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‘This can’t be the new norm’: academics’ perspectives on the COVID-19 crisis for the Australian university sector

Fiona McGaughey, Richard Watermeyer, Kalpana Shankar, Venkata Ratnadeep Suri, Cathryn Knight Orcid Logo, Tom Crick Orcid Logo, Joanne Hardman, Dean Phelan, Roger Chung

Higher Education Research & Development, Pages: 1 - 16

Swansea University Authors: Cathryn Knight Orcid Logo, Tom Crick Orcid Logo

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Abstract

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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Published in: Higher Education Research & Development
ISSN: 0729-4360 1469-8366
Published: Informa UK Limited 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa57542
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Abstract: 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.
Item Description: 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-
Keywords: COVID-19; academics; Australia; wellbeing; self-determination theory
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Start Page: 1
End Page: 16