2015/11/04

[Thoughts] "Universities become increasingly businesslike"

I read recently this article from "The Guardian" which is putting words on a recurrent feeling that I had for some long time (probably for the last 8 years), that the managers of the university of Chile (and more generally of the academic life in Chile, and to some extent in the world) are trying to reproduce production models from the business world (e.g. producing cars) to a world which, as its very fundation is creativity (e.g. inventing new types of tools), as much more to do with artistic models.

It is an interesting read, but in case you are to stressed out to take the time to read it, here are some selected quotes which ringed a bell for me:


"research indicating nearly half of academics show symptoms of psychological distress."

"instances of depression, sleep issues, eating disorders, alcoholism, self-harming, and even suicide attempts"

"growing stress levels among academics prompted by heavy workloads, a long hours culture and conflicting management demands."

"Academics experience higher stress than those in the wider population"

"chair of the higher education occupational physicians committee, blamed <> for rising levels of mental health problems among academics."

"feeling guilty if they're not working seven days a week."

"Academics and researchers can become isolated and not realise how "out of kilter" their working lives are"

"There's still a degree of 'if you can't stand the heat, you shouldn't be here'," (...) "still people in senior positions in academia who actually don't care".

"notion of students as customers" an administrative of the department truly referred to students as customers.

"universities become increasingly businesslike"

"Some of our supervisors publicly and proudly exchanged stories of failed marriages as if this was the ultimate proof of their devotion to research"
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