Indeed, after many years of part-time teaching – it’s somewhat easier if you already work in the institution and so have those facilities available, but it’s hard work:
Part-time teachers are not getting the support they require from university departments, despite their growing importance within the academy.
Although around 40 per cent of staff in higher education work part-time, they tend not to receive the level of academic or administrative support supplied to their full-time peers, according to a paper delivered at the Society for Research into Higher Education’s annual conference.
Amanda Gilbert, lecturer in academic development at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and Fran Beaton, senior lecturer in higher education and academic practice at the University of Kent, interviewed dozens of part-time lecturers for a book, Developing Effective Part-time Teachers in Higher Education: New Approaches to Professional Development, which was published in October.
Presenting a paper about their findings at the SRHE conference, held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, Dr Gilbert and Ms Beaton said that universities had to do more to ensure that part-time staff were treated equitably.
A lack of office space or administrative support was a frequent complaint among their interviewees, Ms Beaton told delegates on 13 December.
“Many people told us: ‘My car boot or bicycle basket is my office’,” she said. “Universities need to have a clear strategy for how part-time teachers are recruited and…where they will work.”
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.