Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Academic Workloads

I've been watching a debate hot up on the THE website in response to an article about academic workloads. The research for the article suggests that academics' working hours (in the UK, where the study was done) have remained fairly stable over the past few decades, averaging about 55 hours per week. What has changed is the proportion of administrative duties that academics undertake (up now to just over 30% of their workload).

These findings are interesting and are certainly generating much discussion on the website. What is somewhat depressing is to see the old chestnut of the administrative/academic divide generating some sarcastic comments again. There is obviously distrust on both sides with some academics suggesting that an unnecessary layer of middle management is causing the burden, while others are taking pot shots at academics as whinging skivers. You would think there would be some way to help bridge this perception gap.

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