Engaging with arranged marriages: A lesson for transnational higher education

Carrie Amani Annabi, Amanda McStay, Allyson Noble, Maha Sidahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose
High levels of absenteeism have been observed amongst male students attending two transnational higher education institutions (TNHE) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). One reason offered is an obligation to attend engagement ceremonies. Many ceremonies are linked to arranged marriages. This study contradicts assumptions that suggest higher education reduces arranged marriages, and also highlights that university policies overlook cultural nuances.
Design/methodology/approach
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 male postgraduate students aged between 22 and 45. Content analysis was used to analyse and interpret the data.
Findings
Several interviewees chose to have an arranged marriage and some saw their postgraduate studies as an opportunity to have a better chance of securing a wife. Equally, several students felt that university policies were unsympathetic to cultural obligations.
Research limitations/implications
This research was restricted to male students from two TNHE institutes in the UAE.
Practical implications
This research provides insight for TNHE managers by providing student centric research into cultural reasons that prevent student attendance.
Social implications
TNHE is not fully responsive to familial obligations within collective societies. In consequence, there has been a lack of sympathy within policies regarding students’ requirement to fulfil cultural commitments.
Originality/value
The article explores the challenges of creating culturally sensitive educational policy and practices.
LanguageEnglish
Pages284-297
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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marriage
education
university policy
student
obligation
United Arab Emirates
post-graduate studies
absenteeism
sympathy
educational practice
educational policy
wife
content analysis
manager
commitment
lack
methodology
interview
society

Cite this

Annabi, Carrie Amani ; McStay, Amanda ; Noble, Allyson ; Sidahmed, Maha. / Engaging with arranged marriages: A lesson for transnational higher education. In: International Journal of Educational Management. 2018 ; Vol. 32, No. 2. pp. 284-297.
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Engaging with arranged marriages: A lesson for transnational higher education. / Annabi, Carrie Amani; McStay, Amanda; Noble, Allyson; Sidahmed, Maha.

In: International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 32, No. 2, 01.01.2018, p. 284-297.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Noble, Allyson

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AB - PurposeHigh levels of absenteeism have been observed amongst male students attending two transnational higher education institutions (TNHE) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). One reason offered is an obligation to attend engagement ceremonies. Many ceremonies are linked to arranged marriages. This study contradicts assumptions that suggest higher education reduces arranged marriages, and also highlights that university policies overlook cultural nuances. Design/methodology/approach Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 male postgraduate students aged between 22 and 45. Content analysis was used to analyse and interpret the data. FindingsSeveral interviewees chose to have an arranged marriage and some saw their postgraduate studies as an opportunity to have a better chance of securing a wife. Equally, several students felt that university policies were unsympathetic to cultural obligations. Research limitations/implications This research was restricted to male students from two TNHE institutes in the UAE.Practical implicationsThis research provides insight for TNHE managers by providing student centric research into cultural reasons that prevent student attendance. Social implicationsTNHE is not fully responsive to familial obligations within collective societies. In consequence, there has been a lack of sympathy within policies regarding students’ requirement to fulfil cultural commitments.Originality/valueThe article explores the challenges of creating culturally sensitive educational policy and practices.

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