GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
Al Riyami
First Name:
Title of Paper:
Challenges Faced by Expatriate Academics in Higher Education Institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (Oman as a case study)
Paper Proposal Text :
In recent decades, the higher education system in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has achieved substantial growth in terms of quantity including the number of institutions, enrolled students and specialization diversities. This requires hiring qualified academics from different parts of the world in order to teach in these higher education institutions. According to many studies, expatriate teachers form the majority of the faculty at most universities and colleges in GCC countries. Recent attempts by government in GCC countries to localize the teaching realm through their human resources nationalizing programs have offered limited outcomes. Thus, dependence on expatriate academics will continue in GCC countries in the future. This entails the GCC countries to have a systematic approach to understand the challenges faced by these expatriate academics of different nationalities to ensure good quality in the higher education system. Reviewing the literature, there is a scarcity of research in the area of challenges encountered by expatriate academics in the GCC countries. Therefore, this paper aims to fill the existing gap in research related to expatriate teachers who are supposed to play an important role in students' learning experience in GCC countries. Specifically, this paper intends to address two research questions
• What kind of challenges faced by these expatriate academics in GCC countries?
• How these challenges can be overcome from the expatriate academics' perspectives?
This study will use multiple methods to “produce different kinds of data for a same topic, which could improve the quality of the research” (Denscombe, 2004, p.133). Firstly, it will utilize a questionnaire to trace teachers’ perceptions of the kind of the challenges they encounter in their institution. Then, in depth semi-structures interview will be conducted with teachers from various higher education institutions in Oman to examine their opinions about the kind of challenges they encounter in their institutions and how to overcome them.
With regards to the data analysis, the close ended questions in the questionnaire will be fed into the SPSS program after they are numbered and coded. The descriptive statistics including means, standard deviations and frequency distributions will be utilized. The open ended questions in the questionnaire and the interviews will be analyzed qualitatively. The researcher will benefit from the work of Burns (1999) in order to analyse the qualitative data obtained from above mentioned research methods. This model includes five steps: assembling the data, coding the data, comparing the data, building meanings and interpretations and reporting the outcomes.

It is hoped through this study to contribute to the little research about expatriate academic staff in the GCC countries and stress the necessity of deep analysis of the factors that negatively affect their teaching in the higher education institutions. In a top-down educational system, which is the case in most GCC countries, teachers are at the bottom of the hierarchy and their voice is not heard. So, it is hoped through this study to encourage teachers to voice out the challenges that they encounter in their institutions. It is also hoped that the findings of this study will give insights to policy makers involved in higher education in Oman in particular and GCC countries in general to provide conducive atmospheres for these expatriate teachers to perform well in their institutions.