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Author Topic: Shanghai Information Technology College  (Read 2102 times)

unterieben

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Shanghai Information Technology College
« on: November 07, 2015, 06:35:37 AM »
Hello all,

Does anyone have any information about Shanghai Information Technology College located in the Putuo district? Here is their website in English: http://www.shitac.net/sitcEn.action

Here are some notes about them and the position:

- Public institution
- Teach Oral English Monday-Friday and have weekends off for a total of 14 hours/week
- One would be the only foreign English teacher at the college.
- Contract runs from January 1, 2016 - January 31, 2017
- 40 minutes per class
- Classes begin at 8:15am and end at 4:20pm
- There are no office hours.
- No probationary period
- Overtime is optional with the consent of both parties. Rate is between 80-120 RMB/hr depending on the kind of work
- 7000 RMB salary
- 10000 RMB round-trip flight reimbursement. Paid back upon arriving at the college.
- 300 RMB monthly meal allowance on campus
- 2000 RMB travel allowance at end of contract
- 50-60 RMB is deducted as tax
- Holidays include: New Year's Day, Spring Festival, Labor Day, National Day and other holidays stipulated by laws and regulations
- They will not reimburse the Z-visa fee, but will pay for all permits in China.
- Comprehensive Medical Insurance for Foreigners
- No curfew for teachers; students are required to not leave after 8:00pm
- Free, private on-campus housing includes furniture, bedding, household appliances, internet interface, bathroom, but shared kitchen and laundry room

Thoughts or feedback?

AMonk

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 09:16:51 AM »
Looks mostly OK to me.  If I may suggest a couple of points to clarify?

Ask about timetabling of classes.  You don't want them to be 40 or 80 minutes apart (or more), so that you are hanging around, twiddling your thumbs for half the day. 

Ask for pictures of the accommodation.  You may/may not get an accurate view, but you will at least have a frame of reference.  AND if/when you arrive, take as many pictures of the room(s) as you can.  Some places may want to charge you for "damages" when the time comes for you to leave.
Check to see who pays for water/electricity.
Are there any provisions for housekeeping in the common/shared areas?

What if you do NOT want to stay in the on-campus housing? 

What about any "company" you may wish to have over?
Moderation....in most things...

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 11:07:03 AM »
Do they really have a plaque celebrating their "Austrian-Chinese" Modern Apprenticeship Project?

Meanwhile, under news...

When the Business Department meets the new semester, it also welcomes the new foreign teacher--Sara. Sara teaches “Contemporary Business English” in three classes which are 123701, 133701 and 133702, bringing in something fresh and clear.
The mostly-applied approach Sara would use is the interaction with students in English. She combined strict teaching and relaxed activity and managed to instruct plain business knowledge in a cheerful atmosphere, presenting colorful business English lessons. The amiable way made students happier in studying. Sara designed various outdoor games to exercise English, teaching through lively and interesting activities.
This young foreign teacher impressed the students in her own unique way and has maintained high popularity. Happy laughter could always be heard in Sara’s class.


So... high school kids?
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...

unterieben

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2015, 04:49:05 PM »
Regarding timetables, they said that I may have a different schedule every day. I wouldn't necessarily start at 8:15am, and I would sometimes have a weekday off depending on the schedule, just to name a couple examples.

Forgot to mention that I did ask for pictures. Accommodation seems clean and well-kept.
Utilities are covered by the school - forgot that also!
Good suggestions about taking pictures upon arrival and housekeeping provisions. I will clarify.

Not staying in the off-campus housing isn't mentioned in the contract in terms of an optional housing allowance; however, I would prefer to stay on-campus because of Shanghai's cost of living. Plus there are some things I wish to study for in my own time, so an academic environment would be conducive to that.

I did not ask about guests; it did not cross my mind actually.

It would seem that they are high school aged Calach, yet it is a vocational college.

I also forgot to mention in my initial post that there would be between 20-30 students per class.


Here are some things that concern me:

They will not provide me with the contact information of a current foreign teacher because it is not "normal" for them to do so. However, the other side of the coin is that you don't know if the current teacher is reliable and is just spinning things in a positive light to help the college out. When I taught in Korea, the teacher I emailed before coming over was not very forthcoming about the work environment as I later found out first-hand. I searched on LinkedIn and found two former teachers who taught there, so I tried messaging them on Facebook on 10/24, but neither of them have bothered to respond to me.

Originally, the job ad stated that the contract end date would be on December 31, 2016. Throughout out the interview and various email exchanges following the interview, I was under the impression that this was the case the entire time. However, they suddenly decided to change the end date to June 30, 2017 just a couple of days ago without telling me beforehand. I discovered it myself when reviewing the final contract they sent me. They say it is more convenient for their academic year if the contract expires at the end of the summer semester. Fortunately, I was able to negotiate this date to January 31, 2017 with the assistance of the recruiter.

As it stands right now, the college is preparing a new contract with the modified dates. Additionally, I've also asked them to include provisions saying that the school's financial department will handle taxes, and that overtime is always optional with the consent of both parties.

The Primer on Chinese Teaching Contracts post has been very helpful in evaluating this contract by the way.

Here are some additional notes:

AMonk

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2015, 07:05:29 PM »
Fortunately, I was able to negotiate this date to January 31, 2017 with the assistance of the recruiter.

... the recruiter ...?? aoaoaoaoao  You are using a recruiter? :wtf: We do NOT recommend that anyone use any recruiter at any time.  Quite the opposite, in fact. kkkkkkkkkk llllllllll We support, advocate and encourage Members to deal directly with their prospective employers. bfbfbfbfbf agagagagag

As for Shanghai being an expensive place to live - yes, it is.  However the College may be located as far away as a 2-hour drive from the city.  Please double check this with other Members, and ask the College questions like ~ Where is the nearest MacDonald's?  Is it hard to get to Ikea from my apartment?  Where is the nearest bookstore-with-English-books?  How long will it take me to get to a good restaurant? Movie theatre? Bike dealership?  What will a taxi ride cost me to the main train station?  How long is the ride from the airport?
Moderation....in most things...

unterieben

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2015, 08:08:48 PM »
From what I can see on Google Maps, the college is fairly centrally located. Then again, I have never been to Shanghai, so others with first-hand knowledge of the city might want to chime in. The ad states that it is a five minute walk to Qilianshan Road station of Line 11 in the Putuo District.

Yes using a recruiter is risky business, but he has 21 recommendations on LinkedIn from teachers who have worked with him in the past. I also searched the blacklists on China Foreign Teachers Union for any sign of the college and the recruiter but found nothing. Not a comprehensive list by any means, but it is certainly a good thing that neither entity are present on there.

Thoughts on my two concerns regarding the abrupt change in contract end date and not providing contact info of a current foreign teacher?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 08:14:39 PM by unterieben »

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 11:14:32 PM »
Yes, the forum discourages the use of any recruiter, but I think most people are aware that some recruiters are better than others. Haven't heard of the recruiter that you have linked to. You've obviously done some research into the place and the recruiter. That doesn't guarantee that you will have a good experience, but it makes your odds significantly better.

That said, I do think that not providing the details of a previous teacher is (for me) a red flag. As you say, it's not a perfect way to find out about things, and if the school only employ one teacher at a time, they may only have had bad experiences in the recent past through no fault of their own. A lot of foreign teachers in China are appalling (as are many of the employers as I'm sure you realise), so in this particular case it probably wouldn't accomplish much to insist on it.

Shanghai is very expensive. I have never lived there, and I would have thought that there were cheaper options. Then again, if you want to live and work in Shanghai, you're probably not that keen on living like a native. If you think you're going to spend all your time in western bars and restaurants, you should bear in mind that the prices won't be that much different from The West. (More expensive in many cases).

As for the change in contract end date, it doesn't sound particularly important. Some schools like to have their contracts start in the autumn, and they probably just wanted to tie you in for longer. No biggie.

You haven't mentioned whether you'll be paid during holidays.

unterieben

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2015, 01:03:55 AM »
Yeah I definitely want to do my due diligence as far as the vetting process is concerned.

My first teaching position was in a small city in South Korea of about 125,000 people, so I've done the local experience before. Looking for a change of pace this time around, but I don't see myself indulging in the nightlife too much. Moreover, I want to have easy access to the new Shanghai Disney Resort when it opens.   akakakakak

I would opt to make the most of my meal allowance and save money by eating on campus in any case.

They are paid holidays, but I should make sure that the contract specifies it.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2015, 01:23:17 AM »
My thoughts are, basically, if you're on top of your teaching, this could be a functional base in Shanghai. If you don't know what you're teaching or you're not sure how you're going to be teaching, a private/vocational setting with high school kids will likely be fairly unforgiving. Vocational training is a thing now though so maybe the place could be legit, red flags notwithstanding.
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...

unterieben

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 02:14:33 AM »
My thoughts are, basically, if you're on top of your teaching, this could be a functional base in Shanghai. If you don't know what you're teaching or you're not sure how you're going to be teaching, a private/vocational setting with high school kids will likely be fairly unforgiving. Vocational training is a thing now though so maybe the place could be legit, red flags notwithstanding.

Good points. The college is public, not private though.

Let's see if they produce a more satisfactory contract this time around....I will keep you all updated on the negotiations.

Much thanks for the feedback! Glad I joined this forum.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 03:07:07 AM »
Public, eh? (Oh, you said so right at the top too  bibibibibi- the website just struck me as private school style.) So is it a high school or a vocational college? If it's a high school, are the students aimed at the gaokao? If it's a vocational college, is it for students who didn't make the gaokao cut and couldn't enter other universities? Those kinds of places can be hard work. But it is worth noting that students in China really are looking to vocational training these days. There's even a trend to finish real university and then go to some vocational place to get actual employability.
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...

unterieben

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 03:40:17 AM »
I'm pretty sure it's a vocational college. Google Maps lists it as a "technical school."

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2015, 06:36:30 AM »
Welp, according to the internet (Vocational Education in China), China has three recognised levels of vocational school: junior secondary, senior secondary and tertiary. They might even be places worth teaching at in as much as that kind of schooling is in focus right now.

Anyway, the reason for raising any of this is there has in the past been a lot of shonky schooling offered in China. Aside from the public system being based on socialist factory models, the hunger for betterment in this wide yellow land has spawned many a rip-off organization that, with the very poor policing we have here and the general absence of standards, haven't really been distinguished from real educators. Bad schools can last a long time. Thus, the general advice in China to be wary of "private", to think carefully about contracts, and to worry about recruiters.

But this place you've found, with the truly wonderful web address, might actually be okay. The salary's maybe a bit low, though with accommodation provided, maybe it's okay. If everything else checks out, and the location's not too awful, it might be worth having a try, especially if there is something vocational that you want to teach.
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...

unterieben

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2015, 05:21:02 PM »
Ah thanks for the info on vocational education.

They sent me an updated contract last night, but they only included a section about paid summer/winter vacation. Thus, I am still looking for them to include/clarify:
  • End date changed to January 2017
  • A sentence stating that the school's financial department will handle taxes
  • A sentence stating that overtime is always optional with the consent of both parties
  • Whether or not all holidays are paid, not just summer/winter vacation
Also, they mentioned that I would sign two identical contracts - one prior to leaving the US in order to get the paperwork started and the other once I arrive in Shanghai. Prior to leaving for Korea, I signed everything beforehand. Is this standard procedure in China?

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Shanghai Information Technology College
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2015, 02:03:25 AM »
Ah thanks for the info on vocational education.

They sent me an updated contract last night, but they only included a section about paid summer/winter vacation. Thus, I am still looking for them to include/clarify:
  • End date changed to January 2017

Wait, your understanding is the contract is Jan 2016 to Jan 2017, but their apparent understanding is Jan 2016 to JUNE 2017? Your understanding is the contract runs 12 months, and they seem to think it runs 18? That's probably a clerical error, but yeah, better get it clarified.

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  • A sentence stating that the school's financial department will handle taxes

That could almost be assumed, but I suppose it's worth having a statement.

Quote
  • A sentence stating that overtime is always optional with the consent of both parties

In practice it probably will be optional. Getting a guarantee is like telling them you won't do extra work. Then again, some schools abuse overtime, so getting a statement could be good.

Quote
  • Whether or not all holidays are paid, not just summer/winter vacation

You mean the public holidays? You could almost assume that, unless you're working by the hour.

Quote
Also, they mentioned that I would sign two identical contracts - one prior to leaving the US in order to get the paperwork started and the other once I arrive in Shanghai. Prior to leaving for Korea, I signed everything beforehand. Is this standard procedure in China?

It is. Why it happens that way has something to do with bureaucratic procedures and is not, as far as I know, any kind of recommended legal practice. Probably the second contract will be the real contract. It will be accompanied by a Chinese version and will, eventually, probably not in front of you, be signed and stamped by the school. Yes, it certainly is a dodgy practice and requires a lot of you. We could make apologies for the parlous state of the Chinese legal and administrative systems, but that'd be just another prop allowing them to not get better. In any case, perhaps it is best to assume that what you are looking at and "signing" now is more a memorandum than a contract.
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...