fix all the major institutional problems that were pointed out by the committee for all the bachelor degrees’ programs, or it will be also suspended by the end of 2016/2017 academic year. 
Several serious violations have been reported and pointed out to be fixed by the CAC, such as the faculty's minimum qualifications should be Ph.D., not bachelor or master degrees, which is currently the majority among the current faculty.  Furthermore, the CAC demanded a complete review of all courses’ curriculum as they did not see any changes since 1980s.  Also, the CAC requested a reduction in the number of weekly teaching loads which is currently 20+ hours of contact teaching, and must be in the specific research and teaching specialization of the faculty member.  Currently, there are no specific specializations in each field of study, and there is no academic research by the faculty to speak about. 


Actually, HCT is known in the UAE as the lowest and weakest level of educational institution in the country. The students are the weakest high school graduates or rejects from other higher educational institutions, and the faculty are mostly under qualified and mainly at the end of their career - so they are desperate to have a job at any price and play alone. In short, everyone pretends: the faculty pretend to teach, the students pretend to learn, and some dubious curve is utilized to up students’ grades and pass almost everyone. That is exactly what happened in 2015 by the deliberate intervention of the upper management, and faculty are currently required and directed by the upper management to do so as part of their duties.  
The HCT is very sad place and I would not recommend it to any one with good qualifications, specially with a decent Ph.D.  There is no academic freedom or academic environment at all. You will be at a disadvantage and everyone without a doctorate will hate you and conspire against you to make you look bad and fail. I personally know of several Ph.D. qualified faculty who are actively searching for other employment opportunities in the UAE, or will just resign soon and go home.  In my opinion, you would be better off flipping burgers at MacDonald’s restaurants than teaching very lazy students, totally dependent on cheating and with low morale, and totally stupid management.  

Run away and stay away …. this is my advice to everyone applying to work at HCT.   

HCT SUCKS.    

21 comments:

Doctor X said...

Point taken. I will not be making that application after all!

Anonymous said...

I would say that the contributor above is pulling his punches a little. I spent three years at HCT (just escaped recently) and can say that the incompetence, the distrust between colleagues and the enmity between faculty and management is much greater that that portrayed above. I am so glad that I am now out of that absurd pressure cooker, can breathe freely now, and once more can look forward to being able to do my job without being permanently monitored.

If you have applied to work here, please reconsider. It really is not worth it. Moreover, within a few years HCT will almost certainly be broken up and thrown to the dogs. So just forget it!

Anonymous said...

Did all those leaving this week receive their gratuity checks? Apparently the CFO who was supposed to sign the 500 or so checks was axed a couple of weeks ago. Since then, no one's been available to move things along.
Can anyone confirm that they got their gratuity? Sad to have to ask!

Unknown said...

I did a runner in May from Khalifa City. I was there less than a year -- how much is your dignity and self-respect worth? Because that's what they are paying you for -- certainly not for any kind of real educational work -- that's just a cover. The closest comparison I can think of here in the U.S. is teaching or counseling at some sort of private exclusive reformatory for girls in Beverly Hills. Can't blame the "students" themselves (especially considering most of them don't want to be there -- can't blame them for that either). The place is soul-destroying.

Anonymous said...

So, my dearest 'Unknown', you ignored all the warnings and decided to join the HCT party. And what a party it was! That's why you left early - or rather, FLED!
Let that be a warning to rest of you who are considering signing up. It ain't worth it!

Delma said...

The latest nugget of priceless HCT news I hear is that they are actively trying to stop current teachers from leaving, as they know that they will find nobody to replace them - no-one wants to work there, unsurprisingly.
Any one to confirm that out there?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous runner. It was rather selfish of you leaving just before the final exams. Your departure was not a big loss for the department, but we all had to work hard because of your bad timing. Anyhow, we are glad you are gone.

Runner said...

Thanks for reminding me of how happy I am to be out of there!! I do miss most of you though! Tell everyone I said hello and keep your sense of humor!!

Anonymous said...

Runner...As I said....you are not missed here....so no hello...

Runner said...

Shouldn't you be on Holiday?? 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀

Anonymous said...

Oh my...

This is a lot of genuine disdain for a school. I ended up here, this site, as I have applied to HCT for a faculty position. :)

Having taught in the UAE previously I think I have a general idea what HCT would be like. I've seen and heard a variety of stories like this again and again from various schools there. Some dead on. Some very exaggerated. Most hyperbolic.

I'm curious, is the anger based on expectations of academia in the U.S. or other western schools and that simply not being how things are done in the Emirates? I have never worked anywhere that someone wasn't complaining about something. I can see that being frustrating for PhD's. Who are always so humble, patient and never present a sense of entitlement. ;) (just teasing) Working there definitely not something that everyone can tolerate regardless. Also, I know many people have a difficult time adjusting to being so far from home and that plays a part in general discontent. That said, it could just be a shit show there too.

- What are the best and worst depts? (trying to stay under the radar a bit, so don't want to ask about a specific dept.)
- Any upside of being there?
- Heard that they have scaled back benefits substantially, what is an average package?

Sounds like an adventure. haha (famous last words...)

Thanks all!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon above, if you are not able to perceive on what the anger is based, you must exceedingly dim or plain myopic. Go read the blogs, peruse what's on esl cafe.com, and ponder the horrific things written about HCE by former employees on glassdoor.com. Then tell me you can't understand the anger.

Good luck with your application. You must be just the kind of jerk they are looking for!

Anonymous said...

By being a dick, you really make very strong case...

There seemed to be sincere questions not deserving of a personal attack. Even if you're right about the school find a way to interact without spitting your venom.

Anonymous said...

My runner from Sharjah in summer 2012 was prescient!

I continue to be amazed by the UAE, and I have lots and lots of stories for my US students now about how it is all just fake, all smoke and mirrors.

Tayeb Kamali said...

By being a dick...

Hello! Did somebody say my name?

I.M.M said...

As a local, I am ashamed to say that we have such corrupted colleges in my country.
I truly wish I wasn't obliged say this, but I ultimately value the truth. I don't wish to point out flaws but I am naturally a very forthright person. The management there is severely flawed and the educational systems are very unprofessional although the resources are somewhat efficient.
Most of the students are not serious about education and most of the teachers don't even bother to explain well. It's like a stage where we were acting like we paid attention they pretended to explain.
I'm not a pessimist, but it's so hard to ignore the suffering of so many staff and even some smart students who got left behind.
There is nothing a local like me can do, people need to wake up and either close these institutions for good or to fix them, but I think it is too late for that.
I knew a girl in the Sharjah college that was extremely intelligent but also suffered from a certain neurobiological condition. Can you guess that she had an incredible academic record there yet she got expelled for having a mental breakdown? The so-called "consular" took advantage of her suffering and exaggerated to get her expelled and get a raise. Although the girl got two medical papers proving her well-being and that was happened was a brain condition, she still got expelled.
I can assure the accuracy of this story and yes, it saddens me to say that these colleges are extremely scandalous. You know what's the worst part? That those inefficient graduates often use connections and end up taking important places in their future work fields instead of those who deserve it, which is a recipe for disaster.

I.M.M said...

Pardon me, **obliged to say this.

Bubba said...

My dear, it's a known and proven fact...you lie down with dogs...you get up with fleas.

What we are all experiencing here is a willing conspiracy to cut corners and willfully turn a blind eye to the rampant fraud, abuse and deception known in your part of the world as "Education".

Only morons would have missed it.

Emiratis aren't idiots.

Inbred, maybe, but NOT idiots!

Unknown said...

I had a bad and awful experience with this htc. The story began in march 2015 by sending me an email following the interview telling me that they are interested in me and asking me to prepare all the documents for me and my familly. I spent A lot of money to certified my documents from uae in Ottawa. They asked my references to send them 3 pages refrance letter. You can imagine how long it took from my refrances to get these letters done. After I sent all the documents they answer me back telling me that once they receive the security clearance the will contact me to get the visa for me and my familly. They called me many time in the middle of the night to ask me to complete all the documents because they want me to be there in aAUG.2016. After that I had no response from them for 8 months. I contacted them to follow up my case. They answered me telling me that they did not receive an sufficient internal approve for the role. And they said sorry good Luke. Hoooooooooooo
These guys are not professional. they don't respect the candidates. Why they asked me from the beginning to prepare my documents and they don't have an approval for the position. I spend almost 400$ to certify my documents and my refrances spent a lot of time to write letters. I say to my self that I am lucky not working with these people. They don't know nothing . HR department is suck. No respect
No more middle east for me again

Bubba said...

No more Eng Glish ether! Hoooooooooooo

Unknown said...

Hello we r offered a email of offer letter.. In hct.. Is it worth of applying