A new survey recently undertaken by Times Higher Education (THE) has revealed that almost one third of university staff across the country are unhappy and want to leave their role.
THE undertook the detailed survey to assess the situation of employment in higher education institutions. The ‘THE Best University Workplace Survey’ was carried out on more than 4,500 higher education staff in total, and almost one-third (31 per cent) of academics stated that they were considering quitting their job.
Furthermore 27 per cent of professional support staff at universities also said that they were contemplating leaving. 32 per cent of university employees overall feel that their job is at risk.
However, this sentiment varies depending upon the field of work in which staff are employed. Academics working in education are the most likely to want to leave, with 39 per cent voicing their discontent. 37 per cent of those working in the creative arts and 34 per cent working in social sciences would also consider switching roles.
By contrast, academics working in technology and engineering feel the most secure, with only 25 per cent of respondents suggesting that they would consider leaving their job.
An early-career researcher working in a Scottish university is quoted in the THE report as saying that their institution had “sidelined, belittled and ignored me and left me isolated,” and that, as a result, they could not wait to leave.
Additionally, an academic working in the social sciences at a post-Polytechnic era university in the Midlands commented that “in spite of the satisfaction brought about by teaching and great relations with students and my immediate colleagues, several of my colleagues have left or are trying to leave, and I intend to do the same.”
Among academics, those working in the creative arts, arts and humanities and education were more likely than others to disagree with the statement that ‘my job feels secure’; more than 40 per cent of respondents in these disciplines stated that they had concerns about their job security.
However, those working in physics, biology and maths were the least worried, with only 32 per cent of academics in these areas feeling insecure in their job.
The last York staff survey was conducted in 2011. The highest levels of staff engagement were found in the Philosophy department, with 92 per cent of those surveyed responded positively. History of Art and Archaeology also displayed high levels of staff engagement, with 92 per cent and 88 per cent respectively.
Those departments with the lowest levels of engagement were Politics, York Management School, and History at 63 per cent, 62 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.
According to the University report the engagement index is based on the work itself, the senior management group and equal opportunities amongst other factors. The next survey will take place in May.