I’m wondering how many small changes – by academics, and by institutions, could change this? And how much of it is self-driven?

Academics are suffering from growing stress levels as a result of heavy workloads, management issues and a long-hours culture, a survey has found.

Unachievable deadlines, acute time pressures and the need to work quickly were also common complaints identified by an occupational stress survey completed by more than 14,000 university employees.

Staff were asked by the University and College Union about areas that could potentially cause them stress, such as conflicting management demands, workloads and pressures on their time.

Academics experience far higher levels of stress in these areas than employees in other professions, the survey found.

On a scale of one to five, the stress level of university staff is 2.51 (when well-being is assessed on a scale of one to five, with one being the highest stress level).

This has worsened in the four years since the Health and Safety Executive’s report Psychosocial Working Conditions in Britain in 2008 found that, when it came to demands on their time, academics had a stress level of 2.61 compared with 3.52 in the overall economy.

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One Response

  1. Its been this way since I started in acadaemia at St Andrews in the 1980’s. Burnt out young academics have littered the campuses. With just 5 years to go I am in a last spurt to keep my job before the pension kicks in.

    I actually find the biggest problem is nepotism. If you are a friend of the prof you are smiled upon and your name added to papers, and if you belong to the ‘awkward squad’ you won’t get submitted to the REF as your work is ‘not of sufficient quality.’

    I’m in the second category! I am editor-in-chief of a journal, and will have 4 papers and an edited book out before end 2013. But I expect to be elided from the REF submission.

    If you know a 1990’s uni Comp Sci department wanting some top-up for the REF, please pass my name on!

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