The mental and physical health cost of higher education

Posted in Life on October 1st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“It’s not controversial to say that education is a boon to society. We dedicate years of our life to learning valuable skills which we then in turn use to benefit ourselves and those around us. But more and more we are seeing how the stress and immense pressure created by education, especially higher education, is having a severely detrimental effect on students …” (more)

[Mark Doran, University Observer, 1 October]

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For Puppy Rooms, No Bark or Bite, Just Simply Bad Taste

Posted in Governance and administration on October 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Everyone loves dogs. More than ever with online crazes from WeRateDogs™ to Doge, dogs have become one of the most universally wholesome and inoffensive hobbies to have. And who wouldn’t love them? …” (more)

[Ciannait Khan, University Times, 25 October]

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University exam stress: ‘I’ve seen many of my friends turn to ADHD drugs’

Posted in Life on May 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Your university years may be the best of your life, but they will also be peppered with exam stress. Exams loom large in the lives of students and I’m writing this to bring some attention to the unhealthy and outdated term structure in our universities …” (more)

[, 14 May]

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Women in STEM ‘more likely to burn out’

Posted in Life on January 26th, 2017 by steve

“Women working in university science departments report higher levels of job-related burnout than men, suggests new research. The study points to reasons why women working in science might leave academia and offers ways for universities to better support them …” (more)

[Holly Else, Times Higher Education, 25 January]

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Stress being placed on young people by points race raises risk of suicide

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life on May 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“An obsession with getting the highest points possible is putting huge pressure on the mental health of our children, a leading child psychiatrist has warned …” (more)

[Allison Bray, Independent, 17 May]

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Colleges focus on helping students to relieve stress

Posted in Governance and administration on May 2nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Playing with puppies. Free yoga classes. Social media ‘holidays’. Mindfulness tips. These are just some of the ways colleges and universities are trying to ease the frazzled nerves of students as they face into their end-of-year exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 May]

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New teachers in mentoring scheme showing reduced stress levels

Posted in Teaching on March 2nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“New teachers who have taken part in a new mentoring programme show greater levels of improvement and lower levels of stress than other newly-qualified teachers, research shows. An ESRI report published on Wednesday examines the performance of the Droichead programme in which experienced teaching staff play a key role in supporting and assessing new teachers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 March]

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‘Email overload’ risks ’emotional exhaustion’ for academics

Posted in Life on January 8th, 2016 by steve

UK“A culture of being ‘always available’ can have a devastating impact on the stress levels, work-life balance and job performance of those working within universities. That was the central contention of Gail Kinman, professor of occupational health psychology …” (more)

[Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 8 January]

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High costs stressing students out

Posted in Life on October 20th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“More than seven in 10 students said the high cost of college causes them anxiety or stress. And 95.3% of students think the cost of college is too high at €11,000 per year …” (more)

[Independent, 20 October]

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Aidan Kenny, ‘Work-related Stress: Survey of academic staff in the Institutes of Technology sector’

Posted in Life on July 13th, 2015 by steve

IrelandAbstract: This article presents findings from a survey of professional workers in the institutes of technology sector in Ireland regarding work-related stress. The research instrument was based on a work-related stress questionnaire developed by the UK Health and Safety Executive, augmented with a specific subset of questions relevant to the Irish higher education sector. The questionnaire format was modified to enable online delivery. It was distributed to a sample population in 2014 with a response rate over 30% (n=1,131). The research provides baseline data on work-related stress levels experienced by workers in this sector. The results associate increased levels of risk of work-related stress in circumstances of poor consultation, lack of engagement with staff, excessive workload, demanding task with unrealistic deadlines and lack of support provided by management. Low risk levels were associated with peer support and relationships. Good social relations between workers seem to assist in the alleviation of the risk. The results support established research into work-related stress which claims that developing supportive working environments and work cultures can greatly assist in the reduction of risk levels.”

Recommended Citation: Kenny A. (2015) Work-related Stress: Survey of academic staff in the Institutes of Technology Sector, DIT Level3, Issue 13, June 2015.

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TUI Study on Work-related Stress Experiences of Academics in the Institutes of Technology Sector

Posted in Governance and administration on June 18th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The study is the preliminary phase of a campaign on work-related stress seeking to inform members, advise branches and seek employers to fulfil their obligations. The survey results will be used as baseline data for comparative analysis …” (more, download)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 18 June]

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Trinity College’s puppy room proved to be a huge success again

Posted in Governance and administration on April 20th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Over 400 students visited the puppy and dog room set up by the Students’ Union at Trinity College Dublin last week. It was the second year in a row that this event – organised by Peata Ireland, a voluntary organisation that arranges pet visits to caring institutions – took place on Trinity campus …” (more)

[Gianluca Avagnina,, 19 April]

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Lecturers experience high levels of work-related stress

Posted in Governance and administration on April 6th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Lecturers in institutes of technology are experiencing high levels of work-related stress as a result of cutbacks, additional working hours and rationalisation measures in the sector, according to the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) …” (more)

[Independent, 6 April]

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Survey finds stress levels rising among IT staff

Posted in Life on April 5th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A new survey has found that lecturers in Institutes of Technology are experiencing high levels of work related stress due to cutbacks in the sector. This research was carried out by the TUI in December 2014 with over a thousand responses received …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 5 April]

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Time to take the stress out of academic life?

Posted in Life on October 20th, 2014 by steve

Scotland“Out there in what some still call the ‘real world’, there are many who will profess to believe that an academic’s life is full of relaxed days and pleasant comforts …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 20 October]

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Stress in sixth year makes transition to third level more difficult, says ESRI

Posted in Life on August 12th, 2014 by steve

“Young people who had high stress in sixth year or who favoured studying at home experienced greatest difficulty in making the transition to higher education, the ESRI’s Leaving School in Ireland report has found …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 12 August]

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‘There is nothing worse than points race stress’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 12th, 2014 by steve

“Stress levels that Leaving Certificate candidates endure in sixth year are worse than anything they have experienced by their early 20s, even if they are preparing for final college exams or are unemployed …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly
, Independent, 12 August]

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Predictors of depression, stress, and anxiety among non-tenure track faculty

Posted in Research on August 7th, 2014 by steve

Abstract: Nationwide in the United States, 70% of faculty members in higher education are employed off the tenure-track. Nearly all of these non-tenure-track (NTT) appointments share a quality that may produce stress for those who hold them: contingency. Most NTT appointments are contingent on budget, enrollment, or both, and the majority of contingent faculty members are hired for one quarter or semester at a time …” (more)

[Gretchen Reevy and Grace Deason, Frontiers in Psychology, 7 July]

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The Leaving Certificate

Posted in Life on June 2nd, 2014 by steve

“Sir, – The Leaving Certificate exams will start shortly and there will be a lot of media coverage surrounding these exams. I actually think that most of this coverage is hype and very unhelpful hype at that …” (more)

[Tim Buckley, Irish Times, 2 June]

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Academics Anonymous: why I’m leaving academia

Posted in Life on May 1st, 2014 by steve

“I will no longer put up with low pay, unstable contracts and the requirement to be available at all times. In a few weeks, I will be leaving my career in academic research. The pleasure of contributing to scientific knowledge has disappeared and I am overworked and under-compensated with no semblance of a work-life balance …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 1 May]