A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, June 24, 2010

American University of RAK Drastically Cutting Staff

UPDATE: In more positive news, a reader directs me to this NYT piece on NYU's program in Abu Dhabi.

In recent years there has been a huge boom in Western-curriculum universities in the Gulf; some are satellite campuses of US or European universities; others local foundations with US or European curricula and (usually) English medium of instruction. As with the overall Gulf boom, however, economic reality may be overtaking some of the newer efforts.

The American University of Ras al-Khaimah, in the UAE, is cutting much of its administrative staff and seeking to restructure. making huge cuts in administrative staff, faced with the fact that the university has a large administration but fewer than a hundred students.

The boom in Western-curricula schools in the Gulf has surely benefited both Gulf students hoping to gain Western credentials and also Western academics seeking English-medium opportunities in the region. It may well be that Ras al-Khaimah doesn't have the drawing power of Doha or Sharja, or it may be that the school simply moved too fast at a time of economic contraction.


LJ Marczak said...

On the other hand, NYU is creating a special program in Abu Dhabi funded by the Government of AD.


Anonymous said...

can one hundred students create the kind of atmosphere found in a University.
Indeed looking at probable numbers per class it probably would be better to call it a crammer and charge accordingly

Michael Collins Dunn said...

ynotoman: That may be true in this case, I honestly don't know; but many of these campuses are very serious places, especially those that are satellites of US/European universities.

eamon o'mara said...

There is nothing 'American' about the American University of RAK. It is the ill-fated successor to George Mason University's attempt to franchise its name to a UAE campus. At that time one commentator on a teachers' blog described it as "about as authentically 'American' as a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in downtown Calcutta". The administration were mostly from the Sub-continent, and two or three of the senior administrators had difficulty producing acceptable written and spoken standard English. I know. I taught there for a while. Most of these people were retained after GMU bailed out. If they have been dismissed recently it is long overdue. AURAK is a dubious institution.

smilelisa said...

American University of RAK dismisses 3/4 th of Senior Staff

The successor of George Mason University, now known as "American University of RAK" dismissed almost three quarters of its senior staff giving reasons of redundancy during June & July 10.

I personally knew some of these staff and has to say that it was just wrong for the newly appointed Indian management to do so. It's the jungle law out there! New Lion coming into the pride kills all the lion cubs just to make his point and to start his own empire! what a cliche!

What happened was also an irony, since the newly appointed was fired earlier in 2006 due to his inefficiency as a director while George Mason RAK branch operated in the same premises. The same guy is now given charge as president to settle his old score to the senior employees of GMURAK who decided to continue at AURAK! The selection of employees to be made redundant was done using a corrupt and biased methodology.

Now there is no Americans in this so called "American University of RAK" and it is managed by indians who are famous for their unscrupulous mismanagement skills! Best of luck for the students who left the campus after these dismissals and a word of caution for all those who decided to stay. Please think about your future kids! There is no life in this campus! The people who were leftover after the redundancy are thos who lacks self confidence and who were ready to work for half the salary offered!
(Yes, 50% salary cuts for those who wants to stay - this was the condition set by one Mr. Riyasuddin from the ETA management)

Best of luck to AURAK! and to any students who wants to join this place!