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ERIC Number: EJ1142099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-877X
A Qualitative Study of the UK Academic Role: Positive Features, Negative Aspects and Associated Stressors in a Mainly Teaching-Focused University
Darabi, Mitra; Macaskill, Ann; Reidy, Lisa
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v41 n4 p566-580 2017
The literature demonstrates that stress in the working life of academics has increased over recent years. However, qualitative research on how academics cope with this is very scarce. Using online interviewing with thematic analysis, this paper examines how 31 academics in a post-92 predominantly teaching-focused UK university cope with the stressors of work. An innovation was to ask about both positive and negative experiences at work unlike most stress research which focuses only on negatives. Six themes emerged from the data; administrative loads, coping with stress at work, task preferences, the academic role, and positive and negative feelings around research/scholarship and thoughts around leaving academia. Increases in student numbers, being able to spend less time with students, heavy workloads, increasing administration, poor management, funding cuts and government initiatives threatening the future of education, obtaining research funding, and increasing insecurity of academic posts were all stressors. Positives identified included satisfaction gained from teaching students, support from colleagues, relative autonomy at work and the ability to manage their time more effectively were perceived as factors that can moderate some of the negative consequences of work stress. Overall, academics reported being happy at work because of the satisfaction gained from teaching and research.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A