Of metrics and kindness in the academy
September and October this year have seen another round of academics on Twitter announcing their withdrawal from academia. And I have met quite a number of doctoral students whose very last option for a career would be a university post. It’s not even a brain drain overseas – new graduates understand the performance-managed, metricized, casualized, marketized university is global. We see the emergence of a generational refusal to pledge lives and wellbeing to institutions which reward dedication and loyalty with excessive workloads, unattainable expectations coded as ‘performance’ but which in all reality obscure the actual work of research and teaching.
When I wrote the HEPI report Pressure Vessels in May of 2019, one
reviewer said it read like a UCU rant. In fact, the assertions are fully
supported by universities’ own figures showing the year-on-year increase in
referrals to occupational health and counselling services. The conclusion –
that universities are…
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