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Issues in Educational Research, 2021, Vol 31(2), 458-475.
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Expatriate faculty and student perspectives on teaching and learning in a United Arab Emirates university

Jenny Eppard, Fatima Bailey, Kara McKeown and Herveen Singh
Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

The higher education system in the United Arab Emirates is loosely based on models developed in many Western countries. Expatriate faculty members trained in Western universities are often times recruited to teach at government or public universities. Confusion often arises when faculty members expect similar learning patterns and values which they encountered as faculty members in other contexts. A qualitative approach was used to explore how students and non-UAE faculty members perceive aspects of teaching and learning. It was found that both had diverging views. Faculty needed to use more active teaching strategies and more attention needed to be paid to students' language skills and cultural concerns. The study concludes with recommendations for how expectations can be bridged by incorporating pedagogies that are culturally relevant and responsive to Emirati students.
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Authors: Dr Jenny Eppard is a faculty member at Zayed University. She holds a doctoral degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia and a Masters degree in International Education from George Washington University. She is an experienced ESL teacher with a professional background in teaching a variety of ESL students in terms of age, proficiency and background. She has headed several research projects on using digital tools for teaching and learning. Currently, her research topics include reading on the iPad, flipped learning, XMOOCs in the UAE, online collaborative tools to support content reading, vocabulary-centred apps, student e-portfolios, interactive documentaries and online informal learning.
Email: jenny.eppard@zu.ac.ae

Dr Fatima Bailey is a researcher and full-time faculty member at Zayed University. Dr Bailey holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. She mentors and coaches in-service practitioners in the Al Jalila Foundation, Ta'Alouf Program for Career Based Teacher Development. She previously held educational leadership positions in P-12 schools in the USA and UAE. Dr Bailey has an active research agenda and presents her work at international conferences and speaks at summits and symposiums. She is an awardee of the distinguished California Legislature: "Teachers of Excellence Award". She is also a recipient of the prestigious Gordon Allport Prize for Outstanding Papers on Intergroup Relations, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Email: fatima.bailey@zu.ac.ae

Kara McKeown has worked in the fields of ESP and EAP for over 20 years, in various capacities as a teacher, teacher trainer, project manager and course designer. Recently her focus has been on genre-based pedagogies. Kara has been in Dubai since 2004 and at Zayed University since 2009. She is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.
Email: kara.mckeown@zu.ac.ae

Dr Herveen Singh is a faculty member and the Head of Quality Assurance and Accreditation at Zayed University. Dr Singh has led curriculum development teams and developed programs in education, policy and business areas and conducts quantitative and qualitative research. Her areas of research interests are in quality assurance and accreditation; decolonial studies in educational leadership; faculty development; equity in hiring, retention and promotion; organisational change management; and stakeholder engagement in educational leadership and schooling in diverse contexts. She has led teams in designing curriculum, programming, and assessment for federally funded research projects in Canada.
Email: herveen.singh@zu.ac.ae

Please cite as: Eppard, J., Bailey, F., McKeown, K. & Singh, H. (2021). Expatriate faculty and student perspectives on teaching and learning in a United Arab Emirates university. Issues in Educational Research, 31(2), 458-475. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/eppard.pdf

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Created 19 June 2021. Last correction: 19 June 2021. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]