Higher education staff under greatest workplace stress

University and higher education staff are suffering stress levels considerably higher than most of the British working population, as long hours, intense workloads and budgetary cuts erode their health and wellbeing, a union has warned.

A survey of 14,000 higher education academic and academic-related staff carried out by the University and College Union (UCU) found that – of a range of 1.00 to 5.00, where 1.00 was highest stress/lowest wellbeing and 5.00 the lowest stress/highest wellbeing – the average for UCU members was 2.51, compared with 3.65 for the general population.

For example, the survey found, more than half of all full-time respondents at the University of East London, Oxford Brookes University and Canterbury Christ Church University worked, on average, more than 50 hours per week. At another 72 institutions, more than 30% of full-time respondents reported working more than 50 hours per week.

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