x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Pause for thought

Pet owners should take a responsible attitude, a reader says. Other letter topics: higher education and new visa requirements.

Owning a pet requires a responsible attitude, a reader says. Fatima Al Marzouqi / The National
Owning a pet requires a responsible attitude, a reader says. Fatima Al Marzouqi / The National

A standing ovation, please, for Dubai Women's College director Dr Howard Reed and provost Dr Mark Drummond over the changes at the Higher Colleges of Technology (New chief wields job axe at college, June 6).

After spending seven years as a career counsellor and job placement professional with Zayed University and Abu Dhabi Men's College, I applaud their initiatives to increase standards.

Since returning to the US about a year ago, I have assisted nine Emirati students pursuing graduate education.

All of these graduates held bachelor's degrees, seven from HCT and two from Zayed University. All of them had excellent grade point averages.

It was easy for the two Zayed University graduates to achieve graduate school admission because of their prior academic performance, and the fact that Zayed University is accredited by a regional accrediting body in the US.

All of the HCT graduates achieved admission to at least one American university, but in every case their prior academic records were only awarded two and a half years of credit even though they had studied four or five years in the UAE.

This was due to the fact that HCT is not accredited, and the fact that it has moved from offering two- and three- year diplomas to a four-year bachelor's degree with marginal additional requirements for the advanced degree.

If Zayed University was able to be on target for American accreditation within its first four years of existence, HCT should certainly be on target after 25 years.

I am not suggesting American accreditation is the only route for HCT or any other college or university in the UAE.

However, HCT's performance does need to be measured against some prescribed international standards. Jerry McDonald, US


Questions over visa requirement

The new requirement reported in No visa without tenancy contract (June 7) is excellent news.

But please can someone tell all employers that they must provide accommodation for their employees and that such provision must be mentioned in their labour contract?

How does the government expect that a person landing in Dubai, for example, will have the resources to immediately enter into a tenancy contract?

Landlords will not accept monthly payment; they expect expatriates to come loaded with money to pay a year's rent in advance.

If this rule is implemented, more buildings will empty out as people leave.

It may no longer be worthwhile for many people to live in the UAE.

KB Vijayakumar, Dubai


Another visa rule, another obstacle and more time spent at government departments.

What actually is the point of this rule?

For various reasons, there must be thousands of Abu Dhabi residents without their own name on a tenancy agreement.

Has this new rule been thought through carefully?

Adil Ali, Abu Dhabi

I always thought you couldn't get a lease on an apartment or villa unless you had a residence visa. Catch 22?

Philip Grange, Dubai

Hungarians are not all the same

I am writing in response to Hunt continues for attackers of UAE chess man in Hungary (June 7).

I am Hungarian and I have been treated with full respect by UAE nationals for the 18 years I have been living here.

Every time I go back to Hungary I feel happy that I have a different view on life than some other people there, and that this has led me to the successful life I am living today.

Shame on the people who committed this crime. I hope justice prevails.

Mariann Gellert, Dubai

What has happened is a tragedy. However, to mix it up with so-called "Hungarian nationalism" is inappropriate.

One should not generalise about a political situation based on the behaviour of a certain group of people.

Drunk and unstable people can be found anywhere in the world. Let us wait until this case is fully explained to the public and not react emotionally, thus harming the whole country of Hungary and its international image.

Isabelle Genkker, Slovakia

Responsibility key to pet ownership

Pets for sale on internet (June 7) once again highlights the sad lot of many domestic animals in the UAE - and elsewhere in the world.

When, I wonder, will people learn the basic rules of responsible pet ownership?

Anyone who acquires a cat or dog should be prepared, and able, to look after it for life.

Colin Richards, Abu Dhabi