HCT Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
19 Reviews
2.5
19 Reviews
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  1.  

    Working at the HCT was a roller coaster in both good and bad ways, and I really enjoyed working there."

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at HCT

    Pros

    Many people at the institution are committed to student success, and the students themselves are amazing. It was a privilege to associate with them and to be part of their education.

    Cons

    Policy and personnel changed more than most of us enjoyed. Job security seemed non-existent, even among the most excellent faculty and management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I can't really advise the top managers. The vast majority of employees are from outside the UAE, and as an outsider myself, I can't judge their actions. They know what is best for their own people, and they have a huge responsibility to the younger generation.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great for some, a nightmare for others.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

    I worked at HCT full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people there, the rank and file, are pretty nice. They care about the students and are not too puffed up with self-importance. The students can be really wonderful.

    Cons

    People often live in terror of the upper management. No one knows what to expect, and the fear of the sack is reinforced by apparently random dismissals. Faculty are expected to teach a *lot*, and sometimes have to give good grades as "gifts" to well-connected students. The teaching experience itself can be good, even if impacted by having to teach too many sections. Also, people hardly are ever promoted from within the organization. The job you get hired into may be re-classified downward, but no matter how outstanding your work performance, you will probably not be rewarded with a promotion. Compensation seems to be in decline (including housing benefits and school fees). I remember an email from the top management announcing improved benefits for school fees--but that promise was soon retracted and re-defined to include almost no one.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have goodwill toward the upper management, even if we were all terrorized by them. I understand that it is a complicated environment in which to carry out educational goals. The interests of the country's ruling class sometimes conflict with the interests of the expat class. My advice to management would be to try to communicate more openly with the faculty and staff, and to try to win their support based on your good objectives (even if you also have some less laudable objectives). I should add that I would offer this same advice to almost any management. Communication and buy-in are usually weak spots, in my experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Life's too short don't work for HCT Sharjah Health warning!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - English Faculty in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)
    Current Employee - English Faculty in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)

    I have been working at HCT full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Faculty
    Weather in winter
    Sports facility
    Students at higher level motivated

    Cons

    Management unsupportive
    No chance of promotion
    Poor working environment
    Faculty low morale
    Changing contract terms e.g. Salary and housing decreased.
    Executive deans and deans will make your life a nightmare.
    Emails in capital letters
    Faculty verbally abused by management
    Health problems you will develop some. High rate of cancer
    Poor use of technology over dependance on IPad

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pointless as they are self serving

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Variable. it depends on which College you work at and who the Director is.
    HR is a nightmare. Incompetent sycophantic.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Faculty (Lecturer) in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
    Former Employee - Faculty (Lecturer) in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

    I worked at HCT full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Salary; airfares; depends very much upon the College; director, supervisor.
    Worked with some great people as faculty but senior management yuk!

    Cons

    Very poor top management; every changing; now Emiratisation without thought to maintaining standards.
    Housing allowance cut. Cuts everywhere and is quickly getting worse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Waste of time because they are too egotistical too care.
    Man management skills of a caveman. Use mushroom method of management and always have done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    In 30 years of being a teacher all over the world, this college is the absolute bottom of the barrel.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Faculty in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
    Former Employee - Faculty in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

    I worked at HCT full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Summer vacation of (typically) 7 weeks if management allow you to take them.

    That's all.

    Cons

    I would have said that the package was good when it was first instituted 25 years ago. However, pay has been frozen for 5 years nearly; housing allowances are way behind the reality of expensive UAE rental prices; therefore, one can only live in the cheap, very badly constructed buildings which are everywhere in the UAE and watch them fall down around your ears; health insurance now has too many exceptions; children's education allowance is woefully inadequate; airfares frozen at year 2000 values; vacations are a lottery as to when/if you get them (subject to managerial whim); innumerable layers of middle management are specifically in place to prevent effective management; too many 'managers' who are in their positions because of sycophancy and not ability; aged and broken technology (thereby negating the employers' name); truly awful students with truly awful attitudes; and, worst of all, lily-livered faculty who whinge in private but say 'Yes, sir, right sir, of course sir' when the boss is around. (I received two official warnings for standing up for myself while I worked there - both because my vacation was stolen from me by management. I neither had a vacation nor financial recompense.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No need - management have no connection nor contact with anyone at all bar other managers in the endlessly hierarchical structure of folly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Slipping fast - at risk of becoming irrelevant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

    I have been working at HCT full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good, hard working faculty and staff - in general.
    Technology pervasive
    Diversity in staff and faculty

    Cons

    Thoughtless emiratization - and efforts to go back to archaic and outdated education and management approach.
    Either the top should know education or if they do not have that experience, should stay out of operational management.
    This is no longer an institution for expat experts - who are in their prime of their careers. Either they need to settle for a short stint - or adapt to work under inexperienced and often incompetent managers. A good place for retirees to spend a few years to make some money - staying under the radar.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move forward - build on the wonderful foundation laid by the previous leadership. Half of national graduates in the country are from HCT. Do not let them down.
    Focus on students and their success. Don't distract faculty, staff and managers from their core mission of teaching and learning - by holding the dagger of emiratization, bringing unqualified national mangers with irrelevant qualifications to run important functions such as HR, college directors, CIO, CFO etc.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    The whole organisation is a complete con.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Faculty (Lecturer) in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
    Former Employee - Faculty (Lecturer) in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

    I worked at HCT full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Some nice weather in Winter.

    Cons

    I went to HCT with a plan to stay there for about 10 years. After my first week in classes I abandoned that plan, and after a month there I questioned whether I'd make it through the initial 3-year contract.

    I found the daily stress there to be untenable. Not only was I on mandatory overtime (22 contact periods per week - ridiculous in a "collegiate" environment – though some colleagues were working up to 25), but they emphasize paperwork/professional development/meetings at the expense of doing a quality job in the classroom.

    There were mandatory office hours - 8-5 Sunday to Thursday. In fact, when I arrived the mandatory hours were 8-4, but then we got a new director and assistant director. The ‘Supervisors’ would roam the massive faculty room to ensure all their teachers were at their desks until 5.

    All faculty (approx. 70 at FWC) are relegated to one huge room in which they are assigned a workstation with absolutely no privacy. It was noisy as well. Administration insisted that such an environment promoted communication, collaboration, and coordination (the infamous 3 C's of HCT). They push "teamwork" ad nauseam.

    Some students were OK, while many others were nightmares in abayas. Basically, HCT focuses on increasing the student population (thus bringing in more money from the government), resulting in "students" who shouldn't be there, young ladies who view college as a means of providing a social network. Often classes were out of control - several teachers walked out of their classes during my last semester there, including me (twice).

    The curriculum went from bad the first year I was there to ludicrous the second year. They switched from an integrated skills curriculum to strands, requiring us to teach language skills in separate classes. That curriculum proved to be a debacle.

    If you like meetings, then HCT is the place for you. As a rule, I hate them. I believe that, with few exceptions, meetings are a waste of time. At a previous college in Saudi Arabia we had one mandatory meeting per month, and I found that marginally acceptable. At HCT I had two mandatory meetings per week. That was simply insane.

    And the conferences - mandatory, mandatory, mandatory. And they would punish you if you didn't attend them.

    They pushed professional development ad nauseam as well - PEP, goals, meetings, seminars, etc. They even went so far as to hire a PD company from the USA to impose PD activities on us. At the first staff meeting for the new year we found ourselves playing in "teams" with pieces of rope for about 30 minutes. Again, it was insane, and a colossal waste of time considering the formidable teaching schedule and new curriculum for which we needed to prepare our lessons.

    My first week in the classroom I was observed by my supervisor - and get this, it was also my first time with one of the classes. Insanity again!

    I got little relief from the stress as work when I went home to my apartment. An Emirati family with two small children lived directly above me, and the noise would extend into the early morning hours. I complained to them, the apartment manager, and HCT for nine months with NO relief.

    When you arrive they "give" you 30,000 dirhams and one week to buy all the stuff for your dwelling. You have to buy everything, including kitchen appliances, washer, etc. Keep in mind that this is a LOAN, and it's amortized over the course of your 3-year contract. If you resign early, you pay back part of that loan. It's not so easy to sell your stuff, either, unless you happen to be there when new teachers arrive.

    I will give them credit for paying me on time every month and for providing me with a decent annual travel allowance (for me about $2800). They were also generous with the gratuity when I left. But that's all the credit I can give them.

    Basically, HCT was a major disappointment for me. I don't consider them a college. The environment there, especially the behaviour of many of the students, reminded me of a middle school setting. With HCT it's all about window dressing, smoke, and mirrors.

    Don’t go there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not fit to publish.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Mostly good, most of the time.

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

    I have been working at HCT full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Got to work with fantastic, dedicated people. Tons of fun & interesting tech. Opportunities for career & personal development.

    Cons

    Compensation package has not kept up with the market. Frequent massive changes in direction suck the life out of the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick a direction and stick with it for a multi-year period, with proper resourcing.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Run AWAY! AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administration in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
    Current Employee - Administration in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

    I have been working at HCT full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    A lot of money for new technology.

    Cons

    If you want to be treated like a human being with employee rights then this is not the place for you.

    They do not respect expertise, education, contributions, ethics or hard work. They do not care how important you think you are. They do not care how many publications you have. If you say one wrong thing, to one wrong person, you are out. Period. And you have NO employee rights and no recourse.

    They are actually now cutting employee benefits. The new housing allowance isn't enough to get a shady dump in the wrong part of town for your family.

    They lie about how great HCT is doing. It is all propaganda. In reality teachers are on mandatory overtime (as much as 25 hours face-to-face contact time per week). Nobody is allowed any money for professional development opportunities externally. Students are allowed to skip classes or turn in work at such low quality the teacher does not even know how to grade it. Students cheat on papers and exams and teachers are not allowed to fail them. Students do 10% of the work that would be required in the equivalent course in the UK or Canada. HCT shows the accrediting committees all the fancy course outlines and technology. The accrediting committee needs to just test graduates and they will then see the truth: students do not actually learn anything.

    Technology implementation is done contrary to every single project management guide on the planet. There are no usability studies. No pilots. Stakeholders are not included in key decisions. Stakeholders do not receive any communication. And teachers must implement the latest technology change quickly or risk losing their job. They change technology on teachers every year or two. Today it is this device. Then tomorrow another one. Teachers are stressed as they keep having to revise all their curriculum for the latest technology change they are required to use.

    There are NO chances for advancement. The job you come for is all you will have. You will never get promoted. They will dump more and more responsibility and duties on you but never give you a new title or pay raise. There are no pay raises. Ever. Never. Right now they are firing people and hiring them back for a lower salary and with less benefits (Yes. Really. Remember: no employee rights). The social disparities and racism are rampant on top of that.

    It is a culture of fear and negative moral. I would not let my dog work here. This place is toxic. The second I can leave I will. Everyone is madly searching for jobs elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    This place is a silly joke

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Faculty in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)
    Former Employee - Faculty in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)

    I worked at HCT full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The money is reasonable but that is really the only positive

    Cons

    Rule by fear, lies, unfair treatment, constant surveillance of every movement via cameras and spies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please save your souls - life is too short to be evil

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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