Good to be working with you again in this module. I appreciate your frank and informative posts as I know next to nothing about HE in the UAE except for what you write. I’m interested in your discussion about p/t staff. You note that many p/t teachers have primary occupations outside HE. I wonder about the status of being a p/t staff member and what kinds issues the increase of adjunct staff may bring.
In my experience in Japan, there is a kind of nepotism in the universities. Like you, we rely on p/t staff, for about 50 percent of our courses; a figure that corresponds throughout Japanese HE (Arimoto, Cummings, Huang, & Shin, 2015). Most of these, however, are full-time elsewhere. There is a limit on the numbers of outside classes we can teach (for me, up to three a week), and informally, we cap adjunct staff to five classes; the argument being that if any individual is required for more, they should become full-time. These caps limit the availability of p/t staff and subsequently curtail the possible reliance on p/t staff. Although Arimoto and his colleagues (2015) expect the number of adjunct faculty to rise and the planned change in the education employment law in 2018 (Arudo, 2016) may see more teachers needing to work p/t, the lack of health insurance, pension and other benefits (e.g. research funds, private office) means that these caps will need to be revised if enough staff are to be found. This raises an ethical question. If a full-time teacher is employed on tax-payer’s money, is it right that they should earn extra income during their work hours as an adjunct? Conversely, if more p/t teachers are employed, what impact will that have on the national health and pension systems?
Are any of these issues important in the UAE? If the part-timer is generally a non-academic, perhaps the issues are different?
Arimoto, A., Cummings, W. K., Huang, F., & Shin, J. C. (2015). The Changing Academic Profession in Japan. Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-09468-7
Arudo, D. (2016). The 2nd Great Gaijin Massacre in Japan’s education system, with 5-year contracts coming due in 2018 (2023 for uni profs). Debito.org. Retrieved on July 13 2016 from http://www.debito.org/?p=13948