Dar al Hekma College

  www.dah.edu.sa
  www.dah.edu.sa
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Dar al Hekma College Reviews

Updated September 24, 2014
Updated September 24, 2014
6 Reviews
2.0
6 Reviews
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  1.  

    It was a very good experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant

    I worked at Dar al Hekma College full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Exposed to malty national environment, On going learning and self development for the faculty and staff, working based on the international criteria.

    Cons

    Superiors could impose on you to do certain things based on their won desires.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Dar Al-Hekma Women's Prison

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Dar al Hekma College full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Money, money, money and free housing

    Cons

    Don't do it unless you're truly desperate--this is a place of last resort. Just about everybody here is looking for another job. Saudis in teaching positions are great (although they are used as scapegoats for all the restrictions imposed), but place is run by foreign (mostly German and Egyptian) gestapo and jailers who ostensibly fear losing their jobs if they don't mistreat, overwork, exploit, deceive, terrify, bully and humiliate their underlings. Red tape is ridiculous and undermines excellence in performance. Lots of duplicity. Windows actually have bars.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take these reviews to heart and take positive steps towards beneficial change

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Promoting Higher Education for Women in Saudi Arabia?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Professor
    Former Employee - Associate Professor

    I worked at Dar al Hekma College full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Higher education for women is to be encouraged in Saudi Arabia and this institution (college come university this past year) does that, in a modern facility with upmarket amenities and a largely internationally-educated faculty.

    Cons

    Tight lid kept on MERS reality. No sick days without official medical certificate. Lots of eye infections due to poor/desert air quality/pollution. Lots of hidden surprises, instability. ISIS sleeper cells likely within KSA and US Govt has warned against travel to Saudi Arabia as of summer 2014. Mosquitoes can carry dengue. University has strong ties to Muslim Sisterhood.

    The internationally-educated faculty is kept under tight leash and subject to Sharia Law and strict Islamic mores, though neighboring institutions like KAU and KAUST are co-ed with typical flexible professorial hours and no entry-exit smart card monitoring; KAUST does not require women to wear the abaya or headscarf (the Koran only calls for modest dress and specifies no specific colour BTW), and also at KAUST women can drive! So it is hard to understand why Dar Al-Hekma is so 'conservative', relatively-speaking. Additionally, professors and instructors are not trusted and have to fill out TONS of forms and permission slips, do lengthy course files at the end of each term for each course including EVERYTHING, are kept tabs on electronically, are typically overworked and given too many courses to teach in addition to relentless committee work etc etc. Email is apparently monitored, and none of this info is shared with faculty before their arrival of course. Is it because they are women and women are women's worst enemies? Dangerous back-biting. The Architecture Dept, for example, had three different program directors this past year (2013-14), none of whom, by the way, were Saudi.

    While the salaries (tax free abroad only after the second year) and housing are usually excellent (free schoolbus commute can take up to 1.5-2 hours daily though), treatment at work puts a damper on all the pluses. In order to 'survive' you really need lots of outside networks and 'support groups'/friends. It's a hard stint, and even the western faculty become extremely competitive, jealous, resentful and rude in this insular desert 'sandbox'. Dissent gets silenced, with people petrified of losing their jobs. All the rhetorical paperwork and academic politics leave little time for quality teaching. Symptomatically, faculty and staff tend to gain a lot of weight, often to the point of obesity.

    Expect the unexpected, as 'the only thing that's certain in Saudi Arabia is uncertainty'. Decision-making is often emotional rather than rational and merit-based. Admin changes its mind a lot, forgets previous contractual arrangements, doesn't seem to realize that contracts are to be respected, wings it and loses it.

    Deceptive, 'copy and paste' culture. Nasty intrigue with women plotting against each other. Arrogance. Rules, rules and more rules. Exploitation of workers in one way or another--often by senior workers. Not enough faculty to go around. Dubious degrees and qualifications, often from third-rate institutions. Lots and lots of lying and misrepresentation. Again, the school is unable to stick to and abide by its contracts. Untrustworthy, unreliable and VERY controlling--even extremist/jihadist. Lack of understanding of and respect for the professions like Law requiring professional terminal degrees, practice/field experience and licensing/registration rather than PhD's.

    n.b. There is sometimes a strong sewage smell on the foreign faculty Continental Village Compound in the early mornings (which can be so bad it has been known to wake people up!). Compound management is as helpful as possible although gardeners have a weird habit of over-pruning and cutting flowers as soon as they bloom.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a better welcome handbook for incoming faculty that can be sent out ahead of arrival outlining visa parameters, course files, office hours, compound rules, fieldtrip rules, daily commute, etc etc--that way HR doesn't have to repeat itself all the time and miss out on many newcomers. Be honest. Trust more. Substance over form. Encourage creativity and 'thinking outside the box'--that may involve some reform of Islam from within. Women need to join forces and take a stand, supporting each other rather than pulling the rug out from under each other's feet! Don't perpetuate the problems you had/have: break the cycle!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Fledgling University with Lots of Problems

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor  in  Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)

    I have been working at Dar al Hekma College full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pleasant building; international students, staff and faculty

    Cons

    Daily digitalised signing-in and long on-site office routine for faculty (flexible western model non-existent)--making research virtually impossible. Huge student-faculty ratio and teaching overloads, lack of respect, rampant gossip. No job security or respect for Ministry of Labour laws and regulations, in the main poorly qualified/arrogant faculty using exaggerated credentials. Place operates through fear rather than positive reinforcement, with the threat of death for changing one's religion making intellectual thought and rigour highly problematic. Faculty treated like servants.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Accept constructive criticism and don't be so sensitive (which stems from insecurity and jealousy).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    Faculty overloaded and students who cheat

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor  in  Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)

    I have been working at Dar al Hekma College full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Multi national workforce, light airy modern building

    Cons

    Faculty and Staff are overloaded with courses and committees, they are expected to do overload not consulted. Teaching and learning suffers from large class sizes and under experienced faculty. Senior Management micro manage the university, due to lack of international experience at the top. Too many Alumni hired and the alumni lack experience in Industry and other teaching positions. Students have a pre-Madonna attitude, spoilt and lazy. International Faculty do not usually stay for more than 2 years because they get burned out trying to deliver quality education to students who cheat on a massive scale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat the faculty and directors with the same respect as the students, take advise from seasons internationally experienced instructors. Stop accommodating cheating students. Quality over quantity. Stop hiring alumni who have no teaching and professional experience. Hire saudis with international experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7.  

    A great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Instructor  in  Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
    Former Employee - Instructor in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)

    I worked at Dar al Hekma College full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Dar AlHekma in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a women's college that works to empower women to be all that they can be. Teachers are well paid and are given a month (with an option of 2 months) off for summer.

    Cons

    You will be working with all women and many of whom are resentful towards foreigners. Students are given far too much power over teachers and the bottom line is that it is a business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring the students up to the level of the work. Do not lower the level of the work to make it easier for the students. Expect and demand more of them.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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