I was washing for prayers when three girls entered the washroom, being the inquisitive me and my love to know people and converse with them, I asked them if they were students? Of course I knew that they were, as they were young, pretty and holding books, no one would hold books and folders if there were not students, silly question really! they all said yes; so I asked where are they studying and what are they studying, they told me that too, I also asked which year and they all were in their final year.   said that they must start applying for their masters from now, and to my surprise they said yes they are in this building to do just that.  I asked them which office are they going to? To my surprise they were coming to my office which they found on the internet search!!!! That was great information for me of course.  Then they accompanied me and we all went to the office.  I had to crack some jokes and what not to make them be at ease.

Of course they were very clever and have done their homework properly.  Not surprising of course that they have chosen first tier universities to apply for in UK, and they have all decided on the field of masters they want to apply to.

Well, this is all great, and our work is simple then, but the problem is, all three of them are enrolled in a university that is not approved yet by the ministry, and if they want to apply to study overseas the universities abroad will first want to see attested documents, this of course they will not be able to do.   Point number one:  they had no idea about this fact.

Point number two: two of the girls want to continue their masters with the same major, which is fine, as they like what they did! The third one wants to make a major change and to her surprise I said that she can, but she has to do a grad dip in that new major first or must show that she has some electives or a minor in the new field of study.

Then came their other surprise, the GPA, all top tier universities require more than just a GPA (point three), I had to show them which universities from the list that they had researched are in the top one hundred, and which ranking medium they have to check to ascertain that where they are going is high enough (point four).  They also didn’t know that with their caliber they can get a good scholarship (point five).

I asked them why they chose the university they are in now? I am not saying that it’s a bad university all I am saying is that many universities have opened in Dubai but never bothered to register itself with the government authorities.  That is not their fault of course as they are young and their parents maybe very busy or didn’t know this fact!  However if I was a parent, instead of wasting my daughter and son’s time and wasting my money I must be educated to make the correct decision, and I feel if every parent made sure that the children went to the correct place, everything will be fantastic, as no university will be complacent.  Of course the burden of being approved is very high so the universities will eventually have to increase their fees and may not be as competitive.

Compliance always comes with a cost, however to me I would rather pay a high price then waste my time and end up with a sub-standard degree.

I had to end my discussion with the washroom friends by mentioning my case as a person who changed her major five times, and how if I did what I liked I would have become an Outlier (Mr Malcom Gladwell must thank me and write me a check for making his book known to my students as most of them are buying his book now)