Zayed University Employee Reviews about "cost of living"

Updated 2 Jan 2019

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2.5
29%
Recommend to a Friend
21%
Approve of CEO
Zayed University President Lubna Al Qasimi (no image)
Lubna Al Qasimi
63 Ratings
Pros
  • "Some nice colleagues and thats about it(in 9 reviews)

  • "ZU has good working environment and good facilities with opportunity for professional development(in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Your experience and knowledge is not needed here, just kowtow to the deans and you will be fine(in 28 reviews)

  • "Pay and benefits have seriously eroded and have not kept up with the high cost of living in the UAE(in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "cost of living"

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  1. Helpful (21)

    "Many Problems"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Zayed University full-time

    Pros

    Facilities, offices, colleagues, mostly tax free for ex-pats, (except a new 5% VAT was added in 2018 making everything more expensive).

    Cons

    ZU disempowers people; it takes every opportunity to wrangle money out of employees even when there have been no substantial raises for 10 years (salary scale not adjusted for inflation for a decade). While paying less and less (because of cost of living increases), more and more is required of faculty in terms of research, advising, needless paperwork. Most faculty teach 4 classes per semester, with multiple preps.

    Zayed University2019-01-02
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Experience in Academic Bridge Program"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Language Instructor in Dubai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Zayed University full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Management at the Academic Bridge Program is supportive of instructors, flexible and encourages professional development. The work load is reasonable, resources for instructors are available, and offices/classroom areas are pleasant. The students, in general, were motivated and lovely to work with, and fellow colleagues were dedicated, hard-working, interesting and wonderful people. Benefits are very good, and employees also benefit from the constant developments and improvements occurring across the UAE. A nice place to work in a vibrant place to live.

    Cons

    Frequent changes in management of the university led to uncertainty and anxiety among faculty and staff, though some transitions took place more smoothly than others. The university sometimes lagged behind other workplaces in the UAE when increasing salaries and benefits to keep up with the cost of living (e.g. housing allowances, educational costs, healthcare, etc.).

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    Zayed University2016-11-17
  3. Helpful (34)

    "Dysfunction at it's finest"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Professor in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Zayed University full-time

    Pros

    Not. One. Thing. Hopefully prospective applicants will stop at glassdoor first and avoid this farce of a university at all costs.

    Cons

    The university has completely collapsed in the past few years. Claims that the university’s problems are due to staff shortages from unprecedented growth and faculty discontent stems from expats not understanding the culture are simply lies. Do your research - the previous president went on a rampage and was fired, or rather silently moved to another plush government job. In the aftermath, incompetent administrators continue to literally rip everything apart in an attempt to placate higher powers who obviously don’t know what they want. Administrators, deans, chairs, and managers are mostly unqualified puppets barking orders and have absolutely no understanding how to manage people, let alone run a university. They are now hiring anyone with a pulse so don’t expect anything to get better. The quality of the undergraduates is atrocious; indifferent and ill-prepared students who blatantly cheat and plagiarize. The courses I taught were continually “dumbed down” so everyone could pass. These programs cannot even be compared to real accredited degrees. In fact, they don’t even measure up to high school diplomas. I’m amazed that they’ve been able to hang on to accreditation, but according to all the rumors, seriously doubt they have done so legitimately. Pay and benefits have seriously eroded and have not kept up with the high cost of living in the UAE. Forget savings, especially if you have children, as school fees subsidies no longer cover costs. The tyrannical push for faculty to publish research to improve rankings is comical, especially given that NO support is offered. I was personally embarrassed to affiliate myself with this “university”. Colleagues tended to fly under the radar and managed to do the minimal amount possible out of fear or indifference. Morale is low and the environment is toxic. The human resource department is extremely dysfunctional probably because, like most departments, they can’t keep competent people from leaving.

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    Zayed University2016-02-11
  4. Helpful (29)

    "Shifting sands"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Zayed University full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Interesting region, students are generally friendly and polite, good housing provided, and if not in University College the working environment is uninspiring but fine. Good holidays.

    Cons

    A lot of the disconnect between employee expectations and reality at ZU occurs because of cultural differences, especially since upper administration has veered away from employing or consulting with Westerners and is embracing local values and attitudes. This is understandable, but leave your ideas of what you consider 'right', 'common sense' and 'professional' back in your own country because they will not apply. Students have been conditioned to expect 'A's for very little effort, and have not been taught how to think for themselves. No curiosity, little empathy, minimal work ethic, but respond well to a warm, open delivery method. The contract means absolutely nothing. At any point, a law can change and apply to your contract in retrograde. Salaries will not rise, so you better be happy with what you start on. No career enhancement opportunities. Human resources. Out of control inflation and rising cost of living means it is difficult to save, but impossible if you have a family. Understand that as an expat you have zero rights. Literally. Shiny buildings and police uniforms does not a justice system make. When you get off the plane, leave you expectations of 'fair' behind, because non-Emiratis are considered temporary guests in the U.A.E. and 'truth', 'justice', 'right' and 'wrong' is whatever they say it is.

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    Zayed University2015-02-18
  5. Helpful (28)

    "All fur coat and no knickers!"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Zayed University full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    In the past faculty were respected and their contributions valued and rewarded. Salaries were adequate and educational allowance largely covered children's school fees.

    Cons

    Ironically, since Zayed University was awarded 'Best Place to Work' status several years back (Does anyone know how that actually happened?), morale has dramatically declined; promised annual pay increments did not materialize so salaries are no longer competitive and barely cover the cost of living and schooling in the UAE, and the shift towards hiring locals has eroded the excellence of many of the support staff positions, notably HR and admin positions. Standards have been compromised due to having to accommodate the generally weaker male students

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    Zayed University2014-10-25
  6. Helpful (27)

    "If you want a manageable workload and to be treated with respect, do NOT accept a position in University College."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Faculty in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Zayed University full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There are none to speak of at present

    Cons

    The fact that nothing has been done to the university college management despite numerous complaints both to HC and publicly on sites such as this is a slap in the face to all of those faculty that were sacked last year for no reason and for the rest of us that are stuck here literally hiding in our offices to remain off of the dean's radar. As another poster said, it is clear that nobody really cares about the faculty and students in UC. Rumor has it a couple of other faculty members pulled "runners" recently, and many more, including myself, have discussed leaving in January. Assuming that hiring is still pathetic thanks to a complete lack of referrals that the uni used to rely on along with this website, next semester's scheduling will be laughable for those of us that remain. I envision classes of 40+ students and the dean threatening to sack anyone that complains. Unfortunately because salaries at ZU are paltry compared to the actual cost of living here, it is just not worth it anymore to remain in such an unethical and dehumanizing work environment. Even some of the UC chairs have jumped on board and are abusing their faculty to protect themselves, it is ridiculous.

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    Zayed University2014-11-15
  7. Helpful (16)

    "Getting Worse"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Zayed University full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I have worked with some great colleagues over the years. I have found them professional, despite the vicissitudes of employment at ZU.

    Cons

    Raises have been promised a few times, but never materialized. It has been several years since we have had a raise. At the same time the cost of living increases each year.

    Zayed University2014-10-12
  8. Helpful (13)

    "Walking on Eggshells in an Environment of Fear - Such an Unnecessary Pity!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Assistant Professor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Zayed University for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great facilities and surroundings, good canteen and library, nice classrooms, offices and gardens. Good faculty and staff generally, and great collegiality among faculty within the ranks below management.

    Cons

    There is so much fear and distrust around. Rumors are rife. HR often doesn't reimburse us now for expenses that we have been entitled to in the past, but don't explain why. This includes essential and costly household repairs in Zayed University's provided housing - landlords must be smiling! There's too little transparency between management and faculty, and people are scared to say what's on their minds for fear of retributions such as having contracts not renewed or merely cancelled on the spot. We are afraid of the student evaluations of the faculty - they are sometimes extremely hurtful and vindictive towards faculty who maintain high standards and who ensure that their students achieve good academic results, and they often unduly praise teachers who are too lax and easy going. I've known some faculty to have a year or two knocked off their contracts for one or two student evaluations being somewhat low. Knowing that it happens makes us nervous when we are teaching, and reluctant to do anything much about misbehavior in the classroom as well as cheating and plagiarism which is rampant. These student evaluations of the faculty are mostly a measure of their popularity, yet they are assessed in contract renewal portfolios in terms of 'teaching efficiency' which is not the case. It's clear that there is a lot of unhappiness and unease below the surface, especially about salaries being outstripped by the ever-increasing cost of living as well as job security. So many people are looking for employment elsewhere - they say they don't feel valued for their contributions anymore. This is so regrettable. There are a lot of great world-class faculty and staff at Zayed University and it would sad to see them go. Worst of all, it will be the students who will then pay the highest price through losing out on the opportunity of being taught by outstanding international faculty.

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    Zayed University2014-02-08
  9. Helpful (14)

    "seles are all"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Zayed University full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    In general a pleasant atmosphere amongst colleagues, with a good package, especially if you have kids - school fees paid. Holidays are good - though people are wondering if these will be cut with the new management.

    Cons

    The salaries are not as good as other govt higher ed institutions in the UAE. Also you don't get any salary rise at all till you renew your contract, so in effect, you get a pay cut for two years (cost of living) till you get your contract renewed (when your salary is reviewed). The curriculum is constantly being restructured and is, to be honest, a mess. Most teachers hardly use the 'in-house' textbooks, for which a fortune was paid to some US consultants. The books are just a joke, a mish mash of odd texts and exercises connected vaguely by a common theme. It is a wonder people were, and I think, still are, on full-time release, and came up with such an awful programme. Testing also leaves a lot to be desired. Some new students of near native-speaker ability, tested in to classes where students had problems with the verb 'to be'. (This is the fault of cepa - govt test before entering uni,) but in-house testing could also do with a drastic overhaul. Most teachers are in fear of the 'seles' - student evaluation of the learning environment, but in effect, of the teachers. You can get 'fired' or at least not renewed, or given a one year renewal and told to "up your seles", if they are deemed unsatisfactory. Management tell you they are just a guide over a period of time, This is not true. Seemingly, management have to make a reference to your sele scores re the average, every year in your annual report and in your renewal portfolio. (Strange they don't have to make a reference to your student pass rate re the average). People have not been renewed, or have had a one year renewal ('get your seles up or else') because of below department average seles. One teacher had consistently the best pass rates in the level, but that was not mentioned, as the sele scores were 'slightly below the department average' - which WAS mentioned. Another teacher with excellent results, contributions to various committees, etc, was given a one year 'slap on the wrist' renewal and told full renewal depended on the next sele scores. These students are immature and 90% of them judge teachers according to whether they like them - which is to some extent connected to whether you are easy-going re coming into class late, using mobile devices during class, and giving inflated marks for subjective-type tests such as the ISP (project), and speaking grades). In addition, and probably most importantly, personality is all. It doesn't matter if you are the best teacher in the world and your students get the best results. If you haven't got that certain endearing, sweet, social-type personality that these students like, then ADAPT or you will have problems (not with the students, but with the management - who will want to know why you have low seles).

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    Zayed University2013-11-01
  10. Helpful (12)

    "Disappointing"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Faculty in Dubai
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Zayed University for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Nice central atrium, in general faculty and staff are professional and kind easy to work with

    Cons

    Teaching loads particularly in writing courses are too heavy and there is no balance between work and home life. Productive popular faculty, some with doctorates, were let go or not renewed without reason and others simply disappeared without notice. Rumors have it that they were too popular or too qualified or were paid too much and were replaced with new faculty at lower salaries. During my employment, each year, I was asked to do more work with no additional pay. Now it appears that new employees are asked to do more work at less pay. All of this has caused a lot of discontent. There are some obvious issues with the quality of education being provided. Budgets seem to go into 'Image' advertising, nice equipment and luxurious appointments for administrators. There is an overabundance of shopping areas and a severe shortage of classrooms. Curriculum content is superficial and decisions on what is taught are often made by non-educators and instigated in a heavy handed way top down from administration to faculty. Students are assigned to classes and unable to choose courses or instructors they want. Having taught at other American curriculum based universities I have to wonder how and why this university seems to receive US accreditation so easily. I've been at universities and colleges that struggle with accreditation teams and continually improve and lift standards. This is done with copious documentation measuring plans, outcomes, reviewing materials and improving them for the future. Here in the Middle East accreditation must be based on how a place looks rather than what a place does. Some claim that it is due to the royal treatment accreditation personnel receive during visits. Whatever it is that allows ZU and other government institutions to remain accredited the quality provided in these institutions is not equal to or similar to what is expected in higher educational institutions in the U.S. . Those that believe that they will receive the same quality of education in the UAE that they would at a typical US, Canadian, British, Philippine, Pakistani, Indian etc. campus are grossly mistaken. As a long time instructor claimed, “My job is to look professional, entertain the students, not assign too much homework and eagerly say, 'yes' to all administrative demands. In return, I don't have to work evenings, rarely mark anything at home and have outlasted most of the faculty here and at least 7 provosts". I'm highly supportive of free education however when the majority of students simply expect a "good grade" for a course, based on attendance, and are simply going through the process to receive a piece of paper which will guarantee a higher salary the motivation of the entire student body begins to suffer. I am not saying that there aren't bright motivated eager students at ZU. There are some and they are a joy to have in a class. What I am saying is that in general providing a 'quality higher education’ is not the focus at ZU. If you are a prospective employee with a high quality of education and an interest in research, professional development of a desire to teach, this is not the place for you. Those that tend to stay are simply focused on a paycheck and for many it is a need to pay off creditors rather than saving money that keeps them here. In the past, one of the big draws of new recruits to the region was the attractive pay packages. Recently, however even greed is not enough to ensure employment retention. Because despite oil incomes and large budgets many M.E. universities have used the economic crisis as an excuse to reduce the benefits and packages received by employees. Despite the increase in students wanting a ‘free education’ and the bulging number of students in classrooms these institutions are paying their employees less than ever before. Considering the cost of living in the Middle East today , the hidden taxes and fees, the rising housing, education and food costs the unregulated interest rates in bank accounts and with credit cards the salary packages have become much less attractive than offered a decade ago. According to the news, today's expats are leaving the Gulf saying the same things but instead of the tidy nest egg their predecessors left with many are also shocked to discover that they have not saved and in fact many owe money because of the continual rise in living costs, unregulated banking laws here or because of an unwise decision to invest or borrow money whilst living here.

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    Zayed University2013-10-06

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