Policy Options for Improving Teacher Satisfaction in the United Arab Emirates

Melanie Nethercott, Elizabeth Buckner

This policy paper examines teacher satisfaction and public perceptions of teachers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), drawing on the detailed findings of Buckner’s (2017) The Status of Teaching and Teacher Professional Satisfaction in the United Arab Emirates. Using data from the OECD’s 2013 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), it finds that there are significant differences in overall teacher satisfaction among teachers in the UAE. Specifically, expatriate teachers are more satisfied than Emirati teachers, and greater levels of satisfaction are linked with high-perceived status of teaching. Supplementary analyses, based on a survey of UAE residents, reveals public attitudes towards teaching are closely linked to perceived status and salary, with higher salary expectations leading to greater perceptions of status. This paper makes recommendations for strengthening recruitment and retention mechanisms to increase teacher professional satisfaction and improve public perceptions of teacher status.

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Author affiliations: 

Melanie Nethercott, Teachers College, Columbia University

Elizabeth Buckner, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto


Recommended citation: Nethercott, N., & Buckner, E. (2017). Policy Options for Improving Teacher Satisfaction in the United Arab Emirates (Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research Policy Paper No. 21). doi:10.18502/aqf.0049