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‘This can’t be the new norm’: academics’ perspectives on the COVID-19 crisis for the Australian university sector
Higher Education Research & Development, Volume: 41, Issue: 7, Pages: 2231 - 2246
Swansea University Authors: Cathryn Knight , Tom Crick
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DOI (Published version): 10.1080/07294360.2021.1973384
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the university sector across the world. This article reports on the Australian findings from a large-scale survey of academic staff and their experiences and predictions of the impact of the pandemic on their wellbeing. We report the perceptions of n=370...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the university sector across the world. This article reports on the Australian findings from a large-scale survey of academic staff and their experiences and predictions of the impact of the pandemic on their wellbeing. We report the perceptions of n=370 Australian academics and their accounts of the response of their institutions to the COVID-19 crisis, analysed using self-determination theory. Respondents report work-related stress, digital fatigue, and a negative impact on work-life balance; as well as significant concerns over potential longer-term changes to academia as a result of the pandemic. Respondents also articulate their frustration with Australia’s neoliberal policy architecture and the myopia of quasi-market reform, which has spawned an excessive reliance on international students as a pillar of income generation, and therefore jeopardised institutional solvency – particularly during the pandemic. Conversely, respondents identify a number of 'silver linings' which speak to the resilience of academics.
Author accepted version available from: https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/en/publications/this-cant-be-the-new-norm-academics-perspectives-on-the-covid-19-
COVID-19; academics; Australia; wellbeing; self-determination theory
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences