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UCU responds to university experience report

30 October 2006 | last updated: 15 December 2015

Ever increasing bureaucracy is putting enormous pressure on higher education staff, UCU said today in response to a report on the academic experience of students.

The report, 'The academic experience of students in English universities', comes from the Higher Education Policy Institute which commissioned a survey of more than 15,000 undergraduates.

In response, UCU joint general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'UCU research to be released later this week paints a worrying picture of how much time is spent by lecturers on teaching and research, compared to administrative duties. Our members complain of ever increasing bureaucracy and this combined with rising student numbers puts enormous pressure on staff, particularly now that students are paying for their studies.

'Academics rightly value their autonomy, but, with a recent poll showing that lecturers work the second highest levels of unpaid overtime of any profession, employers must recognise their responsibility to ensure both that staff are not working excessive hours and that students get a fair deal. Both students and staff want smaller class sizes, which comes as little surprise when one considers the student:staff ratio is now higher in universities than in our schools.

'Rising student numbers and increasing pressure to produce research mean that more staff are required, but universities should also agree guidelines on excessive workloads and working hours with UCU.'