ERIC Number: ED213304
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
The Academic Life: University Teachers Talk about Their Work.
Powell, J. P.; And Others
Views were surveyed of 24 academics from the Faculties of Arts and Sciences of the University of New South Wales, Australia, on the ways in which their professional lives were being affected by the current recession in higher education. The comments cluster around seven topics: teaching, students, research, colleagues, career prospects, the university, and the quality of academic life. A notable finding from the interviews is what they reveal about the relationship between the perceived realities of university life and the preferred working environment of academics. Most people derived considerable satisfaction from teaching yet many indicated that they felt that this was undervalued by the institution. Many respondents attached significance to social relationships and a sense of community but felt that their daily experience of these was less than optimal. There was a feeling that institutional arrangements largely failed to recognize their need to participate more fully in decision-making and policy formation. The broader significance and worth of their scholarly and teaching activities were perceived as being increasingly undervalued by the community at large. Growing and competing demands on their time were seen to be making it increasingly difficult to give adequate attention to the various elements in their professional role. The findings suggest a widening gap between academic ideals and the realities of daily experience that is likely to lead to frustration and a dissatisfaction that in turn will weaken morale. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New South Wales Univ., Kensington (Australia). Tertiary Education Research Centre.