Middlesex admits to 'significant' staff turnover on dubai campus in wake of claim that 18 have quit in three years

November 6, 2008

Working conditions at Middlesex University's Dubai campus are prompting academics to quit at a rate of one every six weeks, a former employee claims.

Times Higher Education understands that 18 academics have left in less than three years.

The university did not confirm the figures, but it accepted that there had been a "significant" turnover of staff, which it attributed to the high proportion of young academics on short-term contracts working in the Gulf. Some staff "always intended" to stay for a short period, it said.

According to the former member of staff, a lack of parity between the working conditions in Middlesex and in Dubai was to blame. The academic said that although "course content and marking" were the same, employment terms and procedures were not.

A leaked email from another member of staff to Middlesex Dubai executives warned that high turnover figures "are likely to become worse as we have not seen any proactive response".

Middlesex said that its 19 full-time and 26 part-time academic staff were hired by a Dubai-based subsidiary of Middlesex University and were employed on Dubai contracts, with terms and conditions consistent with Dubai law. Staff were told when joining that "there is no automatic annual promotion round as in the UK", a spokeswoman said.

john.gill@tsleducation.com.

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