University Lecturers Facing High Levels Of Stress Over Excessive Workloads

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STRESSED UNIVERSITY LECTURERS
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Heavy workloads and lack of time are making university lecturers more stressed, research suggests.

Four-fifths (81%) of those working at UK universities found the job stressful in 2010, according to a study by the University and College Union (UCU).

This is up from three in four (74%) who said the same in 2008.

The study is based on a survey of UCU members working in further and higher education.

It found that for those working in universities, the main reasons for unacceptable levels of stress or frustration were a lack of time to conduct research, excessive workloads and unreasonable expectations from students, colleagues and managers.

Around 73% of university lecturers said they had unachievable deadlines at least sometimes, while 89% said they end up neglecting some tasks because they have too much to do on at least some occasions.

Two thirds (66%) said they are unable to take enough breaks sometimes, often or always.

And just a quarter (24%) said they are seldom or never pressured to work long hours.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: "It is not acceptable that four-fifths of university staff find their jobs stressful or that only half can say they've never been bullied at work. Universities are getting a reputation as stressful places to work and this report reveals that the problem is getting worse.

"As we enter uncertain and challenging times in higher education we need universities to start taking the problem seriously. We hope institutions will engage with UCU branches during our stress week with a view to tackling the issues raised in the report."

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