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

Fiona McGaughey, Richard P Watermeyer, Kalpana Shankar, Venkata Ratnadeep Suri, Cathryn Knight, Tom Crick, Joanne Hardman, Dean Phelan, Roger Yat-Nork Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the university sector globally. 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 accounts of their institutions’ responses to COVID-19, 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 HERDSA.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • academics
  • Australia
  • wellbeing
  • self-determination theory

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '‘This can’t be the new norm’: academics’ perspectives on the COVID-19 crisis for the Australian University Sector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this