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The situation at my university--Zhejiang Normal University


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I have been working as a foreign teacher at Zhejiang Normal University for nearly 5 years. In the past year, the situation here for foreign teachers has deteriorated, and the International Office, which has the responsibility of helping the teachers, has been completely unresponsive. I post this as information for teachers who might consider coming here and with the hope of putting pressure on this university to improve conditions for teachers here.

First, in the 5 years I have taught here, the university has increased my salary by only 1% despite inflation of about 30-40% in China during this period and despite the fact that I am recognized as a hard-working and excellent teacher. This effective decline in compensation is also true for other foreign teachers here.

More important, though, are our conditions here. Last year the university completed new living quarters for foreign teachers as well as foreign students at a distant end of the campus, far away from any food sources or the Chinese students. All access to nearby streets was closed off, so we must go a considerable distance to leave the campus. The doors are padlocked at 11 pm and not opened until 6 am--this would not even be acceptable to Chinese students, not to mention Chinese teachers. It has been necessary for us to either have bicycles or electric bikes, but the facility provides only one place to charge our bikes for 6 or 8 of us who own bikes, causing massive inconvenience. The staff who maintain the building generally treat us in an unfriendly way, showing no concern for our problems.

Regarding teaching here, our only contact person in the International Office is a young lady who has very little experience. She assigns us our teaching duties with little regard for our academic interests, and the International Office acts as if it's their job, not that of academic personnel, to assign teachers to their courses. (Academic deans seem unwilling to interfere with this, and when they have on one or two rare occasions, the International Office acted as if their rights were violated.)

This is demoralizing for the teachers and sad for the students here, who value the foreign teachers, .

Efforts by some teachers to remedy this situation has been met by little or no response from the International Office. Thus, I want teachers who might consider coming to this university to know of the situation here; this is the only way I know that this university, which is concerned with its reputation, might act to improve things here for teachers. I cannot compare this with other universities in China--there are likely others where the situation for teachers is as bad. My advice for teachers seeking university jobs in China is to try to find universities where the International Office personnel show some real caring for teachers and their teaching.

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From a Chinese perspective, I think much of what's happening is in the realm of what I consider normal.

Padlocking doors is also for safety considerations and many universities use it. While I am not sure about Zhejiang Normal Universities, at Nantong University, doors are locked at 11PM as well. Open at 5 though I think but that's pretty similar. So from that perspective, I don't consider it to be that horrible. At the same time, I don't think students will complain when this practice occurs in many dormitories. For teachers, it probably doesn't happen as frequently, but I wouldn't be shocked about it. If they change this policy, I could see others complain about the change due to safety.

With regards to outlets, it's a perk that while many companies have, is also not something that I would say is a requirement for electric bikes. I still carry my battery upstairs every night when I work because there's too few outlets at my workplace and providing enough for everyone might not be feasible. If there's only 6-8 of you guys, can't you guys plug an extension cord? If you charge every other day, that's 3-4 per outlet.

Lastly, maybe it is the International Office's job to assign work. If academic deans won't step in, it might eb because they do not oversea international teachers and it would be inappropriate for them to overstep their bounds. I don't see a problem if the Deans don't do anything when it's not their job to. I'd continue to work with the International Office.

I see this post as a good informative post to show the situation but China in general operates at this level and I wouldn't expect conditions to be that much better elsewhere. When in Rome...

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  • 4 months later...

HI!!! I just won the csc scholarship in Zhejiang Normal University one year chinesse language and 3 years MBA taught in chinese.

iam pretty confused and dissapointed, i didn't get the scholarship in any of the universitys i apply for, i apply for a MBA taught in english and this one is taught in chinese (i dont know any chinese and i I'm not sure if one year chinese language study is enough to be studying a MBA fully taught in chinese) and second i was looking for a 2 years master not a 3 years master, i think thats to long for a master and speding four years in china only studying could be to much.

And third Zhejiang normal university is not ranked any where, can any one tell me please if they know something about this university and if it is a good one for an MBA.


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