Protect Your Academic Freedom

rickvanderzwet-mortarboard-300pxTake The Survey With A Chance To Win £100 To Spend At John Lewis

The survey has been designed as part of a UCU initiative which seeks to provide improved help and guidance for UCU members in respect to their academic freedom rights and responsibilities. The findings arising from the survey will help the UCU both to develop a new national policy on academic freedom, and to produce appropriate support and training materials concerning academic freedom, for use by UCU members.

Take the survey by clicking here, with a chance to win £100 to spend at John Lewis

National Senior Management Survey

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What is the National Senior Management Survey?

The National Senior Management Survey has been launched as a tool for academic staff around the UK to complete on the practices of their senior management team. The survey seeks to move the gaze from the narrow metrics of staff performance to the senior management teams who set the conditions through which staff performance becomes possible. In so doing it seeks to ask questions of the current trajectory of higher education in the UK and to broaden debate about what universities should and could be for our students.

Please click here to complete the survey or select it from the Workload menu

Workload Survey Results

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Survey Highlights Worrying Concerns Over Workload

UCU has published a survey taken by staff, highlighting some real concerns over workload and stress in the workplace. The major findings are as follows:

  1. staff in both the higher education and further education sectors are working an average of more than two days unpaid every week
  2. workload is unmanageable and unsustainable for the majority of academic staff and lecturers
  3. staff are taking on more responsibility and administration
  4. student expectations have increased
  5. professional and career development is suffering as a result of increasing workload pressures.

The full story may be found here

Know Your Contract

As workload increases with increasing pressures in both teaching and research, it pays to know how your contract protects you. Take a look at our section on the Post-92 contract which applies to Lecturers, Senior Lecturers and Principal Lecturers.

Is It All Getting Too Much?

Don’t forget that our friendly UCU representatives are here to help. If you’re not already a member, you can join UCU by clicking here. Contact our representatives by clicking here.

 

Staff Views On Lecture Capture Published

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The results are in!

Huddersfield University’s academic staff (all of whom are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy) have been surveyed by UCU with regards to the proposed lecture capture system. Their professional opinion is summarized in the document below.

Click here for the survey results

 Key Points

  • 73% of staff surveyed believe that attendance at lectures would go down. This might have a negative impact on the experience of students attending lectures. Part of the enjoyment of a lecture is the contact with fellow students.
  • 85% of staff surveyed believe that lecture capture would involve a lot of extra work in editing etc. Perhaps staff would prefer to be concentrating on providing more face-to-face contact with students rather than editing video.
  • 65% of staff surveyed think this doesn’t represent value for money for the student. If the university starts to rely more and more upon recordings of lectures, the quality of which is not guaranteed (especially without editing), how will students feel about this?
  • 77% of staff surveyed believe that it will lead to a stultified (boring) and less spontaneous lecture experience. 75% of staff surveyed said it will lead to an uncomfortable and self-conscious experience for staff and students. There will be less humour, everyone (staff and students) will be on edge about everything said in the lecture because they know that it will be recorded.
  • 80% of staff surveyed said it will lead to students becoming more reluctant to participate in lectures. It’s not just the staff being recorded here!
  • 78% of staff surveyed believe many lectures with sensitive material will no longer have full and frank discussions. This is a major loss to a university where the whole idea is to debate openly and freely.

What Are We Asking For?

  • UCU is not against Lecture Capture per se, nor are we attempting to speak on behalf of students. We might comment on what students have mentioned or not mentioned to us, which is not the same as speaking on behalf of students.
  • UCU are asking for academics to be treated with respect as professionals and for their ability to judge the suitability and quality of teaching materials, and to have control over which materials they publish.
  • UCU are asking for academics to have their legal rights upheld, which (as with all performers) includes the legal right to decide whether or not they wish to be recorded.

Lecture Capture

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We Urgently Need Your Opinion

 Please complete our short survey by clicking here

Is lecture capture best for you and best for the students?

Will lecture capture affect the quality / content / flow of your teaching adversely or positively?

Do you have concerns about how the material might be used?

Will lecture capture enhance the staff/student experience or hinder it?

What are your views on student attendance if lecture capture is introduced?

The university is intending to introduce a system of lecture capture in all lectures and in many other teaching situations. UCU is gathering opinions on the proposal and we invite you to please spend a few minutes completing our survey by clicking on the link here. The survey is being run by UCU but we encourage all staff to participate in order to help establish a clear picture of views across the university.

It won’t take long. Your opinion is important. Please complete the survey. Spread the word!