“I think there is no hope for the university - that is why I have resigned. It will continue the descent in a self-destructive spiral. This was already happening pre Covid-19 - this has just accelerated the process.”
– A New Zealand Academic
Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union has released the third iteration of its ‘Tertiary Lives’ survey reports, looking at the impact of COVID-19 on those working in the tertiary education sector.
From 1,021 responses to this survey in April and May this year, including 615 from universities, 232 from polytechnics , 29 from Wānanga and 15 from other institutions; 85% expressed moderate to high and very high stress. And only 3% said stress was not relevant.
TEU Tumu Whakarae – Tina Smith says “this is not just an ordinary report on the effects of COVID-19 and COVID-19 generated policy. It is a story of the undoing of Aotearoa’s tertiary education system that preceded COVID-19.”
“The responses illustrate the impact on staff in the tertiary education sector of four processes – a major government restructuring of the ITP sector; persistent restructuring across the entire tertiary education sector due to funding inadequacy; the ills caused by a competitive environment; and the sector’s response to a pandemic. These four processes have intertwined to produce a troubled sector.”
“Workload demands, reduced staffing levels, and difficulty maintaining a satisfactory work life balance were listed as the major causes of stress in our sector. These are all caused by structural failings. But sadly only 3% of respondents felt management was taking high stress levels seriously.”
The data for the 2021 survey was gathered prior to the recent Delta outbreak.