Spurned at home, Saudis find opportunities in Gulf

Saudi graduates are finding better opportunities in Gulf universities due to factors unavailable in Saudi universities

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Unemployed Saudi university graduates searching for jobs in academia have long complained that Saudi universities prefer to hire foreigners. Now, a number of experts have said Saudis with doctoral and master’s degrees are being hired by universities in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries eager to fill their departments with qualified staff.

Saudi graduates are finding better opportunities in Gulf universities due to factors unavailable in Saudi universities, Al-Watan daily reported.

After receiving his doctorate from Taibah University, Dr. Hatem Al-Ghamdi began searching for job opportunities in Saudi universities. He applied to a local college but they rejected his application and asked him to meet unreasonable conditions.

“One of the officials at a university in Makkah province asked me to retire or resign from my current job so that I can apply there and that there will be no objections to me joining them. After I resigned, I found all doors closed in front of me,” said Al-Ghamdi.

Al-Ghamdi said that after he hit a dead end with Saudi universities, he and a number of his colleagues who had gone through similar experiences applied to universities throughout the GCC which welcomed them.

“GCC universities offer special allowances to academics, including housing, health insurance and opportunities to attend conferences and seminars globally,” he added.

A source familiar with academia employment practices, who preferred to remain anonymous, said Saudi universities put unnecessary obstacles in the form of conditions, something which prompts many to apply to universities in the GCC that offer benefits Saudi colleges do not.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on October 17, 2016.

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