Irish teachers prefer UAE quality of life, survey finds

Survey by the Irish embassy in the UAE revealed 76% of respondents moved to the UAE for financial opportunities
Irish teachers prefer UAE quality of life, survey finds
The results come as Joe McHugh, Ireland’s Minister for Education, embarked on a two-day ‘fact-finding’ mission in the UAE, with meetings planned with Irish teachers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
By Gavin Gibbon
Wed 12 Jun 2019 12:32 PM

Eighty-six percent of Irish teachers have said the quality of life is better in the UAE than in their homeland.

And 93 percent would recommend a career as a teacher in the Middle East to others.

The online survey by the Irish embassy in the UAE also revealed 76 percent of respondents moved to the region for financial opportunities, followed by lifestyle change (40 percent), unemployment in Ireland (35 percent) and career development (30 percent)

A total of 1,002 Irish teachers in the UAE responded to the survey. More than half said that they were definitely planning to return, while 10 percent said that they would not, with the remainder being undecided.

59 percent of respondents had been living in the Gulf for less than three years, with another 25 percent for between three and five years. More than two thirds of respondents were female and more than three quarters were aged 25 to 34.

Fact-finding mission

The results come as Joe McHugh, Ireland’s Minister for Education, embarked on a two-day ‘fact-finding’ mission in the UAE, with meetings planned with Irish teachers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

He said: “There are more than 2,000 Irish people working in education on the UAE. They are a huge asset to the schools and the education system in the region and they are phenomenal ambassadors for our country.

“This trip is part of a learning process. We are not in the UAE to recruit teachers or convince anyone to come home. It is about trying to see what practical measures can be taken for teachers who have made a decision to return home and whether that journey can be made easier for them.”

A key part of the trip will be a meeting with Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, to discuss links between the Irish and UAE education systems and methods of deepening relations.

McHugh is also due to visit Brighton College, where he will meet Irish teachers, and Khalifa University. In Dubai, he will visit the local Choueifat School. He will also visit the campus of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Dubai.

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